In a packed-to-capacity Bradwell gym Friday, the Liberty County Lady Panthers went on a big second-half run to get past the Bradwell Lady Tigers, 57-28.
The win raised Liberty’s record to 3-0, while Bradwell was playing its season opener.
Both squads were methodical and careful with the ball early. The teams were tied, 6-6, at the end of the first quarter.
Liberty changed its strategy and changed the pace in the second quarter, but the Lady Tigers kept the game close. The crowd, which had reached capacity 30 minutes prior to tip-off, enjoyed the tight game as Liberty took a 19-13 into halftime.
However, in the third quarter, the Lady Panthers ramped up the defense and took advantage of Bradwell miscues to gain the advantage.
“We didn’t take care of the basketball, and we became very careless with the basketball,” Bradwell coach Faye Baker said. “Liberty was applying pressure … we got very relaxed with the basketball, and we gave up easy turnovers that they turned into easy layups and that got them going.”
Baker said her team never recovered from Liberty’s run, which gave the Lady Panthers a 43-19 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Baker said her team didn’t re-focus their efforts. She gave a lot of credit to the Lady Panthers for that.
“They made plays when they needed to, and we didn’t,” Baker said.
The coach said she was disappointed.
“And I was really disappointed with our interior play,” she said. “Our inside people did not play as well as I expected them to play, and right now I am just looking at shaking up the system a little, but because I have to find me some people that want to play and play at the level that I know we are capable of playing.”
Final stats were not available at press time.
The Lady Tigers will host McIntosh County Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Lady Panthers are off next week. Baker said despite the loss, the entire season is the focus, especially the beginning of Region 3-AAAAA play Dec. 6 against Glynn Academy.
“The region games are the most important games, but we have a tough schedule ahead of us … we play MCA on Tuesday and then we go to Atlanta Friday and Saturday and we will be playing some tough teams,” she said. “But I still think that as long as we give our best effort we will have a good showing, but I don’t think tonight, overall, it wasn’t a good effort by our team.”