The bad news for Liberty County was a narrow 35-34 loss Saturday to Tattnall County at home, the team’s third straight setback.
The good news is at least Liberty had a shot at winning the game, Liberty coach Carolyn Kelly said.
"Even though we lost we had a chance at the end to win and that is making progress. We had better movement defensively and did a little better job on the boards. The overall effort was better tonight," she said.
The result was a hard fought contest in which neither team could pull away.
Liberty trailed Tattnall at the half 18-15 but fought back to tie 21-21 late in the third. But Tattnall retook the lead and secured it until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when, leading 35-26, the Lady Warriors tried to slow the game down and went into a four corners offense.
Liberty forced turnovers and, after a pair of baskets, cut the lead to 35-30, then Kimberly Payno banked in a shot to pull the Lady Panthers to within 1 point, 35-34.
After forcing another turnover in the final 10 seconds, Liberty had a chance to go ahead, but missed the winning shot.
Precious Williams was Liberty’s scoring leader with 12 points. Courtney Rhodes put in seven points and Payno made six points.
The loss put Liberty at .500 for the year with a 9-9 record.
Though Kelly is starting to see positives with her team she said she’s still worried about defense.
"We have got to learn how to apply pressure on the ball. Just because you are playing zone doesn’t mean you move slow," Kelly said. "We need to close out harder on the basketball and everyone else in the zone needs to be anticipating just like they would in a man defense."
She was to have had added offense Tuesday against Richmond Hill when guard Tiara Howard returned to the lineup. Howard was injured during a game two weeks ago. Liberty played host to Region 2A-AAAA rival Richmond Hill Tuesday night.
Tattnall 35, Liberty 34
Liberty top scorers: Precious Williams 12, Courtney Rhodes 7, Kimberly Payno 6, La’Shai Richardson 4, Bryonna Graham 3, Jasmina Smith 2