LIBERTY HILL—Coming back for seconds was a bad habit for the Lady Jackets for the second game in five days, and it resulted in a 53-38 loss to the Panthers, January 22.
Llano, shut out in the second quarter at Brownwood the previous Friday night, was held to five free throws at Liberty Hill in that stanza and trailed 37-16 at the half.
“The second quarter bit us in the butt,” head coach Daryl Friedrich asserted, “but we did respond.”
No question. The High Cierras: Jordan and Caffey both hit three-point field goals, and Jessica Wunderlich and Claire Williams posted twos to diagram a 10-0 run.
“I don’t know what you told ‘em at halftime,” Liberty Hill’s Matt Kirschner said to Friedrich, “but they came out fired up and gave us everything we wanted.” I’m sure he meant everything we did not want, but that’s not the way the line was structured a century or two ago.
“We battled our tails off in the third quarter,” insisted Friedrich.
“We’ve got to the play the whole game like we did the third,” Wunderlich acknowledged. The Jackets wound up winning the third 16-4 and getting as close as nine, trailing 41-32 with eight minutes left. Jessica did another superb job under the glass, and Jordan—who had two free throws before intermission—wound up with 13.
6’1” Maddie Metzger of the Panthers did not melt like M&Ms. She scored 26 points, hitting 16-for-18 from the free-throw line. I’m not sure there’s an NBA player with a better stroke or feel at the stripe. “She’s 83% (with her foul shots),” said Kirschner. “Maddie did not have a good game at Llano (January 4), but she finally stepped up. We’ve known she could do it all year.”
Metzger had eight points in the fourth quarter where Liberty Hill regained control to lassoed Llano for the ninth consecutive time.
“We’ve always wanted to beat them,” Wunder declared. She and fellow tri-captains, Taylor Durham and CJ, were playing on the Panther floor for the last time.
“It’s darn hard to come back from 21 down at half,” Friedrich summarized. “We showed all heart; you can’t fault the girls; they gave it their all.”