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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Liberty toes line, tops Alton

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TWO AGAINST ONE: Alton's Cassie Benson looks to pass out of the double team Dec. 17 in the Lady Comets' clash with the Liberty Lady Eagles. Photo/Mullins
Although they certainly weren't helped by the fact they were missing starting guard Becca See, or by the bug that had zapped a few players of their usual strength and endurance, that wasn't really the Alton Lady Comets' biggest problem against the Mountain View/Birch Tree Liberty Lady Eagles.

Second-chance points and free throws were.

Using a stout inside presence to control the offensive boards, the Lady Eagles knocked off the host Lady Comets 61-52 Dec. 17.

When Liberty wasn't getting second or third chances at a missed bucket, the Lady Eagles were getting to the charity stripe.

For the game, Liberty went 23-of-34 from the free throw stripe, including a seven-for-10 showing down the stretch in the fourth period -- a period that saw the Lady Eagles make just one shot from the floor.

Though Liberty led for the biggest part of the night, despite being at less than full-power, the Lady Comets still managed to keep things within striking distance.

Myranda Reynolds (six points) opened the night with an inside move for Alton, followed quickly by a 3-ball from Alex Hower that gave the home team a 5-2 lead early. Hower had a big night for Alton, leading all scorers with a game-high 21-point effort.

Liberty found its footing midway into the first period and used a 10-2 spurt to close the frame with a 12-7 advantage.

Hitting the backboards hard in the second period, the Lady Eagles opened up an 18-7 lead.

Arial Peace hit Alton's first bucket of the second at the 5:45 mark and Cassie Benson (10 points) drilled a triple to help the Lady Comets from letting Liberty run away.

With a shade over two minutes left until the half, Liberty stood in front by 10, 27-17. But the Lady Comets ended the half on a positive note with a 7-2 run late, leaving the Lady Eagles on top by six, 31-25, at the break.

It looked like Liberty would put the game on ice in the third, as the Lady Eagles opened the stanza on a 10-2 run, including tossing in the first eight points of the half, to pull ahead by 14 points.

But to their credit, the Lady Comets didn't fold.

Instead, they responded with an 8-zip run of their own, fueled by trifectas from Hower and Benson.

With 2:48 left in the third, Benson hit a jumper that pulled Alton within four, 43-39, the closest the Lady Comets had been to Liberty since early in the first.

However, the Lady Eagles steadied themselves and took a 52-43 lead to the final period.

Liberty didn't have much luck with shots from the field in the game's last eight minutes, but once again, the free throw line was were the Lady Eagles found their groove.

Bailey Laymen turned in a big 3-point play with Liberty's only hoop of the fourth, aided by a charity toss, to boost the Lady Eagles to a 57-47 lead with 3:42 left to play.

The Lady Comets scored the last three points of the evening, but Liberty left Alton with a 61-52 victory.

Lacey Hodge finished with seven points for Alton, while Cierra Cawvey added four and Kristina Russback two.

Colbi Golf paced Liberty with 14 points, followed by 13 from Mandi Riddle and 11 by Laymen.

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