Boys, girls basketball teams split with Liberal; finish regular season at 10-10

BUFFS ROUNDUP: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020

BASKETBALL

The 2019-20 regular season came to an end Tuesday night, Feb. 25, with Senior Night at The Garden as the Buffaloes boys and girls basketball teams made their final appearance against Liberal in a Western Athletic Conference match-up.

BOYS

The Buffaloes made a final surge in their last regular season game, defeating the Liberal Redskins, 44-40, to square their overall season record at 10-10 and finish out the WAC season at 3-5. Liberal had defeated the Buffs, 51-46, earlier in the season in Liberal.

The Buffs took an early lead and were atop the Redskins 9-6 after one quarter and then clung to a 17-16 halftime advantage in the low-scoring first half. In the third quarter, the Buffs outscored the Redskins 13-7 to go up 30-23, with their biggest lead coming at 28-19.

But the Redskins had their best eight-minute effort in the final quarter, closing the gap to a one-possession game on several occasions. But key baskets and free throws down the stretch allowed the Buffs to hold off the final rally by Liberal.

image_2b161408-3e90-40be-b23c-d36bb313e600.2577
Sophomore Luke Tolbert scored 14 points to lead the Buffaloes to a 44-40 victory Tuesday night, Feb. 25, at The Garden. (Photo by Tylee Biera)

Luke Tolbert led the scoring with 14 points while Azavier Williams added 10. Liberal’s record fell to 8-12 and 2-6 in the WAC.

The Buffs will now await the final games of other Class 6A schools in the western division to determine their overall seeding among the 18 schools. That will determine their opponent and where the Sub-State game on March 4 will be played. In all probability, the Buffs will be on the road.

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Liberal (8-12/2-6)  6  10  7  17  — 40

Garden City (10-10/3-5)  9  8  13  14  —  44

Garden City (44) — Rosales 3 0-0 8, Williams 3 4-6 10, Tolbert 5 2-2 14, Wiese 1 4-6 6, Guevara 1 0-0 2, Nuzum 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 10-14 44.

3-point goals: Rosales 2, Tolbert 2.

GIRLS

When you take on the undefeated and No. 2-ranked team in Class 6A on the final night of the regular season, you know that it’s going to be a tough game.

That’s what the Lady Buffs experienced Tuesday night against the Liberal Lady Redskins in a 47-19 setback at The Garden.

Liberal opened with a 7-0 run and never looked back, although the Lady Buffs kept the score close, trailing only 14-6 after the first quarter and were down 23-11 at halftime. Liberal’s tight defense made baskets tough to come by for the Buffs.

The Lady Redskins extended their lead to 37-13 with a 14-2 third-quarter advantage and closed out the game with a 10-6 fourth quarter edge.

Nateara Beasley and Aileen Becerril had 6 points each for the Lady Buffs, who finished the regular season with a 10-10 mark and 4-4 in the WAC. They will await sub-state pairings which will be announced on Saturday. Their semifinal game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, against an opponent to be determined.

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Liberal (20-0/8-0)  14  9  14  10  —  47

Garden City (10-10/4-4)  6  5  2  6  —  19

Garden City (19) — Beasley 3 0-1 6, Becerril 2 0-0 6, Simmons 1 0-0 2, Turner 0 5-8 5. Totals 6 5-8 19.

3-point goals: Becerril 2.

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