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updated 10:20 PM, Apr 21, 2021 America/Chicago

Too little too late (VIDEO)

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IMG 2610BRIAN BESCH | PCE Livingston’s Jon’Toyrian McNeal scored a game-high 27 points Tuesday.

Liberty versus Livingston Lady Lions

By Brian Besch

The Livingston Lady Lions suffered their second district loss in as many games Tuesday, as the Liberty Lady Panthers escaped Polk County with a 45-42 win.

“It was rough,” Livingston coach Brittany Jefferson said. “I at least expected the girls to come out here and do what they were supposed to do. They came out and, just to be honest, they had no energy whatsoever. We wouldn't box out, we didn't get rebounds, the turnovers with the guards that I had — we were just giving the ball straight to Liberty. They just didn't do what they were supposed to do.”

The game Tuesday was a case of too little too late. The defending district champions seemingly picked up their intensity and focus in spots, but could not sustain a high level of play. A fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell short.

Leading 9-4 in the first quarter, Liberty went on a 12-3 run and eventually took a 22-19 advantage into the break at the half. The Lady Panthers came out of the locker room and put another eight points up before Livingston answered.

“The last two minutes of the game, they wanted to pick it up and tried to pick it up, but it's too late,” Jefferson said. “You are supposed to do that at the beginning. When you are trying to do that in the last two minutes of the game and you are down by six or eight points, it's too late. You should have just picked it up at the beginning. If they would have played like they did in the last two minutes, then it probably would have been an easy win. Since they didn't do that, it just didn't happen.”

Liberty’s Madyson Goudeau led the Lady Panthers with 15 points, Drelyn Willis had 13, and Reese Evans added eight. For Livingston, Jon’Toyrian McNeal had 27 points, Z Garner finished with eight and Natavia Davis had seven.

Livingston is now winless in two district games, dropping the first to district favorite Hardin-Jefferson in a lopsided 103-10 blowout.

“I would have assumed that, hopefully, we would have been 1-1 now,” the coach said. “We just have to take it as it is and, hopefully, they'll learn from it. If not, it is going to be a long, long, long season.”

Jefferson most wants her team to be able to take care of the ball. The team had problems setting up and executing an offense because of an inability to control the basketball.

The Lady Lions’ next opportunity to get in the district win column will be Dec. 18 on the road at Hamshire-Fannett.

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