The Liberty High School girls’ basketball team’s historic playoff run came to an end Saturday afternoon with a 41-34 loss to Canyon High School in the UIL Class 5A State Championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
In a game that featured six lead changes, Liberty (33-7) got off to a hot start, using a 12-2 run to take a 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Canyon (35-1) pulled even with the Lady Redhawks at the half, 17-17. The third quarter saw the teams trade baskets as Canyon ended the quarter with a slim 28-26 lead. Two free throws and a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter gave Canyon a 33-28 lead that they would never relinquish. The Lady Redhawks battled throughout the fourth quarter, pulling to within four points with less than a minute to play on a three-pointer by Katelyn Burtch, 38-34. But Canyon ended the game with three free throws, making the final score 41-34.
“These girls played with incredible heart,” said Liberty Head Coach Ross Reedy. “They showed the grit and determination that got us to this game. I couldn’t be more proud of them and all they have accomplished this season.”
Liberty was led in scoring by Junior Guard Rebecca Lescay, who had 11 points and 2 rebounds. Burtch added 9 points and 7 rebounds. All 34 of Liberty’s points were scored by their five starters: Lescay, Burtch, Sydney Keller, Randi Thompson and Jordan Hamiton.
Although they fell just short of a championship Saturday, they were the first basketball team in school history to make it to a state title game. And despite the loss, there is a silver lining: the entire starting five of the Lady Redhawks’ team, along with seven reserves, will be returning next season.
“I’m going to go ahead and say it,” Hamilton said after the game. “We will be back.”
Congratulations to Coach Reedy and the Lady Redhawks of Liberty for their historic season and for representing their school and their community with pride.