Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 4:00PM
Lead dissipates for Titans
By Ryan Weaver
Special to the Journal
Scoring only one point in the fourth quarter doesn’t make for a winning recipe.
Lee’s Summit West built a 12-point advantage in the third quarter Dec. 13 against Liberty before the wheels fell off for the Titans and the Blue Jays stormed back to win 54-43.
Taylor Jackson scored a transition layup with 6:28 left in the third quarter to put 38-26, but the Titans managed to score only one more basket the rest of the way, an Allison Finneseth three-pointer almost four minutes later.
Inexperience and fatigue hindered the Titans on both defense and offense as Liberty made their charge.
“We have nothing but freshmen and sophomores,” LSW head coach Kristy Guffey said. “I think the kids lost focus…I thought it came down to rebounds and it sucked the air right out of us. I think when you’re that young, you don’t recognize what’s happening, so it’s a great opportunity for us to learn from this.”
Liberty closed the gap toward the end of the third quarter as the Titans went into the final quarter up 42-37.
Then the Titans just couldn’t get the ball in the basket aside from an Ogechi Ofodu free throw 29 seconds into the quarter. Turnovers mounted and the outside shots that fell earlier in the game missed the mark.
“I think it’s fatigue, I definitely do,” Guffey said. “I think we’re extremely out of shape. There’s not that many teams I’ve ever had that’s been that out of shape.”
On the other end, Liberty took advantage of offensive rebound after offensive rebound to score 13 unanswered points in about two minutes to take the lead for good.
It started out as if the Titans would run away with the game.
With a 12-11 lead in the first quarter, Finneseth sparked a 12-4 run with a three that put some distance between LSW and Liberty.
The Titans sunk four from behind the arc in the first half, including two from Jasmine Edwards; her second three-pointer gave LSW a 29-17 cushion with 2:55 to play in the second quarter. Edwards led the Titans with 10 points, all in the first half.
“I think our defense scored all our buckets in the first half,” Guffey said. “It gives us the confidence and fuels our fire and if things don’t go well for us defensively and we don’t finish the job with the boards, which we didn’t, we’re not going smoothly into our offensive.”