Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Madison Devine reaches up throw a pass to a teammate during Tuesday’s season-opening loss to Riverdale.
Under new head coach Ashley Chavira, the Liberty Hawks girls basketball team is trying to finds its footing after a season-opening loss to the Riverdale Cowgirls at Liberty.
The Hawks got 17 points from a player that hadn’t played basketball in three years in a 51-32 loss Tuesday.
“We have a lot of potential and there’s a lot of room to grow,” Chavira, a former Madera Coyote standout, said. “We have to work on our defense. It broke down a lot. There’s just a lot of little fundamental things that we have to grasp in a short amount of time.”
Madie Devine, who played varsity softball and volleyball the past two-plus seasons, came out for the basketball team and scored more than half of the team’s points in Tuesday’s contest.
Unfortunately, the rest of the team scored 15, with no player scoring more than five points.
“It’s a new team that’s learning the game of basketball,” Chavira said. “They are learning plays and sets. They are learning how to guard on the ball. They didn’t know any of that. It’s the ground up, pretty much.”
The Hawks fell behind 15-6 after the first quarter, but came back in the second quarter.
A free throw from Annelise Holland, a 3-pointer from Kaylee White and two free throws cut Riverdale’s lead to 23-16 before the Cowgirls hit a jumper for a 25-16 halftime lead.
The Hawks only managed two Devine buckets in the third quarter and were outscored 13-4.
The Hawks stayed with Riverdale in the fourth, getting outscored 13-12, but it wasn’t enough in the loss.
In the fourth, Karsyn Woods completed a 3-point play. Camille Vestal hit a bucket and Devine added three points.
Devine closed the scoring by going coast-to-coast for a layup after bringing down the defensive rebound.
Liberty plays Tuesday at Caruthers and Wednesday at Kings Christian-Hanford.