Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Lizzie Stinson goes up for a layup in front of Chowchilla’s Sydni Ringersen during Tuesday’s game. Stinson scored a team-high 15 points in the loss.
The Liberty Hawks girls basketball team’s seven players held up against the Chowchilla Tribe until about five minutes left in their North Sequoia League game.
The Tribe took advantage of a tiring Liberty squad to score nine straight points to close out Tuesday’s game for a 38-26 victory.
“Fatigue was definitely was a factor. We started out with 10 players,” Liberty head coach Ryan Reed said. “We had some issues and had to send a couple down to junior varsity. One moved and sickness hurt another. It all adds up. This is one we should have had. We’re trying to get through it. The steam ran out on us and we didn’t have the numbers.”
Liberty was hindered by turnovers all night long. They committed 26 in the game, including nine in the pivotal fourth quarter.
“When you get tired, you start making mental mistakes and it gets amplified,” Reed said. “I need to see more hustle, but it’s hard to bring out when you’re dead tired.”
Lizzie Stinson led the Hawks with 15 points. However, no other player scored more than four points.
“We’re all sophomores,” Reed said. “Lizzie has a bright future. Teams drop out of their press against us because she can use her speed and find a spot inside. She’s got a lot of potential.”
Hannah Stockton led the Tribe with a game-high 16 points. Sydni Ringerson added 10.
Stockton scored the first bucket of the game, but Liberty’s Armine Israyelyan made a reverse layup off an assist from Scottie Tovsrud.
Chowchilla came back with a 10-foot jumper for a 4-2 lead. The Hawks tied the game with a driving layup from Stinson. After a Stockton free throw, Stinson hit a 10-foot jumper after a Camille Vestal offensive rebound for a 6-5 lead heading to the second quarter.
Chowchilla regained the lead with a 3-pointer from Sierra Calvert, but Stinson tied the game with a driving bucket.
The Hawks added seven more points to jump out to a seven-point lead. Tovsrud continued the run with two free throws. Hailey Bugg nailed a 3-pointer off the feed from Vestal.
Kassidy Afonin came down with a rebound and fed down the court to Stinson for a layup for a 15-8 lead.
However, highlighted by a banked 3-pointer from Calvert, the Tribe closed out the first half with a 7-0 run to send both teams in to the locker rooms tied at 15.
Stockton opened the second half with 12-foot jumper, but Vestal tied it with a short jumper. Afonin came down with a rebound and fed down the court to Stinson for another layup.
After a Tribe bucket, Vestal came up with a steal and fed Stinson for a layup and a 21-19 lead.
Like the second quarter, the Tribe closed the third with another run to take control of the game.
A free throw, an offensive setback and a highlight reel 3-point play gave the Tribe a 25-21 lead heading into the fourth.
Stinson banked in a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one. Stockton answered with an offensive putback and two free throws. Stinson then found Israyelyan for a short bucket to cut the lead to three with about five minutes left.
From there, the Tribe scored the final nine points. In the run, the Tribe forced seven turnovers and the Hawks missed six straight shots for a 38-26 Tribe win.