Liberal 43, South 19
For three quarters the South Lady Cougars stayed close to the 3-time defending S.I.T. champion Liberal Lady Red, but already cold shooting turned to Arctic in the fourth quarter as South was outscored 18-0 in the final eight minutes and Liberal advanced to the tournament final with a 24-point victory.
Both teams got after it on the defensive end from the start. Scoring droughts punctuated the first half, as South led 8-6 after one quarter before Liberal went ahead by five at the break, 18-13.
The offensive issues continued into the second half. South did a great job forcing missed shots and gaining turnovers. They also broke Liberal’s press easily on several occasions only to have the possession end with a turnover or missed shot. The Cougars trailed 20-17 with three minutes to go in the third, and heading to the fourth, the Lady Red had a 25-19 lead.
With six minutes to go, three-pointers on consecutive trips gave Liberal (8-2) a double-figure lead and the floodgates opened up. South just could not buy a basket despite getting decent looks.
No player on either side reached double-figures in scoring. South (3-7) was led by Kylie Arnold, who scored five points.
The Cougars will play Andover for third place at Salina Central on Saturday at 1:00 pm.