By Justin Gottschalk
MONTICELLO February 8, 2005 The Liberty Lady Indians were no match for the Monticello Lady Panthers in Friday nights non-league basketball game.
The Lady Panthers dominated the Lady Indians and prevailed by a final score of 50-20.
Monticello (5-6) got off to a quick start, scoring 17 of the games first 21 points. As a result, the Lady Panthers enjoyed a 17-4 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Liberty (5-12) never seemed to get its bearings, buckling under Monticellos full-court press and committing turnovers in the open court.
The press worked in the first half, Monticello Coach Karen Atack said. The stats tell you, we had 34 steals [for the game].
The Lady Panthers started the second period with a 5-2 run that gave them a 22-6 lead. Liberty would respond, though, going on a 6-0 run of its own. The Lady Indians then pulled to within 10 points at the half, 23-13.
However, Monticello ran away with the game in the third quarter. A 13-1 run lasting some seven minutes crippled the Lady Indians offense.
The fourth quarter wasnt much better for Liberty, which managed just two points in the final frame (and seven for the entire second half). Monticellos defense consistently produced turnovers and the Lady Indians could not get open looks on the inside.
You got to give all the credit to Monticello, Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta said. The bottom line is, we came out with the intention of stopping their athleticism and breaking their press and it just didnt happen. Theyre an athletic group of kids, their press was tight. They took it to us and we had no answers.
We played poorly, bottom line, LaGattuta added.
Leading the Lady Panthers to the victory were guard Ana Rivera, who scored a game-high 12 points, and forward Liila Mack, who recorded 11 points.
Center Marla Egan paced the Lady Indians with 10 points.
Liberty will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts John S. Burke Catholic School at 7 p.m. tonight in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game. Monticello was scheduled to host Cornwall last night in an OCIAA Division III contest.