Log in Subscribe

RedHawks earn first win in nail-biter over Fallsburg

Joseph McDoal
Posted 1/26/24

LIBERTY — The Lady Comets visited the Liberty RedHawks on Wednesday night as the two teams continued their heated rivalry. Despite being in different classes now, the two teams battled as if it …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

RedHawks earn first win in nail-biter over Fallsburg


LIBERTY — The Lady Comets visited the Liberty RedHawks on Wednesday night as the two teams continued their heated rivalry. Despite being in different classes now, the two teams battled as if it was a division matchup. The energy throughout the gymnasium was palpable on both sides as Liberty was able to hold on for a 2-point win over Fallsburg, defeating the Lady Comets for their first win of the season 45-43.

The first quarter opened with an intense back and forth with defensive explosiveness and rapid, accurate passing on display by both teams. It was clear from the early minutes that this game would be a difficult battle for both teams. Liberty’s Julissa Velez set the tone early, scoring six of the RedHawks’ 11 points in the first quarter.

Liberty closed out the quarter with an 11-7 lead over Fallsburg.

The second quarter opened similarly to the first, with both teams scoring back and forth. Liberty relied on passes under the basket and hard drives to the basket. Meanwhile, Fallsburg seemed to settle into their high-pressure defense, feeding their outlet offense for easy fastbreak layups off of steals.

Within the first few possessions, Fallsburg got within one point of Liberty and tied the score halfway through the quarter.

The quarter ultimately came down to foul shots after both teams entered the bonus. Liberty’s Destiny Loyce, who led all scorers with 16 points, knocked down all four attempts from the charity stripe as Liberty was able to regain the lead and go up 24-16 by halftime.

Both teams came out of the break in a fury, continuing to battle on both ends of the court.

Fallsburg continued to find success with a full court press, and Liberty was working to break it. The teams went back and forth early on before Liberty’s Mya Huebsch was able to cut to the basket on back-to-back attempts to slow Fallsburg’s momentum and give Liberty a 12-point lead.

Fallsburg’s press never faltered, though, and the Lady Comets were able to cut the lead down to six by the end of the third quarter, trailing 37-31.

The fourth quarter proved to be the closest and most intense of the game with both teams fighting hard for the win. Fallsburg steadily chipped away at Liberty’s six-point lead. Each minute that passed brought them closer until it was a one score game for the final four minutes.

Each time it seemed like one side was about to go on a run, their opponents would step up and get a big stop or a score of their own to keep it close.

It was anyone’s game and the crowd was buzzing down the stretch as both teams battled on the court.

Fallsburg reached the free throw line but only converted 2/11 from the charity stripe, including a missed pair in the final seconds that sealed the win for Liberty.

The Lady Comets were led by Jennifer Pena Fuentes with 12 points, followed closely by Emily Perna with 10 and Marilyn Santos with nine.

Liberty was led by Destiny Loyce with 16 and Julissa Velez with 12.

“Our first win of the season feels great,” Liberty Coach Tim Johnson said after the game. “I love how the girls played tonight. They competed well and came with a great energy. I especially appreciate what we got out of our freshmen in this game. We have Tri-Valley on Friday, and I know they’ll be a tough team, but I think we are prepared. Hopefully, this is our first win of many.”

“The girls didn’t play too well in the first half, but we came back strong in the second,” Fallsburg Coach Michael Ballard said. “Unfortunately, we came into this game a little flat with some missed practices due to snow and it certainly hurt our team chemistry. My girls down low stepped up tonight and pulled down a ton of rebounds and scored some crucial baskets. It was a tough game and wasn’t our best performance, but we will refocus and come back strong. We still have some league games ahead of us that we need to come out focused for and that’s what my mind is on now.”


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here