Seemingly as the buzzer sounded in the Hawks’ Nest on Jan. 7, Tori Azevedo put up a last-ditch, long-distance shot that sank through the net, but wasn’t quite fast enough to prevent Liberty Ranch’s 53-49 loss to Center.
The Lady Hawks had traded the lead with Center the entire game before Center pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Center had a six-point lead at 53-47 before the Lady Hawks stole the ball. They would end up missing their next shot, however, and Azevedo put Liberty Ranch within 53-48 after being fouled with 11.7 seconds left.
The Lady Hawks stole the ball again and Azevedo put up another shot that nearly went in.
The game went to intentional fouls, however, and Center missed its free throw with 2.5 seconds left, but time ran out before Liberty Ranch could do any more damage.
“Their performance was good (in the fourth quarter), we gave up way too many looks on defense, we gave up too many perimeter shots and Center was taking advantage of that, sinking them from the corner and the wing and we were unable to get a hand in their face and deny the shot,” Liberty Ranch assistant coach Sean Duryee said after the game. Liberty Ranch head coach Dave Mullens was unable to attend the game and Duryee took over coaching duties for the night.
The Lady Hawks fell to 8-9 but will resume Sierra Valley Conference play with a game across town against the Galt Lady Warriors tonight at 7 p.m.
Liberty Ranch opened its league season with a 49-35 loss to El Dorado on Jan. 4. In that game, Azevedo led with 10 points and Olivia Nelson added eight points for the Lady Hawks and Kloey Calkins led her team with eight rebounds.