Written by Matt Wixon
Frisco Liberty girls take advantage of West Mesquite's foul trouble
SACHSE When the whistle blew with 3:54 left in the second quarter Tuesday, Frisco Liberty trailed by four points. But its chances of advancing to a second straight Class 4A Region II tournament suddenly looked excellent.
West Mesquite senior post Jasmyne Walker had picked up her fourth foul.
“That was huge for us that it happened so early,” Liberty coach Mari Mooneyham Harrison said after her team’s 54-42 victory. “I thought, ‘We’ve got to capitalize on this.’”
Liberty (27-3), which will play McKinney North at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 4A Region II semifinals at the Culwell Center in Garland, took control of the game as one of West Mesquite’s stars sat on the bench.
Liberty scored seven straight points to take a 24-21 lead during a 3-minute scoring drought for West Mesquite (26-6). Liberty’s Kayla Mundy, who led all scorers with 20 points, hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute to give Liberty a 28-23 halftime lead.
As West Mesquite’s offensive struggles stretched into the second half, Liberty expanded its lead. By the time Walker returned with 6:48 left, Liberty led by 13 and West Mesquite had managed only nine points in the previous 15 minutes.
Trynise Knight led West Mesquite with 13 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. But West Mesquite never got closer than 11 in the fourth.
West Mesquite leading scorer Alexus Bertrand was held to one point. The goal, Harrison said, was to not let Bertrand take a 3-pointer. Liberty’s defense didn’t let her get off many shots from any distance, and after the first quarter nearly every West Mesquite shot was contested.
“We really focused on our defense,” Harrison said. “I’m so proud of the girls for the way they embraced it.”
Liberty advanced to last year’s 4A Region II final, where it lost to Lincoln. Liberty beat Lincoln last week in the area round.