Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Girls basketball: Jacksons effort leads Liberty girls
ARGYLE - Liberty Christian junior forward Nia Jackson not only led all players with 25 points and 14 rebounds, but she made the two most important plays in Liberty's 53-44 win over Bishop Lynch on Tuesday night.
"She was a huge difference maker tonight," said Liberty head coach Ken Burroughs. "You can square it off any way you want to, but she was the difference tonight."
After Liberty held an 11-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in the game, the Lady Friars went to a full-court press that helped force four consecutive Lady Warrior turnovers, which led to a 9-0 run to quickly bring the score to 46-44.
"Their press was good and we were very careless with the ball," Burroughs said. "If you do that against teams that press like that, that is what happened. It ended up being cut to two."
The tide promptly turned back in Liberty's favor as junior guard Brittany Holbert was sent to the foul line with less than a minute left. Holbert made the first foul shot but missed her second. As the missed free throw clanged off the iron, Jackson wedged her way toward the goal through a mass of players searching for the crucial rebound, found her way to it and was fouled.
After making her first free throw to bring the score to 47-44, Jackson missed her second free throw, and as the ball bounced off the rim, it was Jackson following her own miss. In one motion, she rebounded the ball and banked in the layup to give the Lady Warriors a five-point cushion.
"That's what you call effort," Burroughs said. "She was determined not to lose. She was determined because she missed the free throw, and she was going to make up for it instead of dropping her head and pouting. That doesn't happen very often that you shoot it and go get your own rebound and score."
Bishop Lynch (14-10) held a 16-8 advantage after the first quarter thanks to 10 points from Amber Fleet, but Liberty fought back to bring the deficit to 22-20 at halftime.
The Lady Warriors (22-2) had their best overall quarter of the game in the third, as they outscored Bishop Lynch 19-9 to take a 39-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Warriors used Jackson's size to control the paint, as most of her points came close to the basket. But in the fourth quarter the Lady Friars focused on stopping Jackson by overplaying her in the post and closing up the inside passing lanes.
"At times we forced it," Burroughs said. "They knew it was coming and we got it there anyways because I knew she was going to score from there. We do those things, and at times we get away from it and we may shoot errant shots from the perimeter, but we've won a lot of games with perimeter shots, too. We are a little bit more well-rounded now than we were earlier in the season.
Nicole Kornet had 13 points and Summer Fife added 11 for Liberty. Fleet led Bishop Lynch with 21 points.
Liberty Christian 53, Bishop Lynch 44
Bishop Lynch(14-10) - Amber Fleet 21, Erin Hardick 9, Leah Wildman 4, Kania Alexander 4, Alexa Rowan 4, Annie Bourne 2.
Liberty Christian (22-2) - Nia Jackson 25, Nicole Kornet 13, Summer Fife 11, Brittany Holbert 5, Courtney Copeland 1, Cameron Gannon 1.