BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Correspondent
LIBERTY CENTER - It was the first matchup in girls basketball history between host Liberty Center and Wayne Trace on Monday night.
In Wayne Trace's case, the Lady Raiders hope next year's matchup looks a lot better.
The Lady Raiders made only 14 of 71 shots from the field and committed 27 turnovers on the night as the host Tigers recorded a 49-41 victory over Wayne Trace.
All in all, the two squads recorded 56 turnovers and were a combined 28 of 123 from the field.
Liberty Center won the game from the foul line, though, as the lady Tigers hit 20 of 40 charity tosses compared to Wayne Trace's 11 of 16.
"We have to do a better job of playing defense," noted Raider head coach Greg Davis. "When you are struggling offensively, you need to be able to get a stop on the other end and we couldn't do that."
After the host Tigers posted an 11-10 lead at the end of one quarter, Liberty Center took control of the game in the second stanza.
The orange-and-black scored a dozen consecutive markers to seize the contest in taking a 23-10 advantage.
"For whatever reason, we didn't play well in the second quarter at all," Davis continued. "We didn't do anything very well and they took advantage."
Tiger junior Niki Meyer led the way in the period, scoring seven points, while Jenna Jeffers added four. Liberty Center took a 28-16 lead into the intermission.
Wayne Trace did make a run in the third quarter, using a pair of buckets each from Tanya Sinn and Brenda Feasby to close within 30-24. The Lady Raiders trimmed the deficit to 33-30 on a four-point play by Karena Egnor but would get no closer.
Brittany Atkinson and Meyer finished off the period with consecutive baskets for the Tigers to give the hosts a 37-30 lead entering the final period.
"We were able to make a run there in the third but then they come right back with a pair of buckets right before the quarter ends," commented the Raider mentor. "Those were crucial because we had the momentum and they were able to take it back."
The Lady Raiders got as close as 40-37 in the fourth quarter after an Erin Mohr bucket before the Tigers sealed the win at the charity stripe.
Liberty Center was 12 of 24 at the foul line in the final eight minutes.
Meyer led all scorers with 19 points with Atkinson and Sondra Prchlik adding eight each. Andrea Weirauch had nine boards for the Tigers, now 1-5, while Meyer and Jenna Jeffers picked up eight caroms a piece. Meyer also recorded seven steals.
Mohr paced the Raider attack with nine markers and 11 boards while Krystal Wannemacher chipped in eight. Tanya Sinn also had ten caroms for Wayne Trace, which falls to 1-4.
The Lady Raiders junior varsity squad moved to 4-1 on the season with a 42-14 win over the Tigers.
Madi Poling chipped in ten markers for Wayne Trace while Danielle Kortokrax added eight. Mohr and Poling both had five steals for the Raiders.