If anybody was going to stop the No. 2 Liberty girls basketball team, it was supposed to be Foothill. The Patriots have won the last four Southeast League and Sunrise Region titles, and No. 7 Foothill was the only other Southeast team with a winning record.
But as the saying goes, “You come at the king, you best not miss.” On Monday night, Foothill missed.
Liberty scored the game’s first 12 points, had a 24-5 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 74-47 victory over the visiting Falcons.
“Everyone is going to gun for us, so we have to bring our ‘A’ game,” Liberty coach Chad Kapanui said. “I think it’s harder because people are trying to knock you down.”
Liberty (19-1, 3-0 Southeast) proved why it was on top from the opening whistle, scoring seemingly at will and forcing Foothill to call two timeouts in the first four minutes. The Falcons scored after their second, but Liberty responded with a 12-0 run, its second of three such runs in the game.
“We came out strong knowing that we could beat them, and knowing that we’re more strong and aggressive,” junior London Pavlica said.
Foothill (10-6, 2-1) had two standout performances, including a game-high 21 points by senior Trinity Betoney and a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double by junior Rae Burrell.
But four different Patriots scored in double digits, led by junior Dre’una Edwards with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals. Three of those were starters, but the middle of the game was led by the bench, including senior Celine Quintino, who scored 10.
In the fourth quarter, the starters re-entered to polish off the victory. Edwards and senior Kaily Kaimikaua traded baskets until senior Alexis Tomassi drilled a 3-pointer with 3:21 to play. It gave the Patriots a 71-35 lead, their biggest of the game, and emptied the Liberty bench.
“It’s fun to blow out and just chill out sometimes,” Pavlica said with a grin.