The size difference between the Dixie Heights and Frankfort High girls basketball teams was one problem for FHS, but it wasn’t the only one.
Dixie Heights defeated the Lady Panthers 71-48 Monday at F.D. Wilkinson Sports Arena with junior Liza Tibbs scoring 41 of the Lady Colonels’ 71 points.
“She’s 6-3, so she’s not easy to stop,” FHS coach Deron Norman said about Tibbs. “As big as they are, the thing we wanted to do was force the pace and speed them up. One person can’t beat you unless they slow it down and make it a half-court possession game.”
Tibbs scored nearly all her points on layups — catching passes on the block and shooting over the Frankfort defense — and free throws.
But it wasn’t just Tibbs’ play that caused trouble for the Lady Panthers.
“The thing was we had too many breakdowns on defense,” Norman said. “We had problems getting in transition, and then we missed at the foul line, which destroyed us.”
The game was tied at 4 when Dixie Heights (11-13) went on a 12-0 run with Tibbs scoring 10 points.
That gave the Lady Colonels a 16-4 lead with 3:58 left in the first quarter, but FHS came roaring back with 11 straight points to pull within a point at 18-17 with 2 minutes remaining.
During the run Cori Cunningham hit a 3-pointer, BriAnna Burbridge made two free throws and Sibre Morton had three baskets.
Dixie Heights closed out the first quarter scoring four points for a 22-17 edge when the period ended, and the Lady Colonels opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run to go ahead 28-17.
FHS had two steals in the final 18 seconds of the first half that resulted in baskets by Cunningham and Burbridge and cut Dixie Heights’ lead to eight points, 36-28, at the break.
In the third quarter Burbridge came up with a steal and threw the ball to Jade Morgan, who went in for a layup with 3:02 left in the period.
That made the score 42-35.
“We get it to seven points in the second half,” Norman said, “and then they call timeout and we have a couple defensive breakdowns. They go on a 5-0 run and go up by 12. We don’t respond well when our backs are against the wall.”
The 5-0 run put DHHS up 47-35. Another basket by Morgan ended the run, but the Lady Colonels scored the last eight points of the third quarter and led 55-37 going into the final period.
Dixie Heights’ largest lead was 30 points, 69-39, with 3:17 left in the game.
Cunningham led FHS (7-16) with 14 points, and Burbridge and Morgan both scored 11.
The Lady Panthers are back in action Friday, hosting Grant County for Senior Night then hosting Dunbar Saturday night.
DIXIE HEIGHTS (71) — Kylie Brock 5, Meth Beth Odom 2, Samantha Koth 6, Liza Tibbs 41, Brooke Davis 8, Alexis Strong 6, Molly Diamon 3.
FRANKFORT (48) — BriAnna Burbridge 11, Cori Cunningham 14, Jade Morgan 11, Sibre Morton 6, Jasmine Turpin 2, Ellen Williams 2, Jayne Yocum 2.