By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Trevor Harvey sank the winning basket as Liberal rallied to nudge visiting McAuley Catholic 56-54 on Tuesday night in a boys prep basketball opener for both ballclubs.
The teams are under the guidance of new coaches this season — Travis Walton at Liberal and veteran Randy Robertson at McAuley.
Robertson has notched hundreds of wins. It was the first varsity win, however, for the 27-year-old Walton. The graduate of Oswego High School (2004) and Pittsburg State had assisted four years at Liberal before taking the reins.
Walton said Harvey, a junior, connected on a fallaway jumper from about 10 feet with about two seconds left to snap the deadlock.
“McAuley then was unable to get off a shot before the buzzer,” Walton said.
Walton said the Bulldogs called time to set up the final shot after gaining possession of the ball with 32 seconds left and running down the clock.
“We intended for Harvey to get the final shot,” Walton said. “But that play fell apart. Trevor, although he didn’t get the ball where we wanted, got it and made something happen under defensive pressure.”
Colin McNaught scored 11 points for Liberal, which outscored McAuley 18-12 in the final period, and Garrett Miller and Eli Short each had 10.
Shaw Robertson tallied 17 for the Warriors. Cole Lowry added 13 and Connor Schlegel had 10. Adam Robertson had his nine in the final quarter.
Randy Robertson — he doesn’t believe he’s related to the Robertson brothers — said the Warriors committed a turnover to allow the final Liberal heroics.
“They (the Bulldogs) may have scored the last seven or eight points,” Randy Robertson said. “We twice missed the front end of 1-and-1s and had some turnovers (down the stretch).
“But our intensity and effort were great,” Robertson said. “We want to maintain that intensity and eliminate some mistakes.”
The Warriors resume at 6 p.m. on Monday against the host Bluejays in the Clever Tournament. Liberal, seeded third, tackles the host Tigers at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Lockwood Dennis Cornish Classic.