This time, Liberty has smooth sailing

Offense comes together against S. Carroll, 72-57

Boys basketball

January 12, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For one game, Liberty's motion offense worked perfectly.

The senior-guard pair of Mike Bowers and Tom Warner hit 15-foot jumpers for a backcourt total of 22 points, and their perimeter execution allowed 6-foot-7 senior center Marc Falcone and 6-3 junior power forward Robbie Ruch to combine for 25 points and 17 rebounds as the host Lions downed Central Maryland Conference-rival South Carroll, 72-57, in Eldersburg last night.

Liberty's offense requires lots of movement along the baseline and rolling off screens, but the Lions stumbled more often than not against teams such as Westminster and Thomas Johnson, which have quick players to avoid the screens.

Against the Cavaliers, Bowers (10 points) and Warner (12 points) repeatedly beat their men off the dribble and found their range.

"We worked a lot this past week on not going into the pressure," said Liberty coach Scott Kohr. "Go backdoor and make another opportunity happen. I think that paid off tonight."

As Warner and Bowers continued to hit their perimeter shots, South Carroll was forced to extend its defense, leaving Falcone and Ruch (10 points, six rebounds, two steals) to crash the boards. Together, they collected 11 offensive rebounds.

"We did some things we haven't done in a while," said Falcone, who recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three steals and three assists. "The times when our guards had the 15-footers, they kept sticking them. We were on tonight."

That much was apparent at the beginning of the game, when a jumper by Lions senior guard Ryan Arnold capped a 12-0 lead.

But the Cavaliers scored 13 of the next 20 points and Liberty had a 19-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Senior guard Eric Laverick scored all six of his points during that run.

With a 32-25 lead at the end of the first half, the Lions repeated their first-quarter burst with a 13-0 run at the beginning of the third quarter. By the time the fourth quarter began, Liberty had a 53-32 lead that would never seriously be threatened.

Senior forward Cody Haslup led the Cavaliers (0-3 in the conference, 3-6 overall) with 11 points. Senior guard Derek Boswell, who played despite the flu, added 10.

The victory was Liberty's (4-6, 1-3) first in the conference and gave the Lions a much-needed boost of confidence.

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