Up and down Liberty falls short to Frederick, 49-42

Second-half lull puts Lions in too deep of a hole

Girls basketball

January 19, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In many ways, last night's Central Maryland Conference game against visiting Frederick perfectly mimicked the up-and-down season of the Liberty Lions.

At times, the Eldersburg team showed the fervor of a squad seeking at least a share of its third straight Carroll County title, only to occasionally fall flat in a 49-42 loss.

Frederick, rebuilding after last year's 23-4 season, broke a 20-20 tie with a 10-0 run at the end of the first half. The Lions then used second-half runs of 9-0 and 9-2 to twice cut the lead to three, but never could get closer.

For Liberty coach Dave Trumbo, an overall lack of aggressiveness spelled the difference.

"They were quick and they wanted the ball more than we did," Trumbo said. "We have to have five basketball players out there on the court that are going to contribute, and some of the kids are just a little bit tentative when they get in there."

Case in point -- after drawing Frederick's seventh team foul and getting into the one-and-one with 1: 23 left in the third quarter, the Lions (7-6 overall, 2-3 CMC) were able to get back to the foul line just once the rest of the game.

"We just have to aggressively go to the basket," said Trumbo.

It was just the latest dip for a Liberty team riding out a roller-coaster of a season. Following last week's embarrassing 28-point loss to South Carroll, in which it failed to score a point in the fourth quarter, Liberty seemed to get back on track Friday with a last-second win against Thomas Johnson.

After fading in the final moments of the first half, however, the Lions spent the rest of this game playing catch up.

Tied at 20, the Cadets (4-7, 2-2), led by Nichol Means (11 points) and Kristal Hood (10), began hitting their outside shots late in the first half, including a three-pointer by Monique Bryan. Liberty, meanwhile, went ice cold.

"I thought we really executed in the last minute or two of the first half," said Frederick coach Todd Bono, whose team is starting four sophomores and has lost its star player, Ashley Bush with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Despite 18 points from Michelle Allen, Liberty struggled offensively, committing 10 second-half turnovers and making just three of its final 13 shots against Frederick's harrying half-court defense.

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