When Liberty visited Linganore 13 days ago, questionable foul calls and the mysterious disappearance of three seconds from the game clock in the waning moments marred a tough 48-45 loss for Liberty's girls.
There would be no such controversy last night as Central Maryland Conference-leading Linganore scored the game's first six points and never looked back as it sailed to a 57-46 win in Eldersburg.
The winning Lancers (16-4, 10-3) remained atop the conference in a three-way tie with North Carroll and Frederick.
Liberty, which dropped to 6-6 and 11-10 overall, was plagued by a woeful 16-for-43 shooting night from the floor.
"We couldn't hit them," senior forward Jessica Roguski said. "Nothing would fall for us. We played defense, we got the rebounds, but they wouldn't drop for us."
Coach Dave Trumbo said his Lions played hard, but could not catch Linganore. "We had some easy layups that we missed," he said. "We were down 6-0 at the start of the game, and we were always playing from behind."
The Lancers got their early lead courtesy of a full-court press that coach Brian Matthews said his team practiced for the first time on Monday.
After junior forward Jodi Carpenter hit a layup, sophomore guard Monica Schaus stole a Liberty inbounds pass and sank another layup. Then senior guard Stephanie Hayes stole another inbounds pass and fed Schaus for another easy bucket.
For the rest of the first half, Linganore matched the Lions basket for basket, taking a seven-point cushion into the break.
"I think every time we started to make a little run, they would come back," said senior guard Michelle Allen, who led Liberty with 13 points. "They gave back whatever we tried."
The third quarter proved to be Liberty's downfall as the Lions connected on only one of 10 shots from the floor to trail by 14.
Hayes, who led Linganore with 16 points, said the team was eager to avenge Friday's 42-39 loss to North Carroll -- a setback that broke the Lancers' 41-game win streak against Carroll opponents.
"The loss at North Carroll was heartbreaking, but that's what makes a good team, when you can come back and beat another good team," Hayes said.