Up by 17, Long Reach escapes pesky Liberty with 55-52 win

Lions rally with 12-0 run in third, but fall short

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 03, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Timisha Gomez, Long Reach's leading scorer, knows how to tee it up. Last night, she learned how to hold on.

The visiting Lightning held a 17-point lead with just over four minutes left in the third quarter, but had to withstand a furious Liberty rally to take a 55-52 victory.

"I give Liberty a lot of credit," said Long Reach coach Kevin Broadus. "We got the lead and played a little bit sluggish, and they took advantage. I do like the way that my girls didn't fold down the stetch."

After Kelly Fiorani's layup with 4:12 left in the third quarter gave the Lightning a 39-22 lead, Broadus began to empty his bench. Liberty immediately took advantage, holding Long Reach scoreless for the rest of the quarter while scoring 12 points to cut the lead to 39-34.

Long Reach got two more baskets to run the lead to 43-36, but Liberty charged back. Jennifer Geilfuss hit a three-pointer and was fouled following her shot for a potential rebound.

After she hit her two foul shots, the lead was 43-41 with 6:17 left. It was as close as the Lions came.

"I think this type of win will help boost our confidence," said Gomez. "We just won our tournament, and we're not where we want to be yet. Hopefully a win like this will help us get there."

Liberty coach Mike Boehme was proud that his team never quit.

"We only scored 14 points in the first half, so we talked about playing harder and executing," said Boehme. "I told them that we needed to play our game, and then we started to take it to them."

Boehme hinted that rebounding was a major factor in the loss.

"We're out there playing against a 6-foot-6 girl, and our tallest player is 5-foot-9," he said. "That's been our problem all year. I thought we did a great job under the circumstances."

Gomez led Long Reach with 20 points. Liberty's Holly Steinacker had 15 to lead the Lions.

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