Westminster runs away from Liberty, wins, 74-47

Fast start, fast break key

Owls avenge earlier loss

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 25, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Westminster boys didn't play a perfect basketball game last night against Liberty. But they came awfully close.

Westminster blitzed the visiting Lions with a 23-point first quarter and never looked back. The Owls kept pushing the tempo, getting loads of layups and rolling to a 74-47 victory over Liberty in a Carroll County game.

The Lions scored a five-point victory in the teams' first meeting earlier this season. But last night, the Owls quickened the pace right from the start. Guard Ryan Carr scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the first quarter, helping Westminster find numerous easy layups en route to a 23-6 lead.

The Owls were in such control that 20 of their 24 two-point baskets were layups. Carr (six assists), Brandon Duke (15 points) and Brandon Costley (eight points, four assists) kept making or receiving perfect passes for layups.

"Tonight was just fantastic," said Westminster coach Brett Kanther. "We wanted to push it up the court, and we played really well."

Westminster made nine of its first 13 shots and pulled away to a 20-4 lead with just over a minute remaining in the quarter.

The Lions never got closer than 13 points after that.

"They really pushed it in the first quarter," said Liberty coach Steve Johnson. "We didn't have the intensity we needed."

Westminster (6-7 overall, 3-2 in county, 4-6 in Central Maryland Conference) took advantage of Liberty challenging its players on the perimeter.

The Owls were determined to push a fast tempo. They didn't do that in their earlier meeting with Liberty (5-9, 4-2, 4-6) - a big reason the Lions won.

"We knew from the beginning that we'd have to run," Carr said. "That's what we work on in practice. It feels good to finally [click] on our fast-break options."

Westminster set up its running game by dominating the defensive boards. The Owls had a 41-36 rebounding edge, and allowed the Lions just 12 offensive rebounds.

Nick Williard led Liberty with 17 points, but the Lions never came close to finding any kind of offensive rhythm as Westminster turned the game into a track meet.

"If we keep playing like this, who knows where we're going?" Carr said.

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