Liberty edges N. Carroll, 27-22

With lids on both baskets, Dickinson rises to help father get coaching win

Girls basketball

High Schools

December 18, 2003|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Sometimes when times are tough, coaches turn to the ones they trust most.

So with his Lions struggling last night, Liberty coach Steve Dickinson looked to his daughter Ashley, who responded with nine points to lead an ugly 27-22 victory over North Carroll.

How ugly was it? Consider that host Liberty (4-0, 2-0 Carroll County League) led at the half, 11-7. Consider that Liberty shot a dismal 8-for-47 (17 percent) from the field for the game, while the Panthers shot 8-for-42 (19 percent). Consider that North Carroll went through one 12:23 span in the first half without scoring even a single point.

"A win's a win," said Coach Dickinson. "They aren't all going to be pretty."

North Carroll (1-2, 1-2) took a 4-2 lead on Carly Rihard's layup just 2:51 into the game, but then went cold, not scoring again until 46 seconds remained in the half.

Some of the drought can be blamed on the selection of zone defenses that Liberty threw at the Panthers, but most of it came from missed layups and poor shot selection.

"We shot really poorly," said Panthers coach John Brown. "Liberty got in their faces, and we never got anything going. I can't explain why, but we couldn't get anything to fall."

North Carroll eventually got back into the game, taking the lead briefly at 17-16 on Kara Doarnberger's layup with 5:47 left in the game.

On the next possession, Liberty took the lead for good at 19-17, when Brittany Harman ran around a screen and hit a three-pointer. The Lions made their last six points at the line to preserve the win, with four of the foul shots coming from Dickinson, a junior point guard.

"She's the one we want on the line in that situation," said her father. "She didn't have a great game at the line [4-for-9], but she made just enough."

The Lions ran the lead to 25-19 with 24 seconds left, before the Panthers' Jessica Smith scored her only points of the night on a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to make the score 25-22. It was as close as North Carroll would get.

"We just didn't get into our offense," said Ashley Dickinson. "At least we were getting the shots. The fact that we pulled it together says a lot about our team. It showed us that we have a lot to work on as a team."

Coach Dickinson said the fact that the Lions played at Poly the day before may have contributed to their sluggish performance.

"We had a game last night, but that's no excuse," he said. "I tell them that defense is the key to winning, and it was proven true tonight. We did just enough of the little things that we needed to win."

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