Despite scoring drought, Liberty weathers storm, defeats Century, 39-34

Lions to play Middletown on road in regional semis

Class 2A West girls basketball

High Schools

March 02, 2004|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

At times during the fourth quarter of last night's Class 2A West quarterfinal, Liberty girls basketball coach Steve Dickinson said he wondered if his team would ever score again.

As much as the visiting Lions struggled on offense in the fourth quarter, however, they still had enough to hold off a Century squad that went the final 11:29 without a field goal in a 39-34 win.

"I knew it was a long time since anyone scored from the field," said Dickinson. "We had some pretty good looks that just rimmed out ... but we were sitting at 37 for a long time. I wasn't sure we were going to score again, but we did a good job containing them."

With its third straight win, Liberty (11-13) advanced to the regional semifinals, where it will face Middletown, a 52-40 winner over Winters Mill, on the road tomorrow night.

To get there, however, the Lions first had to put away a team that they had just beaten by eight points on Thursday.

This time, the back-and forth game was tied on six occasions, and when Century's Jenny Steadman made a 15-foot jumper with 3:29 left in the third quarter, the Knights led 28-25.

From there, however, Century (13-10) misfired on its final 10 shots from the field, and further hurt its cause by making just 13 of 26 free-throw attempts on the night.

"In the second half, we kind of figured out their offense and took them out of their flow," said Dickinson. "We turned the intensity up a little bit and forced them really way out on the perimeter."

Playing without junior Katlyn Williard (dislocated thumb), who averaged nearly nine points per game, Century shot just 27 percent from the field. Complicating matters for the Knights, starting point guard Lauren Schwarzmann and center Dana Reeser each picked up their fourth foul in the third quarter, forcing them to the bench.

"I knew we had to step our defense up," said Liberty center Stacey Krebs. "We knew who to foul and who was going to make their shots, so we just all helped out together."

Krebs scored 15 to lead the Lions, who scored 14 of the game's final 20 points and went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Forward Jessica Chiaramonte added 10 points for Liberty.

Abby Rees, Steadman and Chelsea Loskarn each scored nine for the Knights.

"They made the shots when they had to," said Century coach Joel Beard. "When you've been doing this for 20-plus years, you realize that sometimes you're going to have a game like that."

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