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Local Sports

March 19, 2014

Lions prepping for stiff semistate test


That means an up-tempo attack relying on production from several areas of the team. The Lions got 20 points off the bench in the regional semifinal last weekend against Seton Catholic, and DeShon Gibbs came off the bench to score nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter of the championship game against Lafayette Central Catholic.

Liberty Christian (20-6) ranks eighth in the state with an average margin of victory of 22.1 points — the highest ranking of any team in its class. But there's little doubt Saturday's semistate tilt will be a tight battle.

The winner advances to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to meet either top-ranked Barr-Reeve (25-1) or Clay City (20-6) for the state championship. The Vikings and Eels also tip off at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semistate at Seymour.

This is the fourth semistate appearance for Barr-Reeve, which advanced to the state finals in 2010, 2007 and 2002. Clay City is making its first semistate appearance since 1974, and Marquette Catholic and Liberty Christian never have advanced this deeply into the tournament.

For the Lions, the semistate trip is a sweet reward after back-to-back losses in the regional finals in 2012 and 2013. But they're not ready to stop just yet.

"Anytime people set goals and they don't reach those goals, they're upset," Chappell said. "My guys are goal-oriented. They have a common goal, and that's what we're working hard to accomplish."

Class 1A semistate at Lafayette Jeff Marquette Catholic (18-6) vs. Liberty Christian (20-6) Saturday, 1 p.m. Tickets: $8, available at Liberty Christian's elementary and secondary schools beginning at 8 a.m.

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