The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Sports

March 23, 2014

Lions have not yet reached full roar

(Continued)

Other returnees' roles are more concrete.

Sophomore Franklin Nunn will be back after besting his cousin for team-high scoring honors by just four points this season. Junior Quincey Hyatt returns to wreak havoc in the paint, and junior Vincent Phillips is a threat in the post and from the perimeter.

They join Chris Nunn to form the leadership of next year's team.

"We do have a pretty good core," Chris Nunn said. "And we've got some more talent coming in."

Eighth-grade sharpshooter Joshua Tufts is at the top of list. His brother Isaiah is among the returnees from the semistate squad, and he's expected to make an impact as a freshman.

There also are whispers about potential transfers, but it's always difficult to predict the winds of change.

Regardless of what the spring and summer bring, Liberty Christian coach Jason Chappell is confident in the troops he'll take into battle.

"Who knows who's going to show up next year?" he said. "But the nucleus coming back really bodes well for us."

So does the program's steady upward progression. From five wins in 2011 to a regional championship last week, it's been a long road for the Lions.

Senior DeShon Gibbs has watched that journey play out, and he had tears in his eyes following the loss to Marquette Catholic. But he has no doubt about where the Lions' road ultimately will end.

The bar has risen for future generations.

"It's tough," he said. "It hurts. But this is just the beginning for Liberty. I know the upcoming classes are definitely going to be hungry to take advantage of the opportunity, and we'll be back. Liberty will get the state championship."

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