By Heather Bremer
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKFORT, Ind. —
The Liberty Christian Lions charged into the Class A Region 14 final Saturday with a frantic 70-56 win over the Union (Modoc) Rockets.
Terrence Campbell scored 23 points to power the Lions into the regional championship game against No. 6 Central Catholic. The Knights knocked off undefeated, No. 1 Rockville 65-55 in Game 2.
After the Lions’ victory in Game 1, head coach Jason Chappell said either team would present Liberty with a challenge.
“Both teams will be very well disciplined. Both teams have a phenomenal defense,” Chappell said. “They both have phenomenal players. … Catholic has (senior Jake) Churchill and (senior Andrew Hubertz).”
Despite getting high-quality shots, Liberty struggled from the field, shooting just 24-for-49 and 2-for-7 from behind the arc. But Campbell was 8-for-11 from the field and hit his only 3-pointer to be the only Lion in double figures.
“Terrence Campbell did a nice job, hit some nice shots,” Chappell said. “Thatcher Rouse at the free-throw line was pretty huge. We had some guys who weren’t hitting shots, Preston Quinn and Franklin Nunn, but they were able to get in and get boards. I think that was a team effort.”
Rouse was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, including 4-for-4 in the closing minutes, and had nine points. Quinn also had nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Chappell started a smaller, faster lineup against the bulkier Rockets. It was similar to the cast he deployed against Union in December when Liberty defeated the Rockets by 11 points. Junior Ben Bowen, who is familiar with the Union squad, got the call to start and contributed six points to the cause.
“(Bowen had) been playing well for us lately. Plus he gives us another free-throw shooter and another shooter on the floor,” Chappell said. “He matches up well with them. He plays off-season ball with a lot of those Union guys, so he knows them.”
Chappell wasn’t happy with the Lions’ discipline on defense. While Liberty’s aggressiveness forced the Rockets into turnovers, it also racked up fouls. Chris Nunn fouled out with two minutes to go, Rouse had four fouls and Franklin Nunn had three. Chappell said the Lions would have to do better in the final.
“I think being in the regionals last year helped us. We had some composure,” Chappell said. “We made it tough on Union. I’m proud of the guys. But we’re going to have to play a lot more disciplined tonight if we want to win.”
Spencer Shore led the Rockets with 20 points. Willie Eviston notched 14, while Tanner Cates scored 12.