ANDERSON — The Liberty Christian Lions hosted a basketball doubleheader Friday night against the Indianappolis Shortridge Blue Devils and came out on the short end in both contests.
The Blue Devils won both Pioneer Conference matches as the girls took a 61-27 win and the boys hung on for a 69-62 victory.
In the opener, Shortridge made quick work of the Lady Lions in a turnover-filledgame. The Lady Blue Devils forced 21 Liberty turnovers in the first quarter alone to take a 26-4 lead.
Liberty Christian did not threaten after its slow start as Shortridge led 40-10 at halftime. For the half, Liberty turned the ball over 31 times while the Lady Blue Devils had only 11.
Jenee Petersen paced Shortridge (3-3, 1-0 Pioneer), scoring 18 points in the first three quarters and adding a free throw early in the fourth quarter before leaving the game for good with 19 points. Lajanea Kimbrough scored 17 and Maycee Davis had 14 for the Lady Blue Devils.
Liberty Christian (3-4, 1-1 Pioneer) was led by Kelsey Flowers’ six points. Monica Watkins, Katie Maidlow, Marissa Levell and Baylee Oren all had four points. The Lady Lions will host Union (Modoc) on January 4.
In the second game, the pace was more like the NBA than a high school basketball game early as the Blue Devils came out pushing the pace.
But the Lions led 13-7 with five minutes left in the quarter. Shortridge responded with a 16-4 burst to take a 23-17 lead at the quarter break.
Franklin Nunn and Vincent Phillips each scored six points in the first quarter; however Phillips was held scoreless in the second and Nunn had one basket in the second as Shortridge maintained an eight-point lead twice (33-25 and the halftime lead of 35-27). The Blue Devils were led by Isreal White’s 14 points.
The second half resembled a typical tough, physical Indiana high school basketball game as the Lions just could not get over the hump.
The Blue Devils led by 10 in the third quarter when the Lions made their move. Two Franklin Nunn free throws, a basket by Chris Nunn and a bucket by Phillips brought Liberty to within four with four minutes left in the third.
The Blue Devils pushed the lead back to seven, but Liberty came right back at them in the fourth, cutting the deficit to three twice.
After a White bucket gave Shortridge a 59-52 lead, the Lions went on a 6-0 run to pull within one with 1:25 left.
But Various Wilson made sure the Blue Devils would hang on. Wilson scored on an offensive rebound and hit a layup after Chris Nunn missed the front end of a one-and-bonus. Wilson scored again after Preston Quinn missed three free throws after being fouled attempting a long range jumper with 46 seconds left. The basket gave Shortridge a 67-58 lead.
The Blue Devils (4-1, 2-0 Pioneer) were led in scoring by White, who had 22 points. The Lions (3-2, 0-2 Pioneer) were led by Chris Nunn’s 15 points. Quinn had 13 while Franklin Nunn and Phillips each had 10.
The Lions will host Union (Modoc) on Monday.