By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A page was turned Friday night as Liberty Christian went where no Lions team had ever gone in the Madison County Boys Basketball Tournament.
Liberty streaked out to a 21-4 lead after one quarter and went on to an 82-59 victory over Elwood and third place in the week-long tournament.
“We had only won one game in this tournament,” said Lions head coach Jason Chappell. “That year we finished fourth. I don’t even remember what year it was. So for us to win two games (over Alexandria and Elwood) is a big deal for us.”
Liberty had plenty of people to thank for the quick start. Six different players scored in the period with Austin Castor scoring six and Ben Bowen five.
“We were very focused in this game,” said Chappell. “We knew after Wednesday’s game that we let an opportunity get away. We knocked down some shots and were disciplined in our offense.”
For the next two quarters, the two teams battled evenly, so the lead was still 17 going into the fourth quarter at 57-40.
Liberty’s Preston Quinn topped the winners in scoring with 15 points, followed by Franklin Nunn with 13 and Bowen with 12.
Panthers’ junior Jared Bourff topped both teams with 19 points. Elwood took 16 shots from 3-point range in the game, but Bourff’s three were the only ones that went in.
Another Bennett was next with 14. “We knew we’d have trouble defending Bennett’s size inside,” said Chappell.
Liberty Christian won the rebound battle 36-24 with three players, Quinn, Castor and Remington Emery each pulling down five. Bourff topped Elwood with seven.
There is an area for improvement for the 7-3 Lions.
“We’ve got to make bigger strides in our defense,” said Chappell. “But it’s hard to do much in practice when you’re playing games all week. Now we have a week off before we play again and we can address some things.”
The Lions host International on Friday.
Elwood drops to 6-4 and visits Alexandria on Friday.