The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

November 27, 2012

Liberty wins one by the book

Lions top Greenwood by disputed point

ANDERSON, Ind. — Liberty Christian walked off the court with a 65-64 victory over Greenwood Christian Academy on Tuesday night, but the win was not without controversy.

After the final horn, Greenwood fans adamantly insisted the score should have been tied 65-65 at the end of regulation. Several unofficial scorebooks suggested the Cougars’ fans were correct, but a check of the official book by the head referee resulted in a one-point victory being awarded to the Lions.

The game was a wakeup call for Class 1A No. 7 Liberty.

“We have a lot of work,” Lions coach Jason Chappell said. “People keep talking about us being ranked, and frankly we got served a piece of humble pie tonight.”

After a back-and-forth first quarter ended with 15-13 Liberty lead, the Lions opened the second quarter on an 8-2 run, using a full-court press to force the Cougars into turnovers. Liberty’s six-point lead midway through the period grew to 15 after a 10-0 surge that included five points each from Terrence Campbell and Preston Quinn. Greenwood, benefiting from frequent whistles, hit 7-of-10 free throws in the quarter to keep the Lions from pulling too far away. Liberty took a 41-27 lead into halftime, going 19-of-33 from the field and without the benefit of any free throws.

After halftime, the tide began to turn in the Cougars’ favor.

“They knocked down some shots, and our defense went kaput,” Chappell said. “They did a nice job.”

Greenwood got three big 3-pointers from three different players — Jacob Stephenson, Morgan Booher and Lucas Peters — to open the third quarter. The Cougars’ 14-4 run cut Liberty’s lead to four before the Lions pushed back with an 8-0 run of their own. Quincy Hyatt gave Liberty a 56-47 lead by hitting a bucket and the Lions’ first foul shot of the night with 40.7 seconds remaining the third. But a Peters basket cut Liberty’s lead to seven with one quarter to go.

Enter the controversy. At some point in the fourth quarter, amid the Cougars’ barrage of 3-pointers and three-point plays, the scoreboard and official scorebook got out of sync with others tracking the scoring. With less than 30 seconds to play and the scoreboard showing 64-64, Quinn was fouled and given two shots at the line, his first of the night and only the Lions’ fourth and fifth of the game. He missed the first but hit the second to give Liberty a 65-64 lead. Quinn then knocked the ball out of bounds at mid-court as the Cougars pushed upcourt. Peters, who led all scorers with 26 on 6-of-18 shooting, stepped out of bounds on Greenwood’s ensuing inbounds play, ending the Cougars’ chance at completing the comeback.

Chappell felt his team stopped moving the ball as well as it had in the first half and that the defense left too many gaps for the Cougars to drive through and too many shooters open. He’d been worried about this game all week, having lost twice to Greenwood last season, and complimented the Cougars (0-2) on a good performance.

“I was really impressed by their team,” Chappell said. “They’ve got some younger kids, and they’re only going to get better. By the end of this season, they’re going to be a totally different ball club. I’m glad we played them early and not late.”

Four Lions scored in double figures. Quinn and senior Remington Emery each notched 14 points, while Campbell and Chris Nunn both contributed 13. Quinn also led Liberty on the boards with 10.

The Lions (3-0) travel to Tri on Thursday and then don’t play a game for two weeks because of a senior trip.  

“Our biggest struggle for our team is we want to get through this break, and once we get through that break then we start to catch some momentum,” Chappell said.

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