The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

February 16, 2013

Lions dominate Broncos 88-30

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Liberty Christian Lions must have seemed more like horseflies to the Daleville Broncos on Saturday night.

Liberty’s pesky hands and quick feet bothered the Broncos into 36 turnovers on the way to a dominating 88-30 victory. The Lions’ smothering defense was unrelenting, opening with a full-court press and swiping steals even as the bench replaced the starters in the fourth quarter. It was exactly what Liberty head coach Jason Chappell was looking for, with one exception.

“The whole goal of this last two weeks was to defend without fouling,” Chappell said. “The first half we defended, but we fouled a lot. We did keep their point total down. That was the whole goal of the game, to bring it defensively.”

Daleville’s Garrett Craig converted one of two free throws to open the game, giving the Broncos a brief 1-0 lead. Liberty’s Franklin Nunn hit two straight baskets from the paint to put the Lions up 4-1.

Dalen Beck answered with a basket for Daleville, but 4-3 was the last point at which the game seemed competitive. The Lions’ supercharged defense powered a 22-0 run into the second quarter, highlighted by a thundering dunk by Nunn, and closed out the half on a 16-4 run and with a 42-7 lead.

Things didn’t get much prettier after halftime. Liberty outscored Daleville 27-9 in the third quarter and 19-14 in the fourth with both teams’ starters on the bench.

“It’s hard to keep a team that likes to transition out of transition when you turn the ball over (36) times,” Daleville coach Corey Scott said. “We played hard, we just didn’t play as smart as we’re capable of playing. That hurt us, and a lot of our decision making was why we struggled.”

Liberty’s Chris Nunn led all scorers with 21 points, going 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free-throw line. Franklin Nunn notched 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbed five of the Lions’ 39 team rebounds. Chappell said Franklin Nunn’s evolution as a player has been key to getting the Lions on the right track.

“We’ve been working on him acting as if all his shots are missed shots, so he would crash the boards. And he really rebounded well and he’s maturing as a kid,” Chappell said. “At the beginning of the year, he would kinda get pouty, and he’s starting to get out of that. Mentally he’s getting there, and it’s really changed the tone of our team.”

A trio of Broncos – Craig, Beck and James Tungate – led Daleville (2-17) with seven points each. Tungate and Bryce Stephens each had six rebounds.

The Lions (15-5) will face Manual on Tuesday and continue building toward the state tournament. Each game between then and now serves as an opportunity to work on weak points and solidify strengths.

“Everything we did tonight was to get ready for sectionals,” Chappell said. “We wanted to defend and rebound. And offensively, we had a lot of transition points, which was good, but I feel like we didn’t run our offense the way we need to run it. We do have a lot of room to improve.”

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