By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY January 5, 2001 It wasnt the prettiest game in the world for the Liberty Indians, but a win is a win as the hosts defeated the Eagles of Delaware Valley 65-56 in Tuesdays non-league game.
The Indians (33) took a 34-23 lead into the locker room at the half, but saw their advantage shrink slightly as the Eagles (26) outscored the home team 18-15 in the third period to get within 49-41.
The win got the home team out a losing slump, but the defending Section IX Class C champs, now competing in Class B, face some serious competition in the next few days: Cornwall, ONeill and Burke.
It was a good ballgame, but our big man (Emanuel E.T. Toledo) got into foul trouble early and that hurt us a little bit, said Eagles helmsman John Hubert.
Their big man (Travis Emery) did a good job, and they moved the ball good, he added. Their fast break worked well, and we just didnt get back quick enough.
Whats ahead for the rest of the season?
It all depends if these guys start shaping up, said Hubert. Early in the season, we couldnt make a basket, but they played pretty good tonight. If we start hitting a few, we should be fairly decent.
According to 6-foot-7 Liberty pivot Emery, his team is still in a bit of a slump after losing two games, but, Were trying to work out of it.
Emery added that he thought the Indians should have racked up more points in Tuesdays win, as it was a case of a Class B school facing off against a Class D school, so by right of numbers alone, the score should have been much higher for the victor.
Were growing as a team every game, said Emery. When we start to move the ball more, youre going to see more of a winning team.
At times we looked good, and at times we were sporadic, said Indians coach Ed Riente. We moved the ball down the court well and looked for the open man, but at times we were lost out there.
According to Riente, when his team is in a fast break mode where we dont have to think, and runs the ball down the floor, it can execute well. But in general, it is having problems resetting when the ball doesnt go into the bucket on the first attempt.
The offense has to learn what options we have on offense, said Riente. Were turning the ball over with poor passing and were making fundamental mistakes. We need some leadership on the floor, and we need to execute our offense more deliberately.
Riente thinks that to have a winning season, Liberty must correct their early season mistakes, and Our big man has to score more points and work harder on defense.
At the same time, Riente said that Emerys teammates sometimes look to the center too much and force the ball into him when we shouldnt.
The 2000-2001 hoop season is the first year Liberty junior Anthony Alexander has played organized basketball, but Riente has high hopes for his emerging hoopster.
Hes got a lot of skills and potential, but hes got to harness it, said Riente. Hes quick, plays decent defense and goes well to the basket, but he doesnt know our system yet.
Libertys Travis Emery lead the game with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Teammates Anthony Alexander and Nick Yaun earned double digit recognition with 10 points each. Alexander had seven rebounds.
For the Eagles, it was Billy Reichmann (19), Bob Wayne (17) and Emanuel Toledo (10).
Stats from the free throw line: LCS 11/21 (52 percent); DV 8/18 (44 percent).