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GOING FOR THE loose ball are Delaware Valley’s Terrance Fink (21) and Liberty’s Chris Winters and Travis Emery (40) as DV’s Bob Wayne (20) looks on in Tuesday’s non-league game.

Liberty Downs Eagles

By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY — January 5, 2001 – It wasn’t 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 Tuesday’s non-league game.
The Indians (3–3) took a 34-23 lead into the locker room at the half, but saw their advantage shrink slightly as the Eagles (2–6) 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, O’Neill 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 didn’t get back quick enough.”
What’s ahead for the rest of the season?
“It all depends if these guys start shaping up,” said Hubert. “Early in the season, we couldn’t 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, “We’re trying to work out of it.”
Emery added that he thought the Indians should have racked up more points in Tuesday’s 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.
“We’re growing as a team every game,” said Emery. “When we start to move the ball more, you’re 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 don’t 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 doesn’t go into the bucket on the first attempt.
“The offense has to learn what options we have on offense,” said Riente. “We’re turning the ball over with poor passing and we’re 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 Emery’s teammates sometimes look to the center too much and “force the ball into him when we shouldn’t.”
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.
“He’s got a lot of skills and potential, but he’s got to harness it,” said Riente. “He’s quick, plays decent defense and goes well to the basket, but he doesn’t know our system yet.”
Liberty’s 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).

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