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Lori Brown | Democrat

Liberty’s Victoria Baum and O’Neill’s Kayla Adanalian, right, both try to grab the basketball during the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s OCIAA game at Liberty Central School. Looking on at left is O’Neill’s Brittany Johnson.

O’Neill Lady Raiders defeat Liberty in OCIAA Div. IV basketball game

By Lori Brown
LIBERTY — February 19, 2010 — The Liberty Lady Indians hosted the James I. O’Neill Lady Raiders on Wednesday night in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV basketball game.
Moments before the game began, the Liberty seniors were recognized for all of their hard work and dedication to the program. Two of those seniors, Alyssa Corbett and Adrianna Rubio, were presented with flowers to give to their loved ones. The third senior on the Liberty team, Tricia Gerwer, was unable to attend the ceremony.
Unfortunately for Corbett, Rubio and their teammates, O’Neill won the game by the final score of 73-34.
O’Neill (11-6, 3-2 Div. IV) took a very large lead in the first quarter by using a fullcourt press defense which caused many turnovers. Gwen Fuller put Liberty on the scoreboard early in the quarter and teammate Justice Dingevan added another basket.
But the Lady Raiders held a 25-4 lead going into the second period.
O’Neill’s Brittany Johnson made several steals in the first and second quarters.
The Lady Raiders continued to cause turnovers during the second period and outscored the Lady Indians 19-10. O’Neill’s Sam Jarvis made five free throws and a basket to help her team extend its lead.
Dingevan helped her team by making a 3-point shot and a traditional basket during the quarter.
Faced with a 44-14 halftime deficit, Liberty (4-11, 0-4 Div. IV) had a lot of work to do. In the third quarter, the Lady Indians scored 10 points and held O’Neill to 15 points.
Liberty played great defense during the fourth period by limiting the Lady Raiders to 14 points. But the Lady Indians could not recover from the big advantage O’Neill took in the opening quarter.
The Lady Raiders took advantage of their free throw opportunities throughout the game, making 20 of 23 (87 percent) of their shots at the line.
Liberty was 2 of 8 at the free-throw line.
O’Neill’s Caroline Cannon scored a game-high 18 points, while teammates Sam Downey and Sam Jarvis added 13 points and 12 points, respectively.
“We did a great job pressuring them to cause turnovers,” O’Neill Coach Kevin Schoepfer said. “We would steal and land a layup then press again.
“Liberty did a fine job in the second half as they pressed us,” he added.
Schoepfer lauded two of his players, Brittany Johnson and Desiree Talley, in particular.
“Brittany Johnson directly sets up our press and is good at finding people [with passes]. Desiree Talley did a good job in [our] press tonight. They both feed off of each other.”
O’Neill wraps up the regular season tonight by hosting the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs in a Div. IV game.
Dingevan led the Lady Indians with 14 points. Two of her baskets were 3-pointers.
In addition, Liberty’s Victoria Baum had eight points and her sister, Olivia Baum, recorded six rebounds and three assists.
“We didn’t handle the pressure well,” Liberty Coach Ryan Baldock said. “I think since it was senior night, the seniors tried to play perfect. I am displeased with their effort in the first half.
“In the second half, they did a great job in redeeming themselves,” he added. “I am pleased with the finish of the game. We are continuing to move forward.”
Liberty was scheduled to visit the SW Lady Bulldogs last night in a Div. IV game.
“We are going to try to be the spoiler, as they need to win this game in order to go to sectionals,” Baldock said. “We are going to come out and be ready to play hard.”
Tonight, the Lady Indians play at John S. Burke Catholic High School in another Div. IV game. On Monday night, the Lady Indians finish their season with a non-league contest at S.S. Seward.
“O’Neill’s Brittany Johnson was running the show for her team,” Baldock said. “Also, Caroline Cannon is a good player. They have nine seniors on their team and their coach does a great job. They are a quality team, and that is where we need to be. We are going to put in hard work and time, and good things will happen.”

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