By Rob Potter
LIBERTY After an even first quarter, the host Liberty Lady Indians took control of Friday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV basketball game.
Liberty outscored the Fallsburg Lady Comets 19 to 10 in the second period to take a 24-15 halftime advantage. The Lady Indians went on to post a 54-34 win.
Senior forward Ceara Williams recorded a double-double of 24 points and 20 rebounds to lead Liberty (2-6, 1-3 Div. IV) to victory. Williams scored 19 of her points in the first half by making several shots on the low block or in the lane as the Lady Indians ran some of their set plays.
As the second quarter began, Fallsburg’s Keyshawn Kennedy stole the ball, sprinted to the hoop and converted a layup to give her team a 7-5 lead. But Williams responded with a basket about a minute later to even the game.
Kennedy and Williams traded baskets again to knot the score at 9-9 with 5:25 left until halftime.
A minute later, Williams swished a free throw to give the Lady Indians a 10-9 advantage. She scored inside the key at the 3:51 mark to push her team’s lead to 12-9.
Senior guard Angela Giacalone made a 3-point shot with 1:30 left until the intermission to extend the Lady Indians’ lead to 19-11.
Early in the third quarter, Shaina Swerdling scored to bring Fallsburg (0-11, 0-5 Div. IV) to within six at 27-21.
But Liberty quickly pushed its lead back to double figures as Lissandra Villalobos converted a free throw and Kristen Sarno drove past a defender and scored two points.
Villalobos and Paige LaPolt each finished with eight points for the Lady Indians and Giacalone added five points.
“We played well, it was a team effort,” Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta said.
While praising all of the Lady Indians, LaGattuta particularly noted the performance of Williams and Giacalone.
“Ceara has been playing well all season,” the veteran coach said. “She played 31 and a half minutes tonight. She’s a warrior out there.
“Angela has done a great job at the point guard position for us,” LaGattuta added. “She played all 32 minutes tonight.”
LaGattuta also lauded the Lady Comets.
“Give Fallsburg credit,” he said. “They have improved since the first time we faced them. Keyshawn Kennedy played an outstanding game tonight.”
Fallsburg Coach Daniel Redmond also noted that his team has been steadily getting better this season.
“I’m proud of my players,” Redmond added. “They didn’t quit, they kept hustling the whole game.”
Kennedy paced the Lady Comets with 22 points, while teammates Jasmine James and Myana Patterson each tallied four points.