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Ted Waddell | Democrat

CEARA WILLIAMS OF Liberty keeps the basketball away from The Family School’s Sheree Brutcher after grabbing a rebound during Monday night’s non-league game at Liberty Central School.

Coaching to a victory over the hometown

By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY — February 1, 2008 — Angela Giacalone made a 3-point shot at the buzzer to close out the first half to bring the host Liberty Lady Indians to within five points, 25-20, of The Family School Lady Falcons in Monday night’s non-league basketball game.
But The Family School extended its lead in the second half to post a 51-37 victory.
“I was a little surprised, but it wasn’t a big deal,” Giacalone said of her buzzer-beating shot.
“If it was the game-winning shot, then it would have meant a lot,” 16-year old junior guard added.
The Lady Falcons outpaced Liberty in all four quarters, 14-12, 9-8, 13-9 and 15-8.
But in the fourth period Liberty (1-15) gave the Lady Falcons a proverbial run for their money. The Lady Indians narrowed The Family School’s lead to five points before the pace of the game took its toll and they ran out of steam.
Ceara Williams was Liberty’s only double-digit scorer as she netted a game-high 18 points.
The Family School (9-5) was led by Mary Schmieder and Claire Meehan. Schmieder scored 15 points, while Meehan had 11 points.
This was not your typical scholastic hoops contest, however, as Family School Coach Carlton Williams was in the awkward position of mounting a defense to try and stop his daughter Ceara Williams, one of the Lady Indians’ top players.
“It’s nothing personal,” Carlton Williams said. “It’s a game, and she plays hard in any game and she played hard today - it was a lot of fun.”
“She talked to me the day before, and I’m quite sure she’ll talk to me tomorrow,” he added.
Carlton Williams noted that coaching against Ceara can be difficult.
“It almost feels like I’m coaching six players out on the court,” he said. “I see her play and want to say things like ‘go to the basket’ or ‘keep your hands up on defense,’ but I can’t tell her that during the game.
“I’m happy when she plays well, but it’s tough when she plays well against us,” the elder Williams added.
“I don’t say anything to her about the game right away, I wait until the next day to talk to her.”
Asked what it was like to compete against her father, Ceara Williams replied, “It’s hard. If we lose, I have to go home and see him, [but] if we win, I get to go home and rub it in his face a little bit - but I wouldn’t be rude.
“We played hard, but we didn’t win,” added the 16-year-old junior.
With a nod from their coach, a trio of Lady Falcons talked about the game.
“I thought it was a good game, we pressed the ball and we kept ourselves under control, which we’ve been working on all season,” said Joanna Greb, a 17-year- old junior
“I think overall, our team did pretty well, we worked hard and played hard as a team,” she added.
Meehan, an 18-year-old senior, said, “I think our teamwork was very good, and we boxed out [on rebounds]. It was teamwork, composure and friendship.”
“I think the game was really good, and we played hard,” Schmieder said. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Liberty for not giving up throughout the whole game.”
“The number one thing we did was defense,” the 18-year-old senior added. “Everybody thinks offense is the best thing in a basketball game, but really it’s all defense.”
Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta is having a tough time, as his team has only recorded one victory so far this season. But he took time to praise Schmieder’s performance.
“Number 42 has a good game, and she ran the floor pretty good in the end, she’s got a soft touch around the basket, and we didn’t have an answer for her,” he said of Schmieder.
LaGattuta’s take on the game?
“We just ran out of steam,” he said. “We ran out of juice, that’s the bottom line.”

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