By Lori Brown
LIBERTY February 16, 2007 There was plenty of athletic action and excitement Monday night at Liberty Central School.
Liberty hosted The Family School in a basketball doubleheader, which featured a boys’ game and girls’ game. In addition, the Liberty seniors on all winter sports teams as well as seniors in the pep band which plays at home games were honored during a ceremony between the games.
The evening began with a non-league hoops contest between The Family School Lady Falcons and host Lady Indians. And the two teams made this game very interesting.
At halftime, The Family School held a 22-12 lead.
But by the end of the third quarter, Liberty had taken a two-point lead, 28-26.
During the fourth period, the score was extremely close. With six seconds remaining in the game, the Lady Indians held a 37-36 advantage and The Family School’s Jessica Fairweather had possession of the ball. Fairweather took a chance and shot the ball from halfcourt as time was winding down. To everyone’s surprise, the ball went in the basket.
The Lady Falcons started celebrating even though two seconds were left on the clock. But Liberty (2-16) was unable to score, which allowed The Family School (12-5) to record a 39-37 victory.
Fairweather scored a game-high 22 points and teammate Mary Schmieder netted 10 points.
Ceara Williams paced the Liberty offense with 12 points.
The boys’ non-league hoops contest was also decided by two points as the Falcons edged the Indians, 52-50.
The Family School’s Andreas Petrou started the game off by making 1-of-2 shots at the free-throw line.
Liberty (4-14) took a 2-1 lead when Devon Williamson scored a basket.
Moments later, Petrou swished a 3-pointer to help the Falcons extend their lead to eight points. At the end of the first quarter, The Family School enjoyed an 18-8 advantage.
Petrou started the second period off with a 3-point shot. After that basket, Liberty picked up the pace and scored six points in the next two minutes.
But the Falcons responded by scoring four points with only 36 seconds left until halftime. The Family School used a balanced offensive attack in the period as the ball was passed around and several players made baskets.
As a result, the Falcons held a 28-16 lead at the intermission.
During the third quarter, The Family School outscored Liberty, 14-11. Both teams played well on both ends of the floor in those eight minutes.
Faced with a 41-26 deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Indians knew they had to improve their offense. They wasted little time in doing so as Rashawn Sellers scored a basket just 15 seconds into the stanza.
Following a timeout, Petrou swished a 3-pointer. Moments later, Dan Plonski both recorded a basket for The Family School.
Liberty’s Connor Hinton then made a pair of free throws.
About halfway through the final quarter, The Family School’s, Paul Sullivan made a shot to give his team a 50-30 advantage.
But then the Indians began making shots left and right. Williamson started off by scoring four points. Sellers then made a 3-pointer and Andre Brand followed with a basket to bring Liberty to within 13 points (52-39) with two minutes left on the clock.
Liberty scored twice to pull to within nine points at 52-43. After two timeouts were called, Williamson scored with only 36 seconds remaining on the clock. With seven seconds left, Jermaine Ferguson scored to pull the Indians to within five points at 52-47.
Sellers swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Falcons’ margin of victory to two points.
Williamson finished with a game-high 26 points, while Sellers recorded 10 points.
Petrou was the Falcons’ leading scorer with 24 points. Chris Durand netted 12 points for The Family School.
Liberty Coach Dave Slater said that the Indians played good even though three players missed the game due to illness. Slater noted that some of the players who competed in the game were not 100 percent healthy.
Besides that, he said, “we are a slow starting team, but we come alive at the end.”
“If only the last quarter had two more minutes added on to it,” Slater added. “We just could not get over the top.”
He also said that his players are good kids who played hard.
Family School Coach Ted Towsley said his team played great defense. He added that the Falcons are usually more passionate about their offense.
“Liberty had a great run at the end and pressed us,” Towsley said. “But I think we handled it well.”
He also praised the performance of Petrou, a senior point guard.
“He started to trust his teammates and is very passionate for the game,” Towsley said.
Liberty Senior Athletes Honored
Between games, Liberty Central School held its senior recognition night ceremony.
Liberty Athletic Director Jason Semo made the event possible with the help from the coaches.
Seniors from the girls’ basketball, alpine skiing, indoor track, cheerleading, boys’ basketball, and the pep band were recognized. Each senior was given a rose to present to their family or friends.
The girls’ basketball team seniors include Jennifer Caywood, Jessica Diaz, Maggie Sauchuk and Aryana Walizadeh.
The alpine ski team seniors include Caity Baker, Tom Davies, Justin Garritt and Rebecca Ramirez.
The indoor track seniors are Caity Baker, Troy Bertholf, Kane Davis, Sean Dinnerstein, Marcus Hunter, Eddie Lopez, Corey Ramos, Meghin Shortall and Jeff Simpson.
The cheerleading seniors are Amanda Edwards, Ivelis Garcia, Leslie Hernandez and Monique Mathis.
The boys’ basketball seniors are Andre Brand, Lakarri Byrd, Jermaine Ferguson, Rashawn Sellers, Zach Stewart and Devon Williamson.
The seniors members of the pep band are Matt Baxter, Ashley Harte, Maggie Sauchuk, Jeff Simpson and Meghin Shortall.