By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE February 22, 2008 The Liberty Indians outscored the Goshen Gladiators in the second half of Tuesday night’s non-league boys’ basketball game at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on the campus of Sullivan County Community College (SCCC).
Unfortunately for the Indians, that wasn’t enough to rally from a 12-point halftime deficit as Goshen recorded a 60-54 victory.
Goshen (10-10) held a 15-13 edge at the end of the opening period and enjoyed a 32-20 lead at the intermission.
The Gladiators had a 10-point advantage at the end of the third period, but Liberty (9-10) closed to within single digits late in the fourth quarter.
With 2:38 remaining, Dustin VanLieu scored to make it a 54-48 game. However, Goshen responded by quickly stretching its lead back to double digits. With 36 seconds left, Kenny Kelly made a layup to give the Gladiators a 60-49 advantage.
VanLieu answered with a 3-point shot 15 seconds later and teammate Justen Mills scored the game’s final basket with six seconds left.
“Willie Green had a big game for us tonight,” Goshen Coach Joe Guarnieri said. “Liberty has a heck of a team and Dustin VanLieu is a great player.”
Green led the Gladiators with 18 points, while Mike DeMatteo netted 14 points. Eric Vanderweert and Nick Skelly added 10 points and nine points, respectively for Goshen.
VanLieu led Liberty with a game-high 19 points. Mills finished with nine points, while Dashawn Williamson and Trevor Tompkins had eight apiece.
“We never got into a rhythm offensively tonight,” Liberty Coach Jason Semo said. “Goshen went on a 17-7 run in the second quarter and that was the difference.”
Semo noted his team’s poor foul shooting also contributed to the loss. The Indians made 5-of-20 (25 percent) foul shots, while the Gladiators went 9-of-14 (64 percent) at the free-throw line.