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Lori Brown | Democrat

Liberty’s Eddie Byrd drives to the basket for a layup as Burke’s Tommy Mahoney (34) tries to stop him during Tuesday night’s OCIAA Division IV game at Liberty High School.

Burke defeats Liberty
in Div. IV, 48-32

By Lori Brown
LIBERTY — January 14, 2011 — The expected snow storm arriving on Tuesday night didn’t stop the Liberty Indians from hosting the John S. Burke Catholic Eagles in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV basketball game.
Officials decided to start the game an hour earlier at 6 p.m. The contest was finished before the snow started falling.
Burke took a huge 18-6 lead in the first quarter and went on to record a 48-32 win.
With the victory, Burke improved its record went to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in Div. IV. Liberty’s record fell to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in Div. IV.
Billy Garneau landed a pair of foul shots and then swished a 3- pointer to help the Eagles take their first quarter advantage.  Also helping Burke to obtain an extended lead were Kevin Adelman, who made a 3-point shot, and Brendan Miller, who netted two baskets.
Eddie Byrd made four foul shots and teammate Yovanni Fields added a basket to account for the Indians’ six points in the opening quarter.
Both teams played great defense to open the second period as neither team scored until 5:14 was left in the stanza. Liberty’s Eddie Soto registered the first basket of the quarter and Byrd made two more free throws and a 3-pointer. But the Eagles continued dominating on offense and added another 12 points to their score. Several Burke players contributed as the team extended its lead to 30-13 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Zach Rufer scored five points to help Burke retain its advantage.
Liberty earned seven points in the period as Byrd scored five points and Soto converted two foul shots.
But the Eagles still enjoyed a 40-20 lead at the end of the third quarter.
During the fourth quarter, Byrd scored 10 points and the Indians held Burke to eight points. But the home team was unable to come back from its deficit and Burke posted a 16-point win.
“I thought we had a good game,” Burke Coach Doug Janeczko said. “Our defense held them in the first half to under 20 points. We also had a little run at the end of the game.”
Brendan Miller led the Eagles’ balanced scoring attack with eight points.
“Tonight we had a great game,” Liberty Coach Jason Semo said.
Semo added that the Indians “set a new standard this weekend” in a loss to Chapel Field in the opening round of the Liberty High School New Year’s Basketball Tournament.
“We hit our low of lows,” he said of that game, which was played this past Saturday evening. “We had no excuse for not working hard.”
Despite losing to Burke, Semo was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We made a list of what we wanted to do during the game,” he said. “We accomplished every single one of those things on the list.
“Burke has very good discipline, is well-coached, and the players have great understanding of the game,” Semo added.
Byrd paced the Liberty offense with a game-high 24 points. He scored 12 of those points at the free-throw line.
“Eddie Byrd is a very good offensive player, but the team played as one tonight,” Semo said. “Marshon Williams became a force inside, as our team is undersized, he had good rebounds.”

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