By Rob Potter
LIBERTY The Liberty boys’ and girls’ basketball teams jumped out to early leads in their respective non-league basketball games on Friday night against the visiting Family School and cruised to easy victories.
The Lady Indians took a 15-2 lead at the end of the first quarter against the Lady Falcons. The Lady Indians went on to record a 60-21 victory.
In the evening’s second game, the Liberty boys’ outscored The Family School 22-8 in the second quarter, extending a 17-14 first quarter lead to a commanding 39-22 advantage at halftime.
Liberty maintained its lead throughout the second half to post a 66-46 win.
First quarter is key
for Lady Indians
Liberty (5-8) used its defense to create scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the court in the opening eight minutes of the game. Olivia Baum and Nikki Snyder each made a steal and subsequent layups to help the Lady Indians take a 6-0 lead with slightly more than two minutes elapsed in the game.
Another steal and layup by Baum with 7:32 remaining in the second period extended the Lady Indians’ advantage to 17-2. Baum scored five more points in the quarter to help Liberty push its lead to 29-9 at halftime.
Liberty had a balanced scoring attack as 11 players netted at least one basket. Baum led the way with 13 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds and made six steals.
Justice Dingevan and Stephanie Heisler each added eight points for the Lady Indians. Dingevan also had seven rebounds.
Also contributing for Liberty were Erin Kinne (six points, 10 rebounds), Nikki Snyder (two points, five steals) and Selena Vargas (seven points, seven rebounds).
“I was very pleased with how we played tonight,” Liberty Coach Beth Quatrale said. “This was one of our best games of the season. Our defense was great from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. We had 14 steals tonight. Offensively, we took a lot of good shots. The girls did a good job of looking for each other and making good passes.”
Laura Hasaj led The Family School (0-16) with 11 points.
“I was pleased because I saw some improvement,” Family School Coach Dee Patrisso said. “The second half was much better for us than the first half.”
Fam. School (0-16): Laura Hasaj 11; Veronica Fortunato 4; Desiree Hirschberg 2; Jennifer Jacobson 2; Kyra Lamison 2
Liberty (5-8): Olivia Baum 13; Justice Dingevan 8; Stephanie Heisler 8; Selena Vargas 7; Cindy Fuentes 6; Erin Kinne 6; Katie Giarratano 4; Kelly Santos 3; Nikki Snyder 2; Teá Williams 2; Rachel Bayer 1.
Byrd scores season-high 33
Liberty senior guard Eddie Byrd, who scored a game and season -high 33 points, netted eight points in the second quarter when Liberty opened up a close game.
The first quarter was competitive as both teams came out full of energy. Byrd swished consecutive jump shots to give Liberty (3-10) a 10-3 lead with 5:10 to go in the period. A minute later, Byrd hit a 3-point shot to extend the Indians’ advantage to double digits at 15-5.
But The Family School (3-10) responded with a 9-0 scoring run. Roderick Oringer scored inside the lane and made a pair of free throws to bring the Falcons within three points at 15-12 at the 2:27 mark.
Just over a minute later, Lucas Maass scored to make it a 15-14 game.
But Byrd answered with a jump shot to give the Indians a 17-14 lead.
Midway through the third period, Byrd swished two foul shots to push Liberty’s lead to 20 points at 47-27.
In addition to Byrd, Ryan Henry also scored in double digits for the Indians. Henry finished the evening with 10 points.
D’Angelo Burrell and Joe Franke added eight points apiece for Liberty.
“I thought we played defense very well tonight,” said coach Mike Salvia. “We made some steals which led to layups. I thought that we passed the ball well on offense and took good shots.”
Maass and Oringer each scored 14 points to lead the Falcons’ offense.
Family School Coach Larry Patrisso was pleased to see improvement from his team.
“The first time we played Liberty, they beat us by 40 points,” Patrisso said. “Tonight, they won by 20. It was the same thing with Sullivan West. In the first game, they won by 40. But when we played them last week, they only won by six points.
“We are playing better, but there are still some things we need to work on,” he added. “Tonight, we had too many turnovers.”