Fred Stabbert III | Democrat
Liberty’s De’Von Clark (21) drives on Sullivan West’s Patrick Pierce during Wednesday’s league finale. Sullivan West held on for a 54-45 victory part of a boys/girls doubleheader at Liberty.
SW, Liberty split doubleheader
Story by Fred Stabbert III
LIBERTY February 22, 2013 The Sullivan West boys basketball team ended their league schedule with a 54-45 victory over the Liberty Indians on Wednesday night. The game was the first half of a boys/girls doubleheader between the two schools with Liberty’s girls taking the nightcap, 38-16 .
Sullivan West’s boys finished 3-3 in OCIAA Division IV, with all three losses coming to O’Neill. Their overall record is 12-5 with a non-league against Fallsburg last night not included. Liberty finished 0-6, 2-15 overall.
The Bulldogs took control of the game early, jumping out to a 22-6 lead as Patrick Pierce netted 12 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.
Sullivan West’s lead would bulge to 20 points midway through the third quarter until Liberty’s outside shooting began to warm up and the Indians mounted a strong comeback.
“We haven’t given up all year,” Liberty coach Dave Slater said. “We thought if we slowed it down, we would have a better chance, and we did.
“We haven’t been in that position a lot [to win] and Sullivan West just has a tough team,” he said.
Liberty’s rally, paced by Quinn Jackson’s 12 second-half points and seven from Chris Santiago, pulled the Indians to within seven points, 52-45, with under a minute to play.
But some key buckets by Sawyer Erlwein, who finished with 10 points, and two fourth-quarter three pointers by Kyle Manzi sealed the deal.
Sullivan West head coach Bruce Nober was happy to come away with a win but knows his team must improve for the sectionals.
Last Saturday, the Bulldogs lost Ronj Padu for the season with a broken ankle against Tri-Valley.
“Ronj played a lot of minutes and someone is going to have to step up,” Nober said.
Nober is expecting Sullivan West to meet Ellenville in the first round of sectionals and he noted “they are a solid team.”
For Sullivan West, Matt Cardona and Brian Stauch each contributed eight points while Liberty was paced by Jackson’s 13, Santiago 12 and Chris Symanski with nine.