Liberty comeback falls just short


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmedianetwork.com



Liberty’s Teegan Pifher fires a shot over Westerville South’s Cailin Duffy during the first half of Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament game in Powell.

Liberty’s Teegan Pifher fires a shot over Westerville South’s Cailin Duffy during the first half of Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament game in Powell.


The Olentangy Liberty girls basketball team erased a pair of double-digit deficits, one in each half, but couldn’t close as visiting Westerville South held on for a 43-38 win in the second round of the Division I Central District tournament Tuesday night in Powell.

The Patriots’ Kennedy Kashmiry drilled a deep three, her second of the fourth quarter, to even things at 38 with 3:11 left. Those were the last three points Liberty would score, though, as turnovers plagued the OCC-Buckeye Division champs down the stretch.

South’s Alyssa Jones helped her team regain the lead, scoring off a Liberty turnover. The Wildcats’ Cailin Duffy then blocked a Teegan Pifher shot at the other end and grabbed an offensive rebound after Christina Robertson missed the front end of a one-and-one. She was fouled on the ensuing putback attempt and calmly knocked down both free throws to push the Wildcat lead to four.

The Patriots never recovered.

Liberty didn’t start as well as it would’ve liked, but used a 10-0 run in the last half of the second quarter to take an 18-16 lead with a couple minutes left in the first half.

Down 16-8 early in the second, Kashmiry drilled a three to close the gap a bit. After a stop on the other end, Pifher stroked a mid-range jumper from the baseline and Katie Harrop followed with a jumper set up by a Kashmiry steal to cut the deficit to one, 16-15, forcing South to call a timeout with 3:55 left in the second quarter.

Harrop hit a three to give the Patriots their lead, but Duffy came back with a three-point play the old-fashioned way to give the Wildcats a 19-18 lead at the break.

South started the third quarter on a 13-2 run, but Liberty again had an answer.

Emma Humenay opened the fourth with her first three of the game, Pifher split a pair from the line and, after Robertson hit a pair of free throws for South, Kashmiry hit a three to pull Liberty within four, 36-32 with five minutes left.

A Kelly Levering free throw and Harrop jumper closed the gap to a single point and, after the Wildcats’ Peyton Guice stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws, Kashmiry’s clutch three evened things up to set up the final few minutes.

Thomas Worthington 61, Olentangy 41

The Cardinals had four players finish in double figures and the Braves didn’t have anyone finish with more than seven during Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament game in Worthington.

Thomas Worthington, which led 26-15 at halftime and 43-23 after three, was led by Jazzlynn Gaiters’ 22 points. Moreina Moore and Jada Sleet backed her with 11 points apiece while Breanne Beatty finished with 10 in the win.

Holly Nation led Olentangy with seven points in the setback.

Shekinah Christian 42, Delaware Christian 33

Lyssi Snouffer notched her ninth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go with 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to lift the visiting Eagles to an upset in the Division IV Central District tournament Tuesday night.

DCS started well, racing out to an 11-3 lead after the first quarter, but Shekinah Christian won each of the final three quarters to seal the deal.

Brianna Blackburn backed Snouffer with 10 points and five reounds while Abbey Evans held Shekinah’s leading scorer to just seven points while scoring five of her own.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Olentangy hit 11 three-pointers and finished 17-for-21 from the charity stripe en route to a 68-59 win in Tuesday’s regular season finale against host Marysville.

Sean Marks led the Braves with 23 points while Jason Sieve finished with 19 and Jerred Kinnaird poured in 10 in the win.

Liberty’s Teegan Pifher fires a shot over Westerville South’s Cailin Duffy during the first half of Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament game in Powell.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/02/web1_jumper-1.jpgLiberty’s Teegan Pifher fires a shot over Westerville South’s Cailin Duffy during the first half of Tuesday’s Division I Central District tournament game in Powell.

By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmedianetwork.com