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Minutemen stun Glass on hardwoods; County boys hoops roundup

By Mike Forster


The Liberty Minutemen had every right to mail it in when they hosted E.C. Glass Friday night.

But the same Liberty team which lost to the Hilltoppers earlier this season by 21 points took it to Glass.

The M-Men showed up in a way that was forceful, together and precise in its execution.

As a result, Liberty took care of the high-flying Glaziers, winning in overtime by the score of 65-64.

"Under the circumstances, that was one of the best wins we've had," said Liberty Head Coach Jeff Monroe, who is in his eighth year of guiding the M-Men.

The 'Toppers hadn't lost a district contest all of last year.  Nor had they lost to a Seminole foe this season.

That is, until Liberty got their hands on them.

One reason for the different outcome was Liberty's care in ball handling.  In that early-season loss, the Minutemen had 15 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

"We got our butts handed to us last time," said Dajur Mobley.  "This time, everybody was focused."

This time, the M-Men looked crisp:  Their passing was smart and deft.  They had intelligent shot selection.

None looked more so than Chris Sharrett.  The senior was afire, nailing seven treys for the evening.  Each of his connections sent the rowdy Liberty student section into a deeper frenzy than did the shot before.

Sharrett led all scorers with 22 points, and all but one of those points came via the trey.

A partial listing of who made this upset possible includes:

-Raheem Anthony, a freshman, may have the build of a gazelle.  But he showed that, unlike what is shown on the Discovery Channel, the gazelle is more than prey for lions:  It can become the hunter.  

In this case, Anthony drove the paint through the lions' maw twice in the final minute of play to tie the score.

-Mobley, a junior transfer (William Campbell) who put up 11 points while providing a physical counter to the tough 'Toppers.  He wound up with 11 points and likely the same number of bruises.

-Kendrick Thompson, whose experience and coolness helped keep his mates focused in spite of the raucous crowd during the wild OT period.

-Keion Brown, who used his 6'5" frame and lengthy arms (as well as a measured toughness), and the always-rugged Jamaal Preston, who helped thwart the Glass inside game.

-Treon Brawley, who didn't come up big in the stats department, but who showed a marked ability to move the ball in penetrating the Glass perimeter.

Here is what was remarkable about this game.  Midway through the third quarter, Liberty trailed, 38-27.  But this Minutemen team, which had endured losing seven of eight games at one point (including that pasting by Glass) hung in there.

The team chipped and scrapped and Sharretted (new verb meaning to nail three-pointers from all over the floor) in getting earning this win.

"This gives us momentum," said Coach Monroe.  "They've come a long way."


O Pioneers!

Jefferson Forest squared off with Heritage twice in four nights.  The Cavs fell at the Pioneer Dome on Friday night, 72-59.  On Monday, history repeated itself as JF fell by the score of 65-48, this time at home.

The scheduling oddity came about because an earlier slated game was moved to Monday because of foul weather.  And the results put JF into a foul mood.  "You have to be fundamentally sound when you go against such an athletic team," said JF Head Coach Paul Redgate.

Tyler Lucy, who wouldn't let a little thing like a fractured finger slow him down, put up 47 points over the two contests (27 and 18), including a total of seven three pointers.

Tyler Cooper had 11 points Friday, while Hunter McConville added 10 on Monday.

The losses add to the Cavs' new year woes.  After wrapping up 2013 with a mark of 6-4, the Cavs have gone 1-5 since the start of 2014.

"We can't have a mind-set of how to stop losing [games]," said Redgate.  "We have to have a mind set of winning every possession.  Take care of the process and the results will come."


River rumbles

Staunton River remained winless in Blue Ridge play, falling to Rockbridge and Lord Botetourt last week.

The 73-70 overtime loss to Rockbridge was especially tough.  In spite of Adam Wooldrige leading an artillery barrage from beyond the arc, the Eagles were nevertheless done in by the Cats.

Wooldrige put up seven  of Staunton River's 16 treys.  Ramir Hunt added 12 points, while Chase Mullins chipped in another 11 (including a trio of treys).

River led the game with 10 seconds remaining when Rock's Omar Habwe caught a Hail Mary toss and laid it in to knot the score.

Against Lord Bot, things were a lot less close.  During a six-minute stretch that spanned the second and third quarters, the Cavs hit on six consecutive three point attempts, opening up an 18-point lead.

River played the Bots on fairly even terms the rest o the way, but it was too much to overcome.  Drew Phillips was the leading scorer for River, with 12 points.

Notable was the defensive play of Scott Ellis and Jakob Divers, who limited Cav top dog Justin Goode to 18 points.