Liberty senior Jack Selby talks about winning the county title.
Leave it to the Liberty boys basketball team to rain on another team’s parade.
In this case, it was a drenching.
The Lions put Manchester Valley away in the second quarter to post a 78-49 victory and celebrate their first outright county championship since 1983.
“It’s great feeling,” Liberty senior point guard Jack Selby said. “We have wanted to win one since our freshman year, and we finally got it done.”
Liberty had two previous county titles, but in both cases the Lions had to share. They split it three ways with Francis Scott Key and South Carroll in 1982, then earned co-champion status with Westminster in 2004.
How good were the Lions (15-3, 9-0 county) in the first half Friday, on Senior Night?
They scored 48 points — the most all season in a half.
“We were able to move the ball very well,” Liberty coach Brian Tombs said. “We found the open guy. If we didn’t have a good shot, they would move the ball to the proper place and they would knock down shots.”
Ten Lions scored and Selby and senior guard Ronak Morgan each finished with 14 points. Tristan Kent added nine points.
Senior guard Bo Schene led Manchester Valley with 19 points. The Mavericks (5-13, 2-8) kept the game close in the first quarter.
Dayne Koontz opened the game with a desperation 3-pointer. He was off balance and shot the ball with one hand right before the 35-second clock expired.
After that shot, Liberty went on a 4-0 run, but Schene converted a three-point play to put his team ahead 6-4. The Mavericks, however, missed its next four shots and had a turnover as Liberty went on a 7-0 run to make it 11-6.
Morgan capped the stretch than spanned more than 2 minutes with a 3-pointer. The Lions led 15-9 before Manchester Valley closed to 19-16 at the end of the quarter.
Liberty put the game out of reach with a strong second quarter.
The Lions started it with a 15-0 run in the first 2:10 to take a 34-16 lead as Selby had seven points in that span. Manchester Valley had five turnovers during than sequence and nine overall in the quarter.
The Mavericks went more than five minutes before scoring when Kacy Montgomery sank a pair of three throws.
The Lions led at the break, 48-26 as Selby has 10 points.
After an ugly second quarter, Manchester Valley got off to a good start in the third quarter.
The Mavericks opened with a 5-0 run to cut Liberty’s lead to 48-32 in the first 1:19. Koontz finished off the stretch with a 3-pointer. Late in the quarter, Liberty pushed its lead to more than 20 points again on a Kent layup.
The Lions led 65-40 at the end of the third quarter.