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Boys Basketball: Liberty outlasts Man Valley in OT behind key free throws

Liberty coach Brian Tombs talks about his team's overtime win over Manchester Valley. (Tom Worgo / Carroll County Times)

The Manchester Valley boys basketball team will likely put Tuesday night's game behind it.

The farther, the better.

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The Mavericks hit only hit two of 10 shots in the fourth quarter, while Liberty scored twice as many points in overtime as Manchester Valley. Those things added up to a 61-55 Liberty road victory.

"We didn't play particularly well at the end of the game," Manchester Valley coach Bernie Koontz said. "They played good defense, which contributed to that. We had some key players who didn't hit free throws down the stretch and that is big. You have to hit them in close games."

Sinking free throws wasn't a problem for Liberty (5-4, 2-1 in the county) in overtime. The Lions went 6-for-6 from the line. Jack Selby, Ronak Morgan, and Justin Brookhart each sank two free throws.

"You have to make foul shots in pressure situations," Liberty coach Brian Tombs said. "We happened to get the ball into the right people's hands."

Selby, a junior point guard, led Liberty with 15 points and six assists. Teammate Tristan Kent, a sophomore center, finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Manchester Valley (4-4, 3-2) had three players score in double figures: Brandon Kirby (16), Bo Schene (13), and Tyler Jones (11). Neither team scored much — both had four points — in the fourth quarter as Manchester Valley came into the period with a 45-43 lead.

Liberty took its only lead of the quarter, 49-47, when Selby made a layup with 3:25 remaining. Schene's layup with 2:21 left made it 49-49.

Liberty had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Brookhart's baseline shot went off the rim.

The Lions opened the 4-minute overtime on a 4-0 run in the first 1:07. Selby made a layup and Morgan hit two free throws.

Manchester Valley cut the margin to two points twice over the next 1:33.

But Liberty prevailed thanks to Brookhart and Selby each making two free throws in the final 31 seconds.

Manchester Valley held a 12-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Liberty tied it 10 seconds into the second quarter on Goetz's layup and 1:34 later went ahead, 13-12, on Dylan Bowen's free throw. But the Lions wouldn't take the lead again until the finals seconds of the quarter.

Manchester Valley went on a 14-2 run to go ahead, 26-15, with 3:20 remaining as Kirby and Johnston had 3-pointers during that stretch.

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But the rest of the quarter belonged to Liberty. The Lions closed with a 13-1 run.

Selby started it with a pair of free throws and he ended the span with an off-balance medium range jump shot to make it 28-27 — the halftime lead.

"We are working on how to maintain our level of confidence throughout a whole game yet," Tombs said. "We haven't gotten to the point where we have played 32 minutes of solid basketball."

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