xml:space="preserve">
Westminster senior Noah Westbrook talks about the Owls' win over Liberty. (Tom Worgo / Carroll County Times)

Westminster coach Brett Kanther said his team came out looking for a win on senior night against visiting Liberty Monday night.

Apparently, not until the second half.

Advertisement

The Owls struggled with its shooting in the first half and let Liberty control the boards, which led to some easy layups and a double-digit deficit.

"I thought they kind of punched us in the mouth," Kanther said.

But Westminster took charge in the second half. The Owls used a 14-2 run to begin the third quarter and they ended up cruising to a 77-63 victory.

"The kids really picked it up and played with intensity," Kanther said. "I think that was the biggest difference."

Senior forward Noah Westbrook scored a game-high 26 points. He went 6-for-8 from 3-point range.

"We definitely tried to get him the basketball," Kanther said of Westbrook, who scored a season-high 33 points in a win over Damascus in late December. "We found him when he was open, and he was hot."

Westminster senior guard Tyler Snyder totaled 15 points, six assists, and three steals. Jahmere Campbell (12 points) and Joe Wright (10) also scored in double figures for the Owls (12-6, 7-3 county).

Nick Tilson and Justin Brookhart led Liberty with 13 points each.

The Owls likely found Liberty (10-8, 6-4) to be a pesky team in the second half.

Westminster had a 51-40 lead with about two minutes remaining in the second half, but the Lions cut the deficit to 50-46 in the final seconds of the period on a Jack Selby free throws. The Owls had a 11-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter before Liberty enjoyed a 5-0 spurt to cut the bulge to six.

Westminster, however, finished strong and pulled away.

"We especially wanted to get the win on senior night," Westbrook said. "We didn't want to lose the last time on our home court."

The first half was a different story for the hosts.

Liberty took a 6-2 lead in the first 1:10 as Tristan Kent made two layups in that sequence.

Advertisement

Westminster came back to tie it at 6, but the Lions used a 5-0 run — which was highlighted by Steven Goetz's 3-pointer — to go ahead 11-6 with 4:49 remaining.

The Owls sliced the margin to two points later in the quarter before Nick Tilson hit a 3-pointer right before the buzzer sounded to make it 20-15.

Liberty increased its advantage to 25-16 in the first two minutes of the second quarter.

The Lions led by as many as 11 points midway through the period before the Owls managed to trim the score to 35-32 at the break.

Liberty struggled in the last 3:27, committing five turnovers and hitting only one of four shots. Westminster excelled from the free throw line in that span, making five of six.

Westbrook led all scorers with 12 points at halftime.

Westminster had its best stretch of the game to start the third quarter. It allowed the Owls to go ahead for the first time, 38-37, with 6:40 left on Westbrook's 3-pointer.

It was part of a Westminster 14-2 run that saw the Owls take a 46-37 lead 3:15 into play.

The Owls held a 53-47 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Westminster (77): Sam Annulis 3, Roman Hawkins 2, Jahmere Campbell 12, Tyler Snyder 15, Noah Westbrook 26, Joey Conklin 9, Joe Wright 10,

Liberty (63): Nick Tilson 13, Jack Selby 4, Ben Brown 10, Justin Brookhart 13, Tristan Kent 9, Trent Smoot 1, Steven Goetz 6, Nick Loppatto 2, Sean Kirker 5.

Halftime: Liberty, 35-32.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement