Glenelg and Liberty took different routes yesterday in getting to tonight's Liberty Belle Tournament final in Eldersburg.
Glenelg fought off a determined Howard team, 63-52, and host Liberty rolled past young Mount Carmel, 91-49.
Glenelg will face Liberty in the final at 7, and Howard will try to get Liberty Belle Boys Tournament
on the winning track against Mount Carmel in the consolation at 3.
L It didn't take long for Liberty to gain a spot in the final.
The Lions jumped to a 17-0 lead in the first five minutes and never looked back.
Five different Lions scored before Mount Carmel got its first points, a free throw by Tony Reina with 3:03 left in the first quarter.
The Lions came out on fire with solid outside shooting and easily handled Mount Carmel's press to convert easy layups.
Jeff Janyska led four Lions into double figures with 18. Brian Trone added 16, Chris Peay scored 13 and Josh Gursky had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"We came out with the intensity we needed to," said Liberty coach Scott Kohr. "[Mount Carmel's] program has a ways to go. But they are a scrappy team and don't back down. We shot the ball particularly well in the early going and it got us off to the good start. It gave us a chance to get a lot of guys minutes and try some new things."
It looked as if Glenelg would roll all over county rival Howard in the early going. The Gladiators opened a 15-6 lead after one quarter and enjoyed a 32-17 halftime lead, but Howard battled back with 21-point third quarter to get within 44-38.
The Gladiators built back a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter to advance. Earl Frazier led the way with 16 for Glenelg. Brian Meshkin played a strong inside game to finish with 12 and James McKinney added 10.
Howard was led by Javier Michaux with 14 before fouling out with 2:40 left. Delawn Parish had 10.
The difference was Glenelg's ability to handle the Howard press and convert easy baskets.
"Our kids kept their heads and played very well," said Glenelg coach Klaude Krennebitter.
"We handled their press very well and a key was getting the ball across half-court. Once we did, our half-court offense was pretty consistent."
For Howard coach Kevin Broaduf, it was simply a matter of playing two solid halfs.
"Our biggest problem is that we're not playing a full game," he said. "We also don't have the size, so we need to box out better. Those are the two things we're working on most, and once we do them, we'll be OK."