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Liberty's Trone works outside angles


When the North Carroll Panthers decided to pack it in with a tight zone against the Liberty Lions a couple of weeks back, they learned something really fast -- look out below.

That's when guard Brian Trone went bombs away with six three-pointers -- including five in the pivotal first half -- to help lead the Lions to a 72-36 win.

Trone is doing a little bit of everything for the Lions, but it's his fine outside shooting that gets most of the attention. The 6-foot-3 senior is averaging just over 11 points a game, with a team-high 36 makes from beyond the three-point line.

"Oftentimes, he'll spot up with a guy right on him. I told him if the guy's hands aren't up, shoot the thing," said Liberty coach Scott Kohr.

"He started for us last year and knew he'd have a bigger role for us this season. I told him to improve his ball-handling skills and keep working on his shot over the summer and he did just that. He's really made himself into a better player and is a great role model for the younger kids."

As the season has gone on, more and more opposing coaches have found if you can contain Trone, you stand a better chance of getting by the Lions.

Early last week, South Carroll coach Jim Carnes made it a point of having his Cavaliers pay special attention to Trone and it paid off. The Cavaliers came away with a big win, limiting Trone to just nine points. It's something Trone has gotten used to.

"In the Westminster game [earlier in the season], everywhere I went someone was following me. [South Carroll] mostly played a zone that was shifted my way," he said.

"It's definitely frustrating, but also kind of a compliment being noticed as a good shooter."

The Lions (6-11) had played most of the season with just eight players until guard Chris Peay returned to the lineup after an injury. It's a close-knit group that's helped make it an enjoyable final season for Trone.

"We're playing more like a team this season than in years past. That's been the big difference," Trone said.

"We're working hard and having a lot of fun. Most of us hang out with each other off the court, which really helps. We can tell each other things like you need to work on this or I need to work on that."

Trone has a lot more responsibility on the team than just scoring, starting with his role as a team co-captain.

"He's given us a lot of leadership and has been a great role model to the younger players," Kohr said.

"He oftentimes has bigger guys to cover. He put on 15 pounds in the weight room and is pretty thick upstairs. I guess if we had an enforcer, he'd be it."

Trone would prefer to keep his business outside, but he'll do whatever it takes to get a Lions win.

"I just look to be a consistent scorer," Trone said.

"I handle the outside stuff and let the inside guys do their thing. If I can hit some shots from the outside, it opens things up for them and they've done a nice job all season."

With a 4.0 grade-point average, the 17-year-old also is looking to graduate at the top of his class.

After the basketball season, Trone will close his high school career on the lacrosse field as an attacker. He's planning to major in physical therapy in college.

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