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High School sports

Manchester Valley girls basketball avenges only loss, tops Liberty 44-34

Taylor Leaman and Carmaya Bowman feed off each other’s energy to produce results. Friday night, that energy came in the form of anger.

The two led Manchester Valley on a stunning third-quarter rally, erasing a five-point halftime deficit and defeating Liberty, 44-34, in a key Carroll County game.

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The victory served as revenge over the Lions, the only team the No. 12 Mavericks (11-1, 5-1) lost to this year.

Jenna Liska led the visiting Lions (5-3, 2-3) with 10 points.

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“We had a very spirited discussion at halftime,” Manchester Valley head coach Heather DeWees said. “I didn’t like some of the things we were doing. I know we can play better than we were playing.”

To the Maverick’s credit, they responded, going on a 23-12 run in the third quarter to take command of the game. Leaman opened the scoring with two layups as Manchester Valley scored the first eight points of the second half, jumping in front 21-18, forcing Liberty coach Barry Green to take a time out.

But that did little to quell the Mavericks’ momentum. Bowman scored the next two baskets, one on a layup and the other on a 10-footer, before Leaman hit a 3-pointer and two more layups. By the time that was all done, Manchester Valley found itself ahead 34-25 and never looked back.

“We definitely do feed off each other,” said Bowman, a junior. “We were angry about the way we were playing, and we decided we needed to do something about it.”

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“At halftime, we looked at each other and you could tell we were both pretty angry,” Leaman added. We just said this is our time to take over. That’s exactly what happened in the third quarter.”

The win puts Manchester Valley in great position in a tough Carroll County league race. The Mavericks, Liberty, Westminster and Century are all vying for the top spot in the county race with only a few weeks left in the season.

“I told coach Green that I hate playing him, and that’s the ultimate compliment,” said DeWees. “They are a very well-coached team, and are hard to defend. I use them as a motivator in practice, telling the girls that, ‘If you play like that against Liberty, they will beat you.’ They forced us into a lot of mistakes in the first half, but we pulled it together in the second half.”

DeWees said she really liked what she saw from her team in the second half.

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“It was like a light came on [in the second half]. We relaxed and started playing our game. I could see a lot of lights going on out there. We turned the corner a little out there, and you could see it happening. It was really exciting to see.”

With as much excitement as the win brought, DeWees knows it was just a start.

“We still have Westminster on our schedule, so we have to continue to get better,” she said. “This was a nice win for us, but we have to keep it going.”


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