A combination of a fast-paced offense and the strong inside play of Grandview senior Nelson Nweke doomed Liberty to its first loss of the season.
By DAVID BOYCE
Special to The Star
The Bulldogs grabbed the lead midway through the first quarter, never relinquished it, but needed to hang on for their 67-65 victory Monday evening in the Cardinal Division championship game.
“This was a real good victory and helps our morale because two games before this we had a real close game and we had a couple people doubting us,” said Nweke, who finished with 20 points. “To come in here and get a victory in an environment like this is real big for us.”
Grandview, who improved to 7-2, witnessed a team that fought hard not to lose its first game of the season.
Turner, who finished with a game-high 28 points, was a spark for Liberty throughout the game. His steady offense helped the Blue Jays make a run in the fourth quarter. A basket by Liberty senior Brady Newland closed the gap to 51-49 with 6:45 left in the game.
Liberty trailed 63-52 with about 3 minutes left and pulled to within two points with 2.8 seconds left. The Blue Jays had the ball on its side of the court with 1.8 seconds with a chance to tie or win. The last shot went off the side of the backboard.
“We had some real bad possessions late and didn’t take care of the ball,” Grandview coach Randy Farris said. “We were a little anxious. Hopefully, we will learn from it.
Third: Park Hill 63, Raytown 62, OT
Behind 28 points from junior guard Larry Shamet, Park Hill edged Raytown 63-62 in overtime.
Raytown‘s Derrick Walker, John Burton and Jailen Gill all scored in double figures and led 12-11 after the first quarter.
Raytown went into the fourth quarter with a two-point lead. The Trojans made up those two points in the fourth quarter and forced overtime.
Fifth: Truman 68, Pleasant Hill 58
Truman jumped to a nine-point halftime lead, increased it to double digits in the third quarter and came away with a 68-58 victory over Pleasant Hill.
It was a three-player attack for the Patriots. Sophomore Reid Titus scored 22 points, junior Dewayne Thorton had 22 and senior Deandre Young 14. The three were a combined 21 for 35 from the field.