It wasn’t an artistic game for either side, but the Liberty girls basketball team built a big lead and then withstood a comeback by Vintage to win the consolation championship of the Wine Valley Tournament, 40-32, at Messner Gym on Saturday.
“We played hard, but three games in a row is tough this time of year,” said Vintage head coach Joe Donohoe. “I think the legs were dead today. We played extremely hard, but that’s a good team we played, no doubt about it. We were just off today. We condition hard but we we’re a little tired today after three days in a row at 100 miles per hour.”
Alyssa Andrews, who led the Crushers (3-5) with 11 points and added four rebounds and three steals, was named to the All-Tournament team.
Andrews opened the scoring for Vintage, and buckets by Kate Ilsley and Bailey Loban gave the Crushers a 6-4 lead before some sloppy passing allowed Liberty to score six straight for a 10-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Lions (4-7) made it eight straight points with a basket to open the second quarter. Morgan Groves ended the Liberty run on a nice feed from Loban for the first Vintage score after a seven-minute drought. After a low scoring half, the teams headed to the dressing rooms with the Lions holding a 16-11 lead.
Both teams came out for the second half looking a little tired, and neither side scored for the first three minutes. Unfortunately for Vintage, the first score of the second half was a long three by Liberty to extend its lead to 19-11. A nice running bank shot by Loban at 3:40 got Vintage going and the Crushers battled back with buckets by Ilsley, Andrews and Loban, cutting the Liberty lead to 24-21 going into the fourth quarter.
When it needed to come out hot, Vintage came out ice cold and Liberty ran off 12 straight for a commanding 36-21 advantage. The Crushers didn’t give up, however, finally mounting a comeback with a pretty Megan Kuehl jumper that sliced the Lions’ lead to just eight. But that was as close as Vintage would get.
Ilsley had six points, seven rebounds and three steals. Loban also had six points, to go with six rebounds and two assists. Kuehl added five points with three rebounds. Nicole Gleeson and Groves rounded out the Vintage scoring with two apiece.
The Crushers next play host to Fairfield on Tuesday, with a 7 p.m. tipoff.