Liberty defeats Council Rock N.
It was a good start to the day for Bethlehem at the Lehigh Valley Hoop Group Showcase at Parkland on Sunday, but the tournament ended with a loss to another Bethlehem school.
Liberty kicked things off Sunday afternoon with a 54-46 victory over Council Rock North, getting a small dose of revenge on their District One counterparts, after the Indians eliminated Liberty from the second round of the state playoffs two years ago.
For head coach Chad Landis, it wasn't much about revenge, but rather gaining their second straight non-league victory over a high-caliber opponent.
"It's a real good win for us to get another non-league game like this," said Landis. "We're on a four-game win streak now and we'd like to get back to playing like we did earlier in the season. Hope this is a spring board for us."
KJ Williams led the Hurricanes in scoring with 20 points and chipped in 13 rebounds, while Greg Noack added 11 points for 'Canes.
Nick Vigilanti made his first start of the season and scored 10 points for Liberty, who improved to 11-5 on the season.
Williams has been finding his role on the team increase following football season, but also without starting forward DeShawn Oyeniyi in the lineup on Sunday because of academic ineligibility.
Oyeniyi will have to sit out this week's games against Northampton (Tuesday), Pocono Mountain West (Wednesday) and Bethlehem Catholic (Friday).
"KJ is an elite high school athlete and he's really been in the flow of things as of late," said Landis of the prospective Division-1 wide receiver. "As much as I'd like for him to be more involved earlier in the season, it takes football guys some more time to get into the flow of things. He's been really good as of late and has played super for us."
With six games left on the schedule and a 7-2 mark in the Lehigh Valley Conference, the 'Canes have a one game lead on Easton (13-4, 6-3) for the division lead.
Landis hopes that's how it stays as they head down the home stretch with games against Easton, Nazareth and Freedom next week.
"There's still a lot of games that can decide what's going to happen down the stretch," Landis said. "With DeShawn out this week, it's not ideal, but I think we've found ourselves again after going through the slump we had."
Freedom closed out the Hoop Group Showcase on Sunday night with a 53-46 loss to one of New Jersey's top-five rated teams in Hudson Catholic.
David Williams led the Patriots in scoring with 16 points, but the inability to get Nyreef Jackson (10 points) and Derike Chiclana (8 points) going throughout the contest had the Patriots playing catch up throughout.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Freedom (11-7, 6-4), who now have their sights set on closing out the season strong for an LVC playoff push.
With Emmaus, Easton, Bethlehem Catholic and Liberty left on their schedule, the Pates are two games behind Liberty for the division lead and a game behind Easton.
Last night's tilt with the Green Hornets (9-8, 7-3) was the first of many key battles for the LVC playoffs, as a win over Emmaus would push the wildcard race even closer with Easton, Freedom and Emmaus, all vying for that final spot.
Bethlehem Catholic (8-9, 2-8) needs three wins out of their final five games to clinch a district berth, which all started with Tuesday's contest against Dieruff.
The Hawks should have knocked off the Huskies, but grabbing two more wins from their divisional foes could be a tall task.