Hoops: LHS tops Kids
Execution and focus were two words that assistant coach Chris D’Emilio used to describe how his Liberty boys basketball team’s second half surge came to fruition. The Hurricanes (6-1 overall) outscored Northampton (1-5 overall) 25-19 in the second half to take the game 54-46 in summer league action last Thursday night played at Allen High School’s Sewards gymnasium due to rain.
“I think we had the same kind of opportunities in the first half, but weren’t able to capitalize,” said D’Emilio. “Defensively we weren’t totally engaged, but we rallied at halftime and keyed on specific guys and things we wanted to do. Our execution and focus was something we talked about at halftime, and we got it done in the second half.”
Rising senior Cameron Hoffman led the way with a team-high 18 points for Liberty. But it was the guard play of fellow classmates Amir Griffin (9 points) and Jeremy Johnson (8 points) that made the Hurricanes offense tick.
“The past couple of years we’ve always been a heavy focus on our big men offensively,” noted D’Emilio. “Our guards know that we want to get the ball to the rim any way we can. They have taken it on themselves this summer to do their part in scoring the basketball. They’re pretty savvy at beating their man and then making the right decisions.”
Northampton was led by junior guard Aiden Ellwood, who tallied a game-high 21 points. The Kids held a lead for most of the first half thanks to some sharp shooting from behind the arc. Ellwood and Joey Tocci each had two 3-pointers, and Nick Filcher had one. Each team led by as many as five and there were four different lead changes, with Northampton’s last lead coming at 25-24.
With the score at 29-27 at halftime in favor of the Hurricanes, Liberty scored the first five points on a 3-pointer from Alex Serrano and a basket by Hoffman.
The Hurricanes then began pulling away, holding as much as a 12 point lead midway through the second half before the Kids began chipping away.
With the score at 52-42, Northampton scored four straight, but did not have enough time in the end to complete the comeback.