LIBERTY CENTER — Liberty Center girls basketball coach Tim Davis said he knew his team needed a big performance Tuesday night to shake off back-to-back losses.
They got it.
Alyssa Giesige scored 13 points, 11 in the first half, and Cassidy Chapa added 10 as Liberty Center cruised to a 60-31 win over non league foe Montpelier in The Jungle.
“I thought that was a really good bounce back from Friday, when we really struggled all over, but especially offensively,” Davis said. “Tonight, we got some movement and execution, and we hit some shots. We shot 21% Friday, so to see the ball go in builds confidence.”
The Locos got nine points from Emily Fritsch, while Ariel Page added eight. Chelsea McCord and Ali Repp each scored four points, while Jessi Bumb (three), Tory Steffes (two) and Kamryn Schlosser (one) rounded out the Montpelier scoring.
“I thought we handled their pressure okay,” Montpelier coach Mike Bumb said. “We just didn’t finish when we did have good opportunities, and they were just simply a better team on a Tuesday night on the road.
“I think Liberty Center, with that tough schedule they play, was probably due,” Bumb added. “They’re a better team than their record indicates, and I think a lot of that is schedule-based. They are extremely athletic.”
Harmony Young finished 3-of-3 from behind the 3-point line to finish with nine points for LC, which also got eight each from Samantha Graber and Aubree Hollenbaugh.
Peyton Armey chipped in six points on 2-of-3 shooting from deep, while Samantha Engler, Abby Heath and Kate Mohler rounded out the Tigers’ scoring with two points apiece.
“I thought we had great effort to begin with,” Davis said. “Alyssa right out of the gate was huge for us to get us going, and then the other girls kind of fed off of her. That was nice to see coming off of two tough losses.”
Liberty Center led 17-6 after the first quarter and 34-14 at halftime before using a 16-9 run and a 10-8 run in the second half to put away the win.
The Tigers shot 7-of-14 from 3-point range, while Montpelier made 1-of-6 such looks. The Locos went 4-of-9 from the foul line, while LC hit nine of its 10 tries from the charity stripe.
“They hit from a very high percentage from the line, and we did not hit some of the good looks we set up for ourselves,” Bumb said. “Things were really clicking for them tonight, and they were not clicking for us. I don’t know what else there is to say other than we ran into a buzzsaw tonight.”
Bumb was quick to point out positives for his young group after the game.
“This kind of game happens in sports,” Bumb said. “You see it all the time with good teams. We’re awfully young, but we’ve had a lot of success this year and will continue to get better. We’ve got a lot of basketball yet in front of us. I think you’re going to see this team continue to improve.”
Montpelier committed 18 turnovers, while Liberty Center lost the ball six times.
Liberty Center (7-6) hosts Delta tomorrow in Northwest Ohio Athletic League play from The Jungle, while Montpelier (7-6) hosts North Central Friday in Buckeye Border Conference action.
Liberty Center 60, Montpelier 31
Montpelier 6 8 9 8 — 31
LC 17 17 16 10 — 60
Montpelier: Fritsch 3 1 0-0 9, Page 3 0 2-4 8, McCord 2 0 0-1 4, Repp 2 0 0-0 4, Steffes 1 0 0-0 2, Schlosser 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 12 1 4-9 31.
LC: Giesige 4 0 5-6 13, Chapa 4 0 2-2 10, Young 0 2 0-0 9, Graber 1 2 0-0 8, Hollenbaugh 3 0 2-2 8, Armey 0 2 0-0 6, Mohler 1 0 0-0 2, Engler 1 0 0-0 2, Heath 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 15 7 9-10 60.