TROY — In a tough district quarterfinals matchup where Northumberland Christian Warriors (15-7) scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, the North Penn-Liberty Mounties (20-3) were unable to move into the district finals as they fell by a score of 68-62.
Liberty never was able to get things going early, and fell behind thanks to a Warriors 12-2 early run and a slew of missed three-pointers that Liberty has been able to knock down all season long.
With the drought from deep, Liberty started to find success when sixth man Colton Litzelman got into the game, and clawed things back to 12-10 at the end of the quarter with Litzelman getting a putback to drop as the buzzer sounded.
The struggles continued for the Mounties in the second quarter, and still couldn’t get a three-pointer to drop. With the Warriors up 20-19 Koleton Roupp hit the first Liberty three of the game and also gave Liberty their first lead of the game at 20-19. Roupp and the Warriors traded three-pointers in the next two possessions to bring the score to 24-22 with only a few minutes remaining until halftime.
After a close-out run of 5-1 in the half, the Warriors had themselves a 29-23 lead at the half with Liberty’s offense struggling to connect on open looks. With only 23 first half points, Liberty needed to spark a run on offense if they wanted to have a shot at coming out with a win.
In the second half, Liberty finally got things going on offense, and after falling behind by as many as eight points, a Liberty run began. Liberty outscored the Warriors 21-9 in a big run that took up almost the entire third quarter, and went into the fourth with a 44-40 lead and all the momentum in their favor.
In the final frame, things started to go south for the Mounties, and were unable to use a strong third quarter in order to gain separation as the Warriors scored 28 fourth quarter points including hitting 14-16 shots from the charity stripe in order to close the game out 68-62.
Senior Duncan Zeafla led the way for the Mounties, scoring 19 points and hitting some big shots during the third quarter run that gave Liberty a lead moving into the fourth. Roupp and Kevin Alexander both added nine points in the effort and both Litzelman and Thompson added eight points for the Mounties during the loss.
With the loss, the Mounties dropped back-to-back games for the first time all season long. With the state playoffs slowly creeping up, Liberty will need to put together a strong effort in the consolation game against Sullivan County (17-5) to give them some positive momentum heading into the state playoff bracket.