Liberty boys basketball is back in state tournament by stopping Scotlandville’s streak

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Liberty is going back to the boys basketball state tournament, and for the first time in 15 seasons Scotlandville is not.

Liberty hit 14 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter as the Patriots defeated Scotlandville 53-46 in a Division I select quarterfinals game Friday night at Liberty.

No. 2 Liberty (24-3) defeated District 4-5A rival Scotlandville for the third time this season. The No. 10 Hornets (22-13) briefly took the lead in the third quarter but could not pull out a win.

Liberty was the Division II state runner-up in 2022 but was ineligible for the playoffs last season. Scotlandville had played in 14 straight state finals and won eight titles.

“Getting back to the state tournament is what we’ve been waiting on,” Liberty coach Brandon White said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to compete at the highest level. My guys really work hard, and I’m proud of them. We have five seniors and they’re excited for the moment. Scotlandville came in and gave us a real battle.”

Liberty junior guard Malek Robinson hit 8 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter, and Chivas Lee was 4 of 4. Robinson scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Jaylen Peters, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, led Liberty with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Lee added nine points and six assists.

Peters dunked off a Lee assist to put the Patriots up 17-13 after one quarter. Scotlandville outscored the Patriots 5-2 in the second quarter as Liberty led 19-18 at the half.

Jamarriyon Brown scored on a layup off an assist from Jamal Drewery to put Scotlandville up 23-21 with six minutes left in the third quarter. Liberty went on an 8-0 run that was capped by a Chandler Holmes 3-pointer with 2:33 left. Scotlandville’s Tyler Knigten hit a layup to end the third quarter and cut the Liberty lead to 33-30.

Liberty went on a 12-2 run to open the fourth quarter and led 43-32 after a steal and layup by Robinson with 2:49 remaining. Drewery hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for Scotlandville. Drewery scored 12 points and had seven assists. Brown scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the second half.

“We struggled that second quarter,” White said. “In the second half we were able to execute. Malek Robinson and Chivas were good with the ball and played solid defense. They both stepped up and made some huge free throws for us. Peters is long and playing well inside for us.”

Scotlandville first-year coach Jeremy Noah said his team battled.

“Liberty is a good team and congratulations to them,” Noah said. “Holding them to two points in a quarter was definitely good defense. We just needed to shoot better and block out more for rebounding.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1445 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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