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Liberty Boys Advance to D4 Title Game
For the first time since 1989 the North Penn-Liberty boys basketball team will compete for a PIAA District IV championship.
On Saturday, March 6 the Mounties defeated Lourdes Regional, 44-36 in the Class A semi-finals to reach this coming Thursday evening championship game. The last time they played for a district championship their head coach, and former 1,000-point scorer, Brian Litzelman was suited up in the Black and Red. Last season the Mounties were the top-seeded team and received a first round bye into the semi-finals, where they lost to Northumberland Christian. This year the Mounties were again the top-seeded team and received a first round bye into the semis, but the game didn’t start out that way.
“We talked about that in the locker room after the game. We have the monkey off our back, we got our win for this group of kids and now there shouldn’t be a lot of stress,” Litzelman said. “At the start of the game we were a little tight. I thought some of the guys should’ve pulled the trigger on some shots that they didn’t, and now in the title game we just have to play loose and play as a unit.”
It took the Mounties midway through the first quarter before they put any points on the scoreboard. Lourdes jumped out to a 4-0 lead when Litzelman took an early timeout to calm the team down. After that moment they quickly tied the game, then found themselves back down four points, 8-4, but quickly closed the gap back to a point on a three by Colton Litzelman.
The Mounties trailed 9-8 after the opening quarter. The second 8 minutes both teams scored 12 points each and Lourdes kept their one-point advantage (20-19) at halftime. After some adjustments the Mounties flipped the script and outscored the Red Raiders 11-8 in the third to take a two-point, 31-29 lead, heading into the final frame.
Over the final 8 minutes is where the Mounties shined the most. Their stifling defense caused multiple turnovers which led to more points. The Mountie defense held Lourdes to just 7 points in the quarter, while they scored 13, to put some breathing room between themselves and Lourdes and win the game.
After a scoreless first quarter Noah Spencer scored a game-high 18 points to lead North Penn-Liberty. Colton Litzelman finished with 9, Brandon Thompson added 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks, Kevin Alexander had 4 points, Koleton Roupp chipped in 3, and Derek Litzelman chipped in 2 points. Spencer also grabbed 10 rebounds and Alexander recorded 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
Maxwell Reiprish scored 10 points to lead Lourdes.
Next up for North Penn-Liberty is the Class A championship game against St. John Neumann, 74-53 winners over Sullivan County, at Williamsport High School. The game is scheduled for Thursday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be sold to attend the game in-person, but District IV will also have Pay Per View (PPV) tickets available to stream the game online. Go to www.piaad4.net for more information.
Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Andrew Moore, Ed Weaver
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Produced by Vogt Media
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