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Girls basketball: Liberty-Benton ends Bath's season in district semifinal

Feb. 29—MILLER CITY — Liberty-Benton took the lead late in the first quarter of a 51-25 win against Bath in a Division II girls basketball district semifinal on Thursday night and never looked back.

The Eagles also never looked sideways, looked down or took their eyes off the prize, which was a trip to a district championship game matchup against Bryan, the winner of Thursday night's second semifinal at Miller City High School, 48-31, over Toledo Rogers.

Lauren Gerken, a 6-foot-1 center, led Liberty-Benton (20-5) with 24 points. The Bowling Green State University recruit hit her first six shots and connected on 10 of her 13 field goal attempts.

Guard Addi Crow's three 3-pointers in the second quarter helped the Eagles build a 25-14 halftime lead, which continued to grow in the last two quarters. Crow finished with 14 points.

"We put in a pretty good game plan for them. I give my coaching staff a ton of credit. I thought our girls came out and did what we needed to do to win this basketball game," Liberty-Benton coach Chad Lieb said. "We've got shooters at pretty much every position."

Claire Foust and Kelsie Carlson led the scoring for Bath (18-7) with seven points each. Foust also had seven rebounds.

Bath coach Greg Mauk said, "I told the girls sometimes things in life go the way you want them to go, and sometimes they don't, and this just happens to be one of those nights where it just didn't go our way. We didn't play very well, we didn't defend very well, we didn't play offense very well.

"I give Liberty-Benton a lot of credit. They guarded well, they executed well, they hit shots they had to hit. They deserved to win the game.

"If you had told me at the beginning of the year, and I think a lot of people would agree with this, if you would have said the team that lost three really good seniors from last year would end up with 18 wins, they probably would have doubted you. These kids overachieved. I'm very proud of them. It's a young team," Mauk said.

Liberty-Benton 51, Bath 25

Score by quarters:

Bath 7 7 8 3 — 25

Liberty-Benton 10 15 11 15 — 51

BATH

Anne Oliver 4, Claire Foust 7, Kelsie Carlson 7, Gwynn Foust 4, Mara Davis 3. Totals: 11-1-25.

LIBERTY-BENTON

Corra Dehart 6, Lauren Gerken 24, Addi Crow 14, Lindsay May 4, Megan Gerken 3. Totals: 20-6-51.

Three-pointers: B — Carlson 1, Davis 1; LB — Crow 4, M. Gerken 1.

Records: Bath 18-7; Liberty-Benton 20-5.