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Fallsburg dominates the paint in Class B battle against Liberty

Yovanni Fields
Posted 2/3/23

LIBERTY – The Liberty Indians and Fallsburg Comets faced off Tuesday night in a “must win” league matchup for both clubs. 

During warmups, both teams were fired up and …

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Fallsburg dominates the paint in Class B battle against Liberty


LIBERTY – The Liberty Indians and Fallsburg Comets faced off Tuesday night in a “must win” league matchup for both clubs. 

During warmups, both teams were fired up and filled with energy that bled into both sides of the crowds as well.

By night’s end, Fallsburg had come away with a 60-48 victory over Liberty, earning a season sweep of their Class B rivals. 

From the opening tip, the Comets got off to a great start with an open basket being scored by an assist from senior guard Carlos Alvarado to a slashing Eugene Johnson. Johnson went on to score twice more during the opening 8-0 run by the Comets, with help from Isaiah Young and Justin Parsons. 

Liberty seemed rattled early, but that changed when Cody Ricco stepped up in front of Johnson and took a charge that was instantly followed by a three on the other end by Tanner Bury. 

With the sudden switch in momentum from the back-to-back tough plays from Liberty’s senior guards, the Comets looked inside for Johnson, their top scorer, for yet another tough score through two defenders to add to his 14 first quarter points. 

Liberty responded with a timeout with 2:34 remaining to try and get a grasp on the game before it got out of reach. 

The Indians came out of the huddle and responded with three straight downhill attacks to bring the lead within five as the first quarter buzzer sounded, with a score of 18-13 in favor of the visiting Comets. 

Both teams came into the second quarter firing on all cylinders with back-to-back baskets after Fallsburg drew first blood yet again. 

Fallsburg seemed to pull away from Johnson, who was on fire in the first, but the supporting cast was doing a great job of keeping their lead while the Indians had two defenders following Johnson all over the court, a well-executed coaching adjustment by Head Coach Matt Robinson and the Indians. 

Neither team could get consecutive stops going into the half and ended up with the same deficit of 5 going into the half with Johnson leading all scorers with 17 points for the Comets and Bury netting seven for the Indians.

The second half was all Comets as they started to pull away opening the third with a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to 34-22. 

Liberty ended the run with an assist by Ricco to Bury where he was fouled and nailed both free throws to cut the lead to ten with 4:02 left in the third.

Alvarado answered with back-to-back three-pointers and after-basket celebrations that rallied the Comets. 

After a couple possessions, Alvarado came back down and netted yet another three bringing his point total to nine in the third quarter, and helping the Comets end the frame with a lead of 42-27.

In the fourth quarter, Fallsburg scored first again, on a deep two-pointer by Johnson. The Indians had no lasting answer for him all night. Shortly after, Johnson took a charge and the Fallsburg crowd erupted.

Suddenly, Bury diced through the defense and converted a tough and-one basket to fire up the home crowd, starting a 6-0 run for the Indians to make it 51-40 with 3:07 remaining. 

John Carlos-Zala answered for the Comets with a huge rebound and layup that brought the lead back up to 13 with under two minutes remaining. 

Try as they might, any late Indians advances were matched by the Comets, and the final buzzer sounded with a 60-48 Fallsburg victory.

Johnson led the way for Fallsburg with 25 points and Tanner Bury scored 18 for the Indians.

Fallsburg Coach Lionel White was extremely pleased in his boys performance. He said, “We came out with high intensity and knew what this game meant for their sectional hopes and the boys responded [in] the way they played.” 

He also stated, “It’s a great win to build off of for their next matchup verses Burke in their efforts to continue to push towards sectionals this year.” 

Coach Robinson was proud of his Liberty boys and their efforts and stated, “It was a physical tough battle, and our boys fought back after coming out flat early. The boys hustled and played their hearts out. It was a tough loss but that’s all you can ask for as a coach is for your players to give it their all.”


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