Your Prep Sports
NORTH LIBERTY – The big change for prep basketball teams in Iowa this season is the addition of the shot clock.
For up-tempo, run and gun Liberty High the shot clock hasn’t been much of a factor.
At least it wasn’t on Tuesday for Class 5A No. 13 Liberty High which sprinted past 4A fifth-ranked North Scott in a season opener in North Liberty.
“Honestly, I didn’t even notice the shot clock,” Liberty High senior point guard Jasmine Barney said. “I kind of forgot that we had a shot clock.”
You can’t blame Barney.
The way Liberty High wants to play, a 35-second shot clock is rarely going to come into play.
“We play fast, that’s what we want to do,” Liberty High head coach Jamie Brandt said. “We like to push the ball in transition, we like to shoot a lot of threes, when you do those two things you don’t take a lot of time off the clock.”
Behind Barney and fellow senior guard Avery Gaudet the Lightning were off and running on Tuesday.
Barney led four Liberty High players in double figures with 18 points as Liberty High won its season opener for the second straight season and third time in school history.
Liberty High got up and down the court, shot 51 percent from the field, including 9-of-20 from 3-point range and outrebounded North Scott by 11 in the win.
Those are a lot of statistics that will win basketball games.
What stood out about the Lightning on Tuesday was the pace.
“We are very guard oriented and even our bigs like to get out and run and shoot the three,” Brandt said. “With our speed and how we can push the ball, we have a heck of a point guard, and we love to shoot the three and I love a good three in transition so that style goes with our personnel right now.”
All four Liberty High double-digit scorers on Tuesday were guards.
Barney led the way as the returning all-stater scored 18 points on just 10 field goal attempts, all over the final three quarters.
Sophomore Janessa Mosley had 14 points, Madeline Casey made four 3-pointers and had 13 points and Gaudet added 12 points.
“As a team we are all quick and can handle the ball and we are all unselfish,” Gaudet said. “We communicate very well so that fast pace works very well because we all trust each other so much.”
Liberty High trailed just once on Tuesday, at 8-7 after a Kendall Knisley 3-pointer with 3:41 left in the opening quarter.
The Lightning responded with a 12-3 run to close the quarter and never let the Lancers get close than eight points the rest of the way.
Liberty High held North Scott to 33 percent shooting and used its full court and quarter court pressure to force seven first-half turnovers while taking a 40-26 halftime lead.
“They are quick, they are scrappy and they can score so I think we did really well defensively,” Gaudet said. “Obviously there are things that we can work on but that’s a good team and that’s a good win for us.”
North Scott got as close as 56-46 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter but Liberty High picked up the pace and quickly put the game out of reach.
The Lightning rattled off a 10-0 run in less than two minutes capped by a basket by senior Ava Meyer.
“I thought the first two and a half quarters we played really well and then obviously we can learn from the fourth quarter about making decisions when we are up but we haven’t played a lot with a big lead,” Brandt said. “That will be a learning experience this year. North Scott is a good team and they played hard all the way to the end.”
Meyer finished with four points and eight rebounds while Kennedy Daugherty had five points and seven rebounds.
Hattie Hagedorn had a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead North Scott.
“All five of our starters, even the players that come off the bench can shoot the ball amazingly,” Barney said. “They can get to the rim, our posts can box out and put it back up. I think we will be diverse and we can all shoot the ball when we are open.”
Liberty High 19 21 16 16 – 72
North Scott 11 15 15 17 – 58
Liberty High (72) – Avery Gaudet 5-9 0-0 12, Janessa Mosley 3-8 7-8 14, Bella Tafolla 2-5 0-0 4, Jasmine Barney 8-10 0-1 18, Kennedy Daugherty 2-4 1-3 5, Libby Allen 0-1 2-2 2, Ava Meyer 2-5 0-0 4, Madeline Casey 4-9 1-3 13, Totals 26-51 11-17 72.
North Scott (58) – Hattie Hagedorn 8-16 8-11 27, Bailey Boddicker 2-11 0-0 4, Cora O’Neill 5-11 1-2 13, McKinley Toohey 0-6 0-0 0, Lexi Ward 0-2 0-0 0, McKenzie Moeller 0-1 0-0 0, Kendall Knisley 1-4 0-0 3, Makayla Farnum 4-10 2-2 11, Totals 20-61 11-15 58.
3-point field goals – ICL 9-20 (Gaudet 2-5, Mosley 1-1, Tafolla 0-1, Barney 2-2, Meyer 0-2, Casey 4-7), NS (Hagedorn 3-6, Boddicker 0-5, O’Neill 2-4, Toohey 0-6, Ward 0-1, Moeller 0-1, Knisley 1-4, Farnum 1-1). Rebounds – ICL 42 (Barney 8, Meyer 8), NS 31 (Hagedorn 10). Turnovers – ICL 13, NS 9. Total fouls – ICL 14, NS 16. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.