Second-seed Brunswick surged past Liberty, 70-56, Friday afternoon in a Region 2-AAAA boys semi-final game at Richmond Hill.
It was the third meeting between the teams this season.
Liberty split with Brunswick during the season. The Panthers won the final regular season meeting, which was part of a late season region run that helped Liberty to finish .500 in region play.
Led by quick guard play Brunswick was able to score first, hitting a three pointer. Liberty’s Sayvon Wilson fired the opening salvo, keeping the game close early. Patient offense allowed Liberty to hold a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Brunswick intensified the speed of the game and was able to outscore the Panthers 16-4 in the second quarter.
“We just didn’t play sharp enough,” Liberty County head coach Willie Graham said. “We were a step behind all night. If we grabbed a rebound they would take it from us. They were just able to run ahead of us and we were chasing them.”
Liberty was playing in the Panthers third game of the tournament and Graham thought that Brunswick had fresher legs than his squad.
“When we got down in the second quarter they kept running on us. They would make a run and then when we tried to make a run they would stop it. We didn’t attack the basket as well as we should have. Instead the guards took outside shots that weren’t falling,” Graham said.
Wilson led Liberty with 19 points. Michael Farrior put in 16 points.
Brunswick advanced to Saturday’s championship game against number-one seed Ware County. Liberty was to face Effingham County in the consolation game.
Since the Panthers lost to Brunswick, the Panthers will have to travel during the first round of the state playoffs that begin next weekend.
Brunswick 70, Liberty 56
Liberty — Sayvon Wilson 19, Michael Farrior 16, Aaron Scott 9, Derrick Brooks 8, Melvin King 4.