By THE HERALD-WHIG
A victory Friday night in the semifinals of the Winchester Invitational Tournament leaves the Liberty boys basketball team up against a familiar foe.
The Eagles' 68-42 victory over Waverly set up an Adams County showdown in Saturday's championship game.
Liberty (10-5) will face Payson Seymour (13-2) at 7 p.m. It will be the second time the two have met this year, with Payson claiming a 64-51 victory over the Eagles on Nov. 20 in the Pittsfield Thanksgiving Tournament.
"It doesn't matter who we are playing as long as we are making it to the next game," Liberty coach Andy Douglas said. "(Playing Payson) means it will be a great atmosphere."
Douglas lauded his team's level of intensity in the win.
"The biggest key for us was our energy," Douglas said. "We came out with it from the start."
The Eagles built a 13-10 lead after the first quarter and were ahead by two, 28-26, at halftime.
Liberty erupted for 24 points in the third quarter, while limiting Waverly to eight.
The intensity, coupled with the Eagles' play in transition, were key.
"I thought our guys were committed to getting back in transition and setting up easy buckets for us," Douglas said. "They did a good job of keeping pressure up front and taking care of the ball."
Blewett led Liberty with 22 points, with 16 coming in the second half. Connor Wolf chipped in 13 points for the Eagles.
Palmyra 58, Centralia 56: It didn't come easy, but the Panthers earned their first home victory.
Brock Butler hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining to lift Palmyra to the win.
Palmyra trailed by two, 56-54, when Trevor Meny hit an 8-foot jumper with 30 seconds left to tie the game.
With eight seconds to go Meny passed to Butler, who was fouled to set up the game-winning free throws.
Meny led Palmyra (8-6) with 20 points.
Mark Twain 56, Monroe City 53: The Tigers needed overtime to earn their fifth straight victory.
Garrett Jarman scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers rally from a 12-point deficit.
Jarman hit a 6-foot jumper at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Logan Epperson and Ethan Clark scored the first five points of overtime to put Mark Twain ahead 53-48.
Monroe City stormed back to tie the game at 53, but Epperson stole the ball and hit the game-winning basket with 30 seconds left. Mark Twain added a free throw 10 seconds later.
Alex Jernigan added 15 points for Mark Twain (6-5).
Kyle Fulton led Monroe City with 15 points.
Louisiana 56, Clark County 54: Tristan Castiglia scored with three seconds left in the game to lift the Bulldogs to victory.
Louisiana led by two with under a minute to play, but the Indians tied the game with 17 seconds left after Chase Bevans scored off a set play.
That set up Louisiana's final chance and Castiglia's bucket.
Dylan Smith led Louisiana with 15 points and Castiglia added 14.
Kyle Kovar led Clark County (5-8) with 16 points.
Canton 54, North Shelby 41: The Tigers kept their undefeated season intact with a 21-point fourth quarter.
Canton (13-0) was led by Gabe McKenzie's 20 points. David McReynolds added 13 points for the Tigers.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for North Shelby (6-7). Lucas Daniel and Kendle Smith led the Raiders with 10 points apiece.
Highland 59, Kirksville 53: Austin Richmiller scored 28 points to lead Cougars to a home win. Highland (6-4) outscored the Tigers 21-0 in the first quarter and held on at the end to win.
Richmiller sank 10 of 16 attempts from the free throw line. Derick Smith added 10 points for Highland.
Central 46, Carrollton 30: The Panthers broke open a 5-4 first-quarter lead with a 15-10 run in the second quarter en route to the win in the Winchester Tournament.
Cole Phillips led Central with 13 points and Austin Kramberg added 12. Marcus Landes chipped in 10 points for Central.
Marion County 50, Clopton 47: The Mustangs overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to notch their ninth win. Logan Krigbaum led the charge from Marion County (9-3) as he nailed several crucial 3-point shots down the stretch.
Clay Pollard added solid play in the paint and Kason Spratt nailed all six of his free throws in the final period to seal the win over visiting Clopton.
QU drops two: Quincy University opened its season with a three-set loss to Mount Olive at the King Tournament in Bristol, Tenn.
The Hawks fell 25-19, 25-21, 25-21.
Jack Gamache led QU with nine kills and Ian Lawson collected six. Gamache also picked up 11 digs. Chris Lynch gave out 27 assists for the Hawks.
In the second match, the Hawks lost in four sets to Belmont Abbey.