Chardon senior guard Trey Liebhardt poured in 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting to top South on the road Feb. 3, 62-48.
The win allowed the Hilltoppers to sweep the regular-season series, 2-0.
“I was cutting to the hoop, and my guys were finding me,” Liebhardt said. “I think we were taking a lot smarter shots in the second half.”
Throughout the first half, Chardon (12-4) relied more on the long ball and South was able to keep pace and took a few small leads as well. One aspect of its offensive attack that worked well was the pick-and-roll action with point guard Delond Moss and forward Quintin Wilson.
Moss, who is the Rebels’ leading scorer with 14.8 points a night, impacted the game more with his distributing. He continued to locate the big men down low for some easy baskets. That kept them within two heading into halftime.
But Chardon turned it on defensively from that point.
South only converted on three shots in the third quarter, with Moss suffering the bulk from the Hilltoppers’ relentless pursuit. He was not able to find the net, missing all seven of his attempts.
Chardon coach Chad Murawski mentioned how that turned the tide in this game.
“It starts on the defensive end,” he said. “We know (South) gives us their best shot and defensively we cranked it up and got some stops that led to some offensive transition that got us going.”
Besides the activity on the other end, the guards for the visiting Hilltoppers were able to break down the Rebels’ defenders to get to the hole. Ethan Faber and AJ Bruce, along with Liebhardt, were also effective in finding the paths to the paint. Faber added in 11 and Bruce tallied eight points.
For the Rebels and Coach Doug Barber, it was a lack of effort that ultimately doomed them the rest of the way.
“Chardon was the more aggressive team,” he said. “Chardon was the more physical team. Chardon was the faster team. I think that was the difference tonight.”
With Chardon now riding a six-game hot streak heading into the last leg of the regular season, Liebhardt spoke on what he and the team have to do to keep the momentum going.
“We are going to keep playing basketball, we are not going to let it get to our heads, so I think we are going to keep that moving forward,” Liebhardt said.
They will look to keep riding that message Feb. 7 when they return home to face North at 7:30. South wants to finish the regular season strong. Their next opportunity is Feb. 7 at Riverside. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
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