In a 53-40 victory over visiting Olentangy last Friday, the Olentangy Liberty High School girls basketball team made only 58 percent of its free throws. However, the Patriots were much better when it counted the most.

In a 53-40 victory over visiting Olentangy last Friday, the Olentangy Liberty High School girls basketball team made only 58 percent of its free throws. However, the Patriots were much better when it counted the most.


After the Braves closed to 35-33 with 5 minutes, 3 secondsremaining in the game, Liberty made 14 of 19 free throws.


"In recent games, we hadn't been converting as much as we liked," said Liberty's Ellen Noe, who madesix ofeightfree throws in the fourth quarter and finished with seven points. "It was nice to see our team step up and make free throws tonight."


Liberty, which has won it last four meetings with Olentangy, including 65-64 on Dec. 19, improved to 8-8 overall and 6-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. The Braves fell to 4-12 and 3-8.


"The other day we were looking at film of the Dec. 19 game. We were down 10 with three minutes to go, called a timeout and came back to win," Liberty coach Jen Clark said. "Tonight Olentangy was down 11 with three minutes to go and called a timeout. My kids said, 'We were at this point once. We can't let up.'"


Liberty's Cassie Swafford led all scorers with 18 points, and Abby Smith added nine points.


"Toward the end of the game, we had to foul them," Olentangy coach John Feasel said. "They were either going to make them or we were going to come back. It was either that or let them run out the clock."


The loss spoiled the return of Olentangy's Christine Delaney, who hadn't played since tearing her ACL in the first Liberty game.


"Even though we lost tonight, it feels good to be back and playing with my teammates," said Delaney who scored seven of her team-high 13 points in the first quarter as the Bravesled 16-11.