The Olentangy Liberty High School boys basketball team jumped out to a 14-6 lead after one quarter on its way to a 60-43 win over Westland in a Division I district tournament semifinal March 6 at Marysville.
The third-seeded Patriots improved to 23-1 and will play top-seeded Northland in a district final 6 p.m. March 9 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Westland, the 11th seed, finished the season 18-7.
Senior guard Matt Muntean scored 20 points and junior forward Michael DeLeon added 12 points to lead Liberty.
Senior guard Kersey Long scored a team-high 18 points for Westland, which was just 17 of 60 (28 percent) from the field. The Cougars were 0-for-13 from 3-point range.
Liberty led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter and maintained a double-digit lead throughout second half.
Westland pulled to within 49-39 on Long’s basket with 5 minutes left in the game, but that would be as close as it would get.
“It was important to get an early lead on these guys because they do a great job of spreading you out and they have some good guards that can penetrate and they’re very well coached,” Liberty coach Greg Nossaman said. “We got that lead in the first quarter and we expanded it going into half.”
Westland handed Liberty its only loss, 70-62 in an OCC-Central Division game Dec. 21 at Westland. The Patriots defeated the Cougars 58-44 on Feb. 1 at Liberty.