Liberty at Girard Preview, 2/28

2014 Division III Howland District Sectional Semifinal
Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7 PM
Liberty (13-10) at Girard (18-3)

Winner to play on Monday, March 3 at Howland High School against the winner of #1 LaBrae/#7 Cardinal.

Last Five Meetings
Jan. 17, 2014 – Girard, 62-46
Dec. 6, 2013 – Liberty, 87-67
Feb. 1, 2013 – Girard, 65-63
Dec. 21, 2012 – Girard, 64-60
Feb. 3, 2012 – Liberty, 61-43

Points Scored: Girard, 64.3; Liberty, 58.2
Points Allowed: Girard, 56.3; Liberty, 59.9
Field Goal Percentage: Girard, 45.5%; Liberty, 41.8%
Free Throw Percentage: Girard, 61.4%, Liberty, 59.7%
3-Point Percentage: Girard, 38.4%; Liberty, 24.4%
Rebounds: Liberty 32.5; Girard, 29.0

Meetings This Season
Girard 62 Liberty 46 at Girard
Liberty turned the ball over 15 times compared to only 6 by Girard in a match up where the Indians prevailed at home, 62-46. Jimmy Standohar led the Indians with 18 points and 10 boards.

Liberty 87 Girard 67 at Liberty
Asim Pleas registered 31 points (22 in the 1st half) as he also had 13 rebounds and 6 assists in Liberty’s 87-67 victory. Lynn Bowden tallied 19 for the victors. The Leopards shot 58.1% from the floor while connecting on 22 free throws. Girard turned the ball over 15 times.

Last Sectional Championship
-Liberty defeated Struthers on February 25, 2005 61-51 to win their last sectional championship.

-Girard knocked off Brookfield in 2001 57-49 to win the sectional title. Two games later, the Indians won their last District championship.

Snapshot of each team
Liberty (13-10, 5-5)
On Tuesday, the Leopards won their first post-season game since 2009. Asim Pleas led Liberty with 23 points as the Leopards eliminated Berkshire 74-43 in their playoff opener. Cameron Clark also provided 18 points while Dan Markulin finished with 11.

Since Jaylen Mann graduated in 2012, Asim Pleas has become the focal point of the Leopards attack. During the last two years, Pleas has made 294 field goals in 626 attempts for a percentage of 47.0%. He’s scored 809 points during those two regular seasons. That’s good for 32% of the team’s scoring output. Asim is more than a scoring threat, his rebounding average has increased to 7.8 (compared to 4.9 last year) and he led the team in assists with a 2.4 average. The Leopards also feature Lynn Bowden (12.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Dan Markulin (5.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Cameron Clark (9.2 ppg, 5 rpg) who have all contributed to Liberty’s first winning season in three years.

Over the past four seasons, Liberty has accumulated an even 500 record (44-44) and has won 20 league match ups (20-18).

Girard (18-3, 8-2)
This season, the Indians have shot 38.4% from beyond the three-point arc as they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 8 points (64-56). On the defensive end, Girard is forcing their opponents into 16 turnovers per game. However, the opposition has been able to make over 50% of their shots from the floor (334-663).

Senior Evan Standohar will be playing in his 87th career game as he has compiled 915 points, connecting on over 100 three-pointers and hauling down over 625 rebounds in his four years. Standohar has averaged over 10 rebounds per game in each of the past two seasons (10.1 during 2013-14, 11.4 in 2012-13). Dylan O’Hara’s father (Brian) coached both Girard and Liberty. In his two seasons on the varsity level at Girard, Dylan has connected on 85 of 179 three-point attempts during the regular season (48.0%). O’Hara has seen his numbers increase from last winter to the present. He leads the team in scoring with a 17.3 average (last year: 6.5) and ranks third on the team in rebounding (4.0 compared to 1.6 last year).

The Indians began their tenure in the All-American Conference by winning just 8 league tilts in their first four years (8-30). Since Craig Hannon has taken over the helm, Girard has posted a 16-4 mark in the National Division.

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