NTL BOYS' BASKETBALL: BARRETT LEADS TROY PAST NP-LIBERTY, FIRST NTL TITLE IN 11 YEARS (2021-02-23)
BY LANCE LARCOM
Northern Tier Sports Report
LIBERTY — Following one of their lowest scoring quarters on the season Monday — a seven-point third stanza that left them trailing NP-Liberty by eight points — the Troy Trojans exploded for 28 fourth-quarter points, pulling out a 62-51 win to clinch their first NTL title since 2009-2010.
“All of us have been thinking about this since the third grade basically,” said Troy guard Ty Barrett about clinching the Division-I title.
Barrett, “held” to 13 points through three quarters, took over the game in the final eight minutes, scoring 22 of his team’s 28 points.
Teammate Ethan Vannoy added 12 points, including three 3-pointers in a first quarter that saw seven treys drained between the two teams, as well as an old-fashioned three-point play by Barrett.
NP-Liberty stayed with striking distance, at 18-14, as Noah Spencer accounted for five first-quarter points, Brandon Thompson scored a pair of buckets, Koleton Roupp hit a three and Colton Litzleman added a basket.
Spencer would lead NP-Liberty in scoring with 19 points, and Thompson added 14. Colton Litzleman had 10 points, Roupp finished with six and Derek Litzleman added two points.
For Troy, in addition to Barrett’s 35 points and VanNoy’s 12, Jake Dietrick scored six points, Nick Williams had four points, Zeb Oldroyd had three and Mason Imbt chipped in with two.
The second quarter started off where the first ended, as Barrett and Oldroyd drained threes for Troy, sandwiched around a Spencer 3-pointer for NP-Liberty. The Mounties clamped down on defense and held Troy to three points the rest of the quarter, while drawing to within two points, at 27-25, at the break.
“In the locker room, we talked about how we shot 2-for-13 from inside the arc, and we were sitting there saying ‘if we have a lead now, and can finish these shots, the lead will keep growing,” remarked Barrett.
Coming out of the locker room, Colton Litzleman tied the score with a basket, and brother Derek Litzleman gave the Mounties their first lead of the night with two free throws. Four points by Barrett and three by Dietrick would be all the Trojans could muster in the third, while the Mounties rode six Thompson points, five more from Spencer and another basket by Colton Litzleman to extend their lead to 42-34.
The Trojans wasted little time erasing the deficit as the final eight minutes began, as two Barrett scores, a VanNoy 3-pointer and a free throw by Dietrick knotted the score at 42-apiece. Two free throws by Spencer, a Dietrick bucket and a 3-pointer each by Spencer and Barrett kept the tie intact at 47-all.
Litzleman hit two free throws and Barrett answered with a fadeaway jumper as the clock ticked toward two minutes left in the game.
Thompson gave Liberty a brief lead with a putback, but Barrett answered at the other end and, following a turnover by the Mounties, drained a 3-pointer for the 54-51 lead.
“I was trying to get to that pull-up three,” he said. “Once I can get one to go, I can get a bunch to go.”
The Mounties had two fouls to give before reaching the bonus to send Troy to the line, and it took precious time off the clock as they attempted to commit them after a missed shot.
Once there, Barrett drained four straight three throws to seal the win for Troy.
The victory avenges a near-miss last year, where Troy lost the league championship on a buzzer-beater against NP-Mansfield. This year, it didn’t get that close.
The Trojans will finish their regular season on Thursday when they visit Wellsboro. NP-Liberty travels to Canton Wednesday.
Original article can be found at the Northern Tier Sports Report Website below.