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Saturday’s 2B Boys BB: Liberty Edges Toledo in Regionals

Toledo’s Reece Wallace shoots against Liberty on Saturday in Chehalis.

STILL GOING: Wallace’s Big Shot Gives Toledo a Brief Lead in 45-42 Loss to Lancers

By Aaron VanTuyl

avantuyl@chronline.com

It wasn’t the Indians best outing of the season — but the good news is, it won’t be their last.

Liberty hit four free throws in the final 2 seconds to offset a huge 4-point play from Reece Wallace and edge Toledo, 45-42, in a 2B regional boys basketball game Saturday afternoon in Chehalis.

The loss means Toledo (21-5) plays in a loser-out state game on Wednesday in Spokane against either Crosspoint or Colfax.

On Saturday, though, Toledo couldn’t get much going. The Indians turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, lost Wallace to foul trouble in the second quarter and didn’t hit a 3-pointer until midway through the third quarter.

“They’re big and long, I guess, and they give us a little trouble,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said of Liberty, which started frontcourt standing 6-foot-5, 6-3 and 6-1. “We didn’t make a shot on the outside the first half, so I’m just trying to keep them in it, and tell them to keep the fight and weather the storm, and we did.”

Liberty led 18-14 at halftime and trailed 25-18 before Andreas Malunat broke the 3-point drought with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the third.

“It seemed really slow to me,” Fallon said. “We knew every possession was going to be important, but I just felt like it was slow-motion, almost.”

The Lancers’ 7-point advantage, though, held until midway through the fourth, when Wallace cashed in a 3-pointer. The Lancers hit a pair of free throws, but Wallace answered with two of his own and Malunat hit another 3 to cut the lead to 39-38 with 1:22 to play.

Liberty guard Jawuan Nave hit two more foul shots, but with 9.5 seconds to play Wallace knocked down a 3 from the corner and drew a foul, adding the free throw to give Toledo its first lead of the game at 42-41.

“It was emotional, for sure,” Fallon said. “They could have folded up, but they didn’t quit. Andreas knocked down some big shots, again, and that 3 in the corner (from Wallace) was huge. Even if they didn’t call a foul, it was a big shot, and we’ve just got to hold them.”

Nave, though, found his way to the line once again, drawing a foul on a midrange jumper with 1.3 seconds left on the clock. He hit both to put the Lancers back in front, and Toledo’s full-court inbounds pass went out of bounds to give Liberty possession again without taking any time off the clock.

Forward Thomas Redder added two freebies a fraction of a second later for the final margin.

Wallace scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the last 10 minutes, but Toledo shot just 7 of 29 from inside the 3-point arc and missed all six shots inside the line in the fourth quarter.

Malunat added 9 points, and Fano Arceo-Hansen grabbed eight rebounds.

Redder led Liberty with 15. Brandon Hollinger scored 11 with 10 rebounds for the Lancers (21-3), who play on Thursday in the double-elimination tournament against the winner of Wednesday’s Morton-White Pass/Friday Harbor game.

Toledo plays at 3:45 p.m. in a do-or-die game in the Spokane Arena.

“Everybody’s good at this point. It’s who’s playing well,” Fallon said. “Even the underdogs, they made it for a reason, so if you show up to play that day, you show up. You could still win the gold ball now.”

At Chehalis

LANCERS 45, INDIANS 42

Liberty 10 8 15 12 —45

Toledo   6 8 12 16 —42

Liberty (45) — Nave 8, Holling 11, Redder 15, Ottmar 6, Jeske 5

FG: 15 of 44 —.341 FT: 14 of 18 —.778 Reb. 27 (Holling 10)

Toledo (42) — Wood 6, Arceo-Hansen 3, Arroyo 6, Farbo 2, R. Wallace 14, Malunat 9, W. Wallace 2

FG: 13 of 46 —.282 FT: 10 of 13 —.769 Reb. 26 (Arceo-Hansen 8)

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