Liberty beats Scales Mound, prepares to take on Yorkville Christian

After listening to Liberty senior Devin Klauser it appears Yorkville Christian may be in for a much bigger challenge in the Class 1A state title game on Saturday.

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Liberty’s Devin Klauser (20) looks to pass the ball against Scales Mound.

Liberty’s Devin Klauser (20) looks to pass the ball against Scales Mound.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

CHAMPAIGN, IL–It might not be fair to say that Steeleville, Yorkville Christian’s opponent in the Class 1A state semifinals on Thursday, was just happy to be here.

But after listening to Liberty senior Devin Klauser it appears the Mustangs may be in for a much bigger challenge in the Class 1A state title game on Saturday.

Liberty coach Greg Altmix had to jokingly take the microphone away from Klauser in the press conference after his team beat Scales Mound 75-41 in the second semifinal.

Klauser had Yorkville Christian on his mind immediately after the victory. A reporter asked him about four turnovers that Liberty committed early in the game.

“We just wanted to give Yorkville some hope,” Klauser joked.

The Mustangs are overwhelming favorites in the title game. Yorkville Christian’s average margin of victory in their seven tournament wins so far is 44 points.

“We think we are going to beat them because, honestly, their defense is kind of sloppy,” Klauser said. “We’re just hoping that we hit them early and we can slow down the game and keep the lead. It’s going to be interesting. They are obviously a really good team but I think we can take them.”

Liberty (30-5) overwhelmed Scales Mound (35-3) with size. Logan Robbins, a 6-5 senior, and Breiton Klingele, a 6-4 senior, both start for the Eagles, and 6-6 Klauser comes off the bench.

Liberty’s bench reacts during the game against Scales Mound.

Liberty’s bench reacts during the game against Scales Mound.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

“They defended well around the rim,” Scales Mound coach Erik Kudronowicz said. “Their effort and energy, especially in the lane, was just difficult for us.”

Klauser led Liberty with 22 points and Klingele added 17. Ben Werner scored 15 for Scales Mound.

Altmix didn’t share Klauser’s bold confidence about the matchup against Yorkville Christian on Saturday.

“We’ve got a couple more 6-8, 6-9 guys coming in,” Altmix joked. “When they arrive I’ll have about ten guys I will be able to run out there.

“Yorkville Christian has an incredible team. You’re going to see us come out and give it everything we’ve got and give it our best. If it is good enough, great. If not, we will understand that we can walk off the court with our heads held high.”

Liberty vs. Scales Mound box score

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