Liberty 72, Fauquier 64
Junior guard Davon Deans lost a contact lens in the opening moments of Liberty's 72-64 win over Fauquier in tonight's Virginia AA Region II semifinal, but his hampered vision did not seem to hinder him much.
With one good eye, Deans had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals at James Madison University's Convocation Center, helping Liberty earn its first victory over Fauquier in the past eight meetings.
"I couldn't see anything the entire game, the rim was just an orange blur," Deans said. "I couldn't do much shooting, so I just tried to do other things, like grabbing rebounds or finding my teammates."
Liberty (18-6) clinched a spot in the state tournament with the victory, but first will face the winner of the late semifinal between Lee-Staunton and Turner Ashby here at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Region II final.
"It's a big win for us because you get two more games, and this is our first state berth in school history," Liberty Coach Paul Frye said. "We have a chance to win the regional championship, and you take those every time you can get it."
As Liberty built a 20-point lead in the third quarter, junior guard A.J. Brown, junior center Jeff Washington and sophomore guard Justin Carrington began to get in on the spoils. Brown finished with 15 points and Washington and Carrington combined to score 25.
Fauquier, the AA Northwestern District regular season and conference champion, finished 22-3. The loss ended what was one of the best seasons in team history. The Falcons' win total is the highest since 1996-97, when they won 24 games and advanced to the Virginia AA semifinals.
Senior guard Nathan Johnson had 18 points, including four second-half three-pointers, and senior guard Kevin Kelley had 21 points for the Falcons.
"We had a great season, we played hard all season," Fauquier Coach Wayne Brizzi said. "You have to give them credit; they were the better team tonight."