Liberty Christian and Seton Catholic, both members of the Pioneer Academic and Athletic Conference, renewed their rivalry on Saturday, March 9, for the Regional Championship at the New Castle Fieldhouse.

The teams met Jan. 12 during the regular season with Seton Catholic taking a 67-57 victory. On Saturday, the Lions avenged the loss by the score of 77-72 to advance to the semi-state.

The Lions used defensive pressure that eventually allowed them to pull away in the second half. The Lions, who started three freshmen, dictated the pace of the game.

Seton Catholic’s Malik Walker dives on the ball while Tyson Tremain and Nolan Burkhardt block out Liberty Christian’s Tamarje English. Photo by Sherry Stuart

There were eight lead changes in the first half. The Cardinals broke from a 5-5 tie to take a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lions led 32-30 at halftime.

The second half was even more intense. The score was tied six times in the third quarter, the last time at 46-46, before the Lions scored the last seven points of the period off three consecutive steals to take a 53-46 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals were never able to regain the lead, but they battled to the end.

Kendrick Martin led the Lions with 23 points. Devin Kelley scored 16 points; Tamarje English scored 14, and Tywaine Fuller scored 11. Mason Harvey led the Cardinals and all game scorers with 27 points.  

Seton Catholic’s Mason Harvey shoots over Liberty Christian’s Kendrick Martin. Photo by Sherry Stuart

Cardinal head coach Josh Jurgens expressed pride in his seniors. “I love my seniors and I will miss them,” Jurgens said. “They accumulated the second most wins in school history and had a chance to play for a regional championship. Even though they came up just short I could not be prouder of them and what they accomplished. In the game today, we did not handle their defensive pressure well and we missed a lot of free throws. But I have no complaints. The seniors played for the seniors, the underclassmen played for the seniors, and everybody played for the team. It is amazing that a school our size keeps getting back to the regional. It is amazing how many 1,000-point scorers we have had. I am happy with what this program has accomplished.”  

It was the final game in a Seton Catholic basketball uniform for seniors Nolan Burkhardt, Diego Julian, Mason Harvey, Sonny Stanley, Malik Walker, and Andrew Warner.

Liberty Christian (16-10)   10  22  21  24  77

Devin Kelley 16, Tywaine Fuller 11, A’Marien Pace 5, Tamarje English 14, Kendrick Martin 23, Jordan Haralson 3, Marquis Kelley 0, Jerramie Johnson 5 – Total 77

Seton Catholic (19-8)          13  17  16  26  72

Eric Parker 5, Tyson Tremain 3, Andrew Warner 9, Harvey 27, Jackson Feist 7, Jason Moynihan 8, Malik Walker 9, Sonny Stanley 0, Nolan Burkhardt 4 – Total 72


Share this:

A version of this article appeared in the March 13 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Dan Harney is a sports reporter at the Western Wayne News.