Lily Stoothoff (No. 31), Monica Chavey (No. 33) and Sarina Williams (center, background) battle on the offensive boards during last weekend’s loss to Tonasket. Photo by Don Nelson

Lily Stoothoff (No. 31), Monica Chavey (No. 33) and Sarina Williams (center, background) battle on the offensive boards during last weekend’s loss to Tonasket. Photo by Don Nelson

By Mike Maltais

The Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ basketball team gave visiting Tonasket a scare in the fourth quarter of their game last Friday (Dec. 6) when the young Lady Lions closed to within six points of the 1A Tigers but lost down the stretch, 44-31.

Coach Deed Fink said he was “absolutely pleased” with the way his team rose to the occasion in their first full game of the season against an older, more experienced opponent.

“We started slow,” said Fink. “We committed 18 turnovers and Tonasket spotted us 16 points in the first half.”

The Tigers brought six seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and a freshman with their varsity line-up. The Lady Lions had almost the reverse order of varsity players – six freshmen, a sophomore, two juniors and a senior.

The Lady Lions adjusted to the roster imbalance, settled down in the second half and made a run at the Tigers in the final two quarters, outscoring their opponents in the process of cutting Tonasket’s lead to single digits.

Junior veteran Sarina Williams led Liberty Bell with 10 points, Monica Chavey contributed nine, Julie McMillan and Lauren Fitzmaurice added five apiece and Erin Knight scored two.

“I think we’re going to surprise a few opponents this season,” Fink predicted.

The coach added that he has a good bench of substitutes and is bringing the team along as the players work on fundamentals and defense.

“We’re playing man-to-man defense right now and are continually working on fundamentals, always the fundamentals,” Fink said, adding that these are a fun bunch of girls to be coaching.

The Lady Lions were scheduled to play the Nannies at Pateros on Tuesday (Dec. 10). Liberty Bell will be in Omak on Thursday (Dec. 12) to take on the Pioneers and will travel to Waterville to face the Shockers on Tuesday, Dec. 17.