By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School boys’ varsity basketball team made the most of the miles with two road wins against Waterville and Entiat last week. Liberty Bell rallied from a slow first quarter start to defeat the Shockers, 44-36, at Waterville on Dec. 17 and pulled out a 69-65 overtime win against Entiat in a game at the Toyota Town Center in Wenatchee on Friday.
Shockers lose by 4
“Waterville came out with very strong play and it took us a while to match their intensity,” said coach Kyle Acord of the early lead taken by the Shockers through the first quarter.
Despite what the coach called “a slow start,” the Mountain Lions picked up the tempo and put the pressure on Waterville’s scorers.
“After adjusting in the second quarter, we went on to outscore Waterville, 39-25, the rest of the way in another strong defensive performance, holding an opponent to less than 40 points for the second straight game,” Acord said.
Guards Austin Watson and Jaymis Hanson led Liberty Bell in scoring with 14 and 13 points respectively. Willy Duguay and Liam Daily led rebounding with seven and six boards respectively. Sophomore Connor Cooley, new to the varsity lineup, added four points and five rebounds to the Mountain Lions’ win.
Liberty Bell vs. Waterville
LBHS 5 17 10 12 – 44
Waterville 11 10 4 11 – 36
Austin Watson 14-3-0-0
Jaymis Hanson 13-4-5-7
Liam Daily 6-6-3-2
Willy Duguay 4-7-0-0
Connor Cooley 4-5-0-0
Jorge Lara 2-3-2-0
Daniel Sonnichsen 1-0-0-0
Entiat falls in OT
A slow start in their last two outings against Omak and Waterville “became a point of emphasis for us heading into the Entiat game,” Acord said, “and once again, the guys responded well.”
As a consequence “we had our best first quarter so far this year,” Acord said, “jumping out to a 19-4 lead. Nine different players all contributed with solid play in that first quarter.”
The Mountain Lions went into the locker room with a 13-point half time lead and Entiat used the intermission to “make some adjustments” and when the teams returned to the floor “the second half was a different story,” Acord said.
Solid offensive play combined with effective three-point shooting allowed the Tigers to “chip away at our lead,” Acord said.
Watson, who led the scoring for Liberty Bell with 18 points, made a key basket with less than 35 seconds to play that knotted the score at 57 all.
“Hanson then took a charge to get a big stop defensively with 14 seconds left,” Acord said. “However, we were unable to score on the ensuing possession, sending the game into overtime.”
The Mountain Lions took the early lead in OT but it was the free throw line that made the difference for Liberty Bell as the Mountain Lions hit six-of-nine from the foul stripe.
“Jorge Lara also came up with a big steal and basket to put us ahead by five points with less than a minute left to help seal the victory,” Acord said.
Watson and Hanson hit for 18 and 17 points against the Tigers, while “Willy Duguay and Liam Daily continued to lead us in rebounding for both games,” said Acord. “Against Entiat, we had a much more balanced scoring attack however, with eight of 10 players contributing.”
The Mountain Lions will travel to the Tonasket Christmas Tournament Friday and Saturday (Dec. 27-28). Liberty Bell will play Okanogan at noon while Tonasket takes on Lake Roosevelt at 4 p.m. Friday. Winners and losers from Friday’s games will return on Saturday afternoon for the finals.
Last Saturday morning the varsity boys’ basketball team and coaches took time to participate in the annual Christmas Food Basket event at Hank’s Harvest Foods, where the players loaded vehicles and helped with deliveries around the community.
Liberty Bell vs. Entiat
LBHS 19 16 14 8 12(OT) – 69
Entiat 4 18 19 16 8(OT) – 65
Austin Watson 18-0-2-0
Jaymis Hanson 17-7-2-4
Willy Duguay 9-8-2-3
Liam Daily 6-6-3-2
Connor Cooley 6-3-0-3
Daniel Sonnichsen 2-0-3-0
Cesar Dominguez 6-0-0-0
Jorge Lara 5-0-2-0