By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity boys’ basketball team started the league season with losses against tough 2B South opponents Kittitas, 50-39, and Riverside Christian, 57-48, last week.
“Unfortunately, both games turned out to be quite similar, with similar final results,” said coach Kyle Acord. “Kittitas and Riverside Christian both play very tough, aggressive defense. Kittitas, particularly, was able to take us out of an offensive rhythm.”
“Another similarity in both games was our inability to execute offensively in the second half,” the coach said. “We went through stretches in both games where we did not take care of the basketball.”
Only one point separated the Coyotes and Liberty Bell midway through the game on Jan. 7. But through the second half, Kittitas capitalized on eight-for-10 shooting at the foul stripe to protect an 11-point lead at the buzzer.
Liberty Bell vs. Kittitas
LBHS 12 11 6 10 – 39
Kittitas 14 8 13 15 – 50
Logan Szafas 11-5-2-0
Jaymis Hanson 10-1-1-4
Liam Daily 6-7-0-3
Willy Duguay 4-6-2-2
Austin Watson 3-0-1-2
Cesar Dominguez 3-7-1-1
Jorge Lara 2-2-0-0
Riverside holds on
Against visiting Riverside Christian on Saturday, only a narrow two-point margin separated both teams as they headed to the halftime locker room.
The Mountain Lions made a run at the Crusaders midway into the fourth quarter but once again it was Riverside’s 10-for-11shooting from the free throw line that made the difference in the Crusaders’ nine-point lead going into the final minutes of play.
Szafas, with 11 points, was the only Mountain Lion to break into double digits. Other scorers were Jorge Lara, 9; Liam Daily, 8; Cesar Dominguez, 5; Austin Watson, 5; Jaymis Hanson, 5; and Willy Duguay, 5. Daniel Sonnichsen, Connor Cooley and Micah Klemmeck played but did not score.
Acord said he hopes to get his team back on track with two more league games this week. The Mountain Lions were scheduled to host Bridgeport Tuesday (Jan. 14) and will meet the Trojans at Manson Friday (Jan. 17).
On Saturday (Jan. 18) Liberty Bell will host Columbia Basin Secondary School in a non-league game starting at 3 p.m. for girls and 4:30 p.m. for boys.
On Tuesday (Jan. 21) Liberty Bell will host league opponent Lake Roosevelt with game times starting at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively for girls and boys.