By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity boys’ basketball team remains alone atop the Central Washington B League North following consecutive road wins over Oroville, 49-32, and Bridgeport, 56-35, last week.
In their first look at the Hornets on Jan. 28, the Mountain Lions shook off a sluggish first quarter to build a 17-point lead through the remainder of the game.
“We came out a little flat,” said coach Kyle Acord.
The Mountain Lions allowed Oroville to hit a trey of three pointers that kept the Hornets within one point of Liberty Bell at the end of the first period.
“After that, we did a better job of playing aggressive team defense the rest of the way to help secure the win,” Acord said.
Guards Jaymis Hanson and Austin Watson combined for 15 and 14 points respectively to help the Mountain Lions outpace Oroville.
Liberty Bell will see Oroville again when they host the Hornets at home Feb. 14.
Liberty Bell vs. Oroville
LBHS 16 14 8 11 — 49
Oroville 15 6 4 7 — 32
Jaymis Hanson 15-4-1-4
Austin Watson 14-2-4-1
Cesar Dominguez 7-6-2-0
Logan Szafas 7-5-1-0
Liam Daily 4-5-2-2
Willy Duguay 2-3-2-0
Jorge Lara 0-1-0-1
Garrett Dornfeld 0-1-0-0
Against the Mustangs at Bridgeport on Jan. 31, Liberty Bell started out “just the opposite” from Oroville, said Acord. The Mountain Lions showed “great energy in the first quarter” that helped the team jump out to an 18-6 lead.
“Then we faded a little and let Bridgeport come back against us in the second quarter,” Acord said.
The Mustangs found a second wind in a 16-point second quarter, but even with that the Mountain Lions answered with 17 of their own to maintain a 13-point margin at half time.
“I was pleased with our second-half effort,” Acord said. “Particularly the way we played in the fourth quarter, taking care of the basketball and executing our offense with a lead.”
Liberty Bell held Bridgeport to single-digit scoring in each of the last two quarters as the Mountain Lions cruised to a 21-point win.
Watson, Logan Szafas and Willy Duguay scored in double figures with 14, 11, and 10 points respectively. Liam Daily grabbed 10 boards to lead the team in rebounds.
It was Liberty Bell’s second win against league rival Bridgeport this season. In their first meeting on Jan. 14, the Mountain Lions won by 31 points, 59-28.
The Mountain Lions were scheduled to host Manson in league play Tuesday (Feb. 4). In an earlier game against the Trojans Jan. 17 Liberty Bell came away with a 27-point victory.
Liberty Bell will travel to Lake Roosevelt Friday (Feb. 7) and host White Swan on Tuesday (Feb. 11). The Mountain Lions defeated the visiting Raiders in an exciting fourth quarter battle, 53-49, Jan. 21, and plucked White Swan, 58-43, four days later.
Liberty Bell vs. Bridgeport
LBHS 18 17 13 8 — 56
Bridgeport 6 16 7 6 — 35
Austin Watson 14-1-1-3
Logan Szafas 11-5-1-2
Willy Duguay 10-8-1-1
Liam Daily 5-10-1-1
Cesar Dominguez 5-5-2-2
Jaymis Hanson 5-4-2-4
Jorge Lara 3-5-2-0
Daniel Sonnichsen 3-1-0-0