By Mike Maltais

A young but determined team of Liberty Bell High School varsity basketball girls will be short two key starters when they host Oroville’s Lady Hornets in their final game of the season this Friday (Feb. 14).

Veteran junior Sarina Williams and sophomore Monica Chavey, both out with late season knee injuries, will leave the Lady Lions without two of the team’s best scoring threats.

The 8-1 Oroville girls, leaders in the Central Washington B League North division, will face a Liberty Bell team that is calling up four eighth graders from the junior varsity ranks to join the varsity roster for Friday’s Senior Night contest.

It has been both a building and learning season for the Lady Lions, whose 1-8 league record puts them in the cellar on the CWB North. Their single league victory was a 43-33 win over CWB South division rival Riverside Christian on Jan. 11. In non-league play, Liberty Bell defeated Columbia Basin Secondary School, 37-26, on Jan. 18.

The win-loss record aside, coach Deed Fink has high praise for his young players who will lose only one player, senior Julie McMillan, to graduation.

“We played some tough opponents and had several close losses where the games could have gone either way,” Fink said.

Along with Williams, Erin Knight is the only other junior in the lineup. The remainder of the team is comprised of freshmen and eighth graders. Among them, Lauren Fitzmaurice, Exie Romero, Lily Stoothoff, Mihayla Phillips and Megan Dammann saw valuable playing time that will serve the team well when they return as veterans next season.