Photo by Don Nelson Liberty Bell coach Kyle Acord outlines strategy late in a close game against Manson.

Photo by Don Nelson

Liberty Bell coach Kyle Acord outlines strategy late in a close game against Manson.

By Don Nelson

The Liberty Bell High School varsity boys’ basketball team made one big comeback, then prevented another, to win its final two regular season games week: a 49-48 victory at Okanogan, and 58-55 home court win over Mason.

The Mountain Lions begin post-season play on Wednesday (Feb. 10) against Warden, the first-place team in the Central Washington 2B South league, at Eastmont High School in East Wenatchee. Tip-off is at 6:45 p.m. Their second game will be on Saturday at Eastmont, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with the opponent depending on first-round results.

Liberty Bell finished with a 9-5 record in league play, and 13-7 overall. Warden went 8-2 in league play and 17-3 overall.

Against Okanogan, Liberty Bell edged to a two-point lead after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs began hitting their shots — while the Mountain Lions did not — and took a 34-23 lead into halftime.

Liberty Bell fell behind by as much as 15 points in the third quarter before launching a comeback that steadily eroded Okanogan’s lead.

“We took our first lead with less than a minute left,” coach Kyle Acord said. “Increased intensity on the defensive end, combined with some key shots down the stretch, made the difference in the win.”

Micah Klemmeck led the Mountain Lions with 18 points and pilfered eight steals. Connor Cooley added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Ben Klemmeck scored nine points.

Against Manson, it was Liberty Bell that jumped to a sizable lead, up 33-20 at halftime after a quick start that included another crowd-rousing breakaway dunk by Micah Klemmeck. But then Klemmeck got his fourth foul with six minutes left in the third quarter, Liberty Bell didn’t score for more than five minutes, and Manson got hot behind the three-point line to cut the lead to three before Ben Klemmeck drained a crucial trey. Manson scored at the buzzer and went into the fourth quarter trailing Liberty Bell by five points.

It got tighter. Liberty Bell’s lead was 44-42 with a little more than six minutes left. Micah Klemmeck fouled out with about 4:30 left, and Manson closed the gap to one point, 51-50.

Ben Klemmeck then drilled another timely three-pointer, Josh Frey banked in a jump shot, and the Mountain Lions hung on through the final two minutes for the win.

Micah Klemmeck led Liberty Bell’s scoring with 13 points and snatched six steals. Frey had 11 points, Andrew Reggiatore10 and Ben Klemmeck eight. Cooley scored eight points, grabbed 10 rebounds with aggressive board play and added two ferocious blocked shots.

Liberty Bell 49, Okanogan 48

Liberty Bell

17

6

9

17

49

Okanogan

15

19

8

6

48

pts

rbds

stls

assts

Chase VanderYacht

2

2

2

3

Ben Klemmeck

9

5

3

3

Andrew Reggiatore

6

3

2

2

Leif Portman-Bown

2

1

0

2

Connor Cooley

12

8

2

0

Micah Klemmeck

18

4

8

3

Carter Dornfeld

0

1

0

0

Josh Frey

0

2

0

0

Liberty Bell 58, Manson 55

Manson

15

5

17

18

55

Liberty Bell

16

17

9

16

58

pts

rbds

stls

assts

Chase VanderYacht

5

6

2

3

Ben Klemmeck

8

2

4

1

Andrew Reggiatore

10

4

1

1

Leif Portman-Bown

0

1

0

0

Connor Cooley

9

10

1

3

Micah Klemmeck

13

1

6

2

Carter Dornfeld

2

1

0

2

Josh Frey

11

4

1

0

Through 20 games

games

pts

avg

Connor Cooley

20

327

16.4

Micah Klemmeck

18

290

16.1

Andrew Reggiatore

18

156

8.7

Ben Klemmeck

20

170

8.5

Josh Frey

19

101

5.3

Chase VanderYacht

20

62

3.1

Carter Dornfeld

19

45

2.4

Leif Portman-Bown

19

29

1.5

Brendan Saling

2

2

1.0

Zane Herrera

8

6

0.8