Photo by Don Nelson
Liberty Bell’s Devin Surface, No. 30, looked for a passing lane as Ali Palm, Carlynn Treise and Lauren Ochoa worked to get open.

By Don Nelson

The Liberty Bell High School’s girls’ basketball team started Saturday’s home game against Bridgeport with only seven players suited up. But that was more than enough, as the Lady Lions registered their highest point total of the season and tripled-up the Fillies, 66 – 22.

Sophomore Tommie Ochoa was out with an injured wrist, and freshman Sammy Curtis suffered an injured ankle. They were on the bench in street clothes. Head coach Ed Smith opted to start freshman Destiny Ferreira.

Liberty Bell blasted to a quick 26 – 8 first-quarter lead and never looked back. The quarter concluded with senior Carlynn Treise being fouled on a missed three-point shot. She made all three free throws. The half ended with the Lady Lions up by 40 – 10.

Liberty Bell’s aggressive defense continued in the third quarter, which ended with the Lady Lions leading 51 – 15. And although Ferreira fouled out with 36 seconds left in the game, Liberty Bell didn’t get into appreciable foul trouble.

Seniors Lauren Ochoa (21 points) and Katie Labanauskas (18 points) led the way for the Lady Lions. Smith said Curtis will be back at practice this week, but Tommie Ochoa’s status is day-to-day.

Smith said it would have been easy for the Lady Lions to be worried about having only two subs on the bench. “But they stepped it up and decided they wanted to play tonight,” he said.

The big win came on the heels of a Thursday night (Jan. 4) 50 – 37 loss at Tonasket. Curtis was injured in that game, and Tommie Ochoa was already out of action, Smith said — and that made a difference against the Tigers. Liberty Bell and Tonasket are now tied for second place in league play behind Brewster with 6 – 2 records.

Smith said the Lady Lions shot poorly (22 percent) at Tonasket, but still kept it close until the final minutes. Lauren Ochoa was Liberty Bell’s leading scorer with 10 points.

Earlier in the week, Liberty Bell prevailed over Manson in a low-scoring road game, 33 – 24. Lauren Ochoa was also the top scorer with 12 points.

The Lady Lions’ overall season record is 6 – 6. They host Manson on Thursday (Jan. 11) with tipoff at 6 p.m. They travel to Waterville-Mansfield on Saturday (Jan. 13), playing at Mansfield High School, then host Roosevelt on Tuesday (Jan. 16), starting at 6 p.m.

Liberty Bell 33, Manson 24

Lauren Ochoa 12, Ali Palm 9, Katie Labanauskas 7, Carlynn Treise 3, Emily Paul 2.

Liberty Bell JV 48, Manson JV 11

Jadyn Mitchell 13, Destiny Ferreira 7, Willow Temple 6, Maddie Surface 6, Caitlyn Cooley 6, McKenna Ott 4, Hailey Dammann 2, Hannah Bakke 2, Shae Taylor 2.

Tonasket 50, Liberty Bell 37

Lauren Ochoa 10, Ali Palm 8, Carlynn Treise 6, Katie Labanauskas 4, Destiny Ferreira 3, Emily Paul 3, Devin Surface 2, Sammy Curtis 1.

Liberty Bell JV 42, Tonasket JV 14

McKenna Ott 14, Jadyn Mitchell 12, Destiny Ferreira 5, Maddie Surface 3, Caitlyn Cooley 3, Jordan Flett 2, A’leigh Priest 2, Hannah Bakke 1.

Liberty Bell 66, Bridgeport 22

Lauren Ochoa 21, Katie Labanauskas 18, Carlynn Treise 7, Devin Surface 7, Destiny Ferreira 6, Ali Palm 5, Emily Paul 2.

Liberty Bell JV 53, Bridgeport JV 26

Jadyn Mitchell 22, McKenna Ott 10, Caitlyn Cooley 9, Hannah Bakke 4, Jordan Flett 3, Maddie Surface 3, Naomi Carter 2

Leading scorers through 12 games (total points): Lauren Ochoa 139, Katie Labanauskas 96, Sammy Curtis 70, Ali Palm 67, Carlynn Treise 44, Tommie Ochoa 41, Devin Surface 23, Destiny Ferreira 19, Emily Paul 14, Willow Temple 3.