By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team protected a narrow victory on its home court against Tonasket last week, but dropped games to Lake Roosevelt in the Lady Lions’ gym and then to Oroville on the road.
Liberty Bell prevailed over Tonasket, 33-32, on Jan. 20; lost to Lake Roosevelt, 50-34, on Thursday (Jan. 22); and fell to Oroville, 69-37, on Friday (Jan. 23).
In the Tonasket game, Liberty Bell built a commanding first-half lead, heading to the locker room ahead by 22-8.
Tonasket made a strong run in the early minutes of the second half, closing to 27-18 at the end of the third quarter.
It was hang-on-for-dear-life time in the fourth quarter as Tonasket outscored the Lady Lions, 14-6, to nearly steal the win.
Liberty Bell sophomore Lauren Fitzmaurice hit the most critical shot of the game: a three-pointer that put the Lady Lions up, 33-25. Those were the last points Liberty Bell would score as they were blanked for more than four minutes. Tonasket had one last opportunity, but missed its final shot at the buzzer.
Fitzmaurice led the Lady Lions’ scoring with 13 points. Katie Labanauskas added six, Ashley Watson, Monica Chavey and Lauren Ochoa each had three, Sarina Williams and Exie Romero scored two, and Erin Knight finished with one.
Fitzmaurice had another strong night against Lake Roosevelt, tallying 16 points. But it wasn’t enough to fend off the Raiders. Ochoa added six points, Watson five, Williams three, and Labanauskas and Knight each chipped in two points.
The weary Lady Lions couldn’t keep up with Oroville on the road. Chavey led the Liberty Bell scoring with nine points, followed by Fitzmaurice, Ochoa and Watson with seven each, Williams with five and Romero with two.
“After staying up late studying for semester finals this week and playing back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, the girls just ran out of steam,” coach Ed Smith said.
Liberty Bell was schedule to host Brewster on Tuesday (Jan. 27), travel to Bridgeport on Friday (Jan. 30), then return for a home game against Okanogan next Monday (Feb. 2).
Standings, North Central Washington 2B North
Okanogan 9-0 15-0
Lake Roosevelt 8-2 9-3
Brewster 7-4 8-8
Oroville 6-3 9-6
Liberty Bell 3-7 3-9
Manson 2-7 5-10
Tonasket 2-9 3-11
Bridgeport 2-9 3-10