By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School boys and girls varsity basketball teams each had their first practice for the 2015-16 season on Monday (Nov. 16).
Returning are boys’ head coach Kyle Acord and girls’ head coach Ed Smith, who will be assisted this year by 2008 Liberty Bell graduate and college basketball standout Korrie Bourn. She played for both Spokane Community College and later for Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande.
The boys’ team had an overall record of 14-8 last year including district playoffs. Returning senior Connor Cooley was named a first-team all star in the North Central Washington 2B North, and senior Micah Klemmeck was named to the second team.
Smith was named coach of the year in the 2B North league after the Lady Lions made it into post-season play after a couple of difficult years. Liberty Bell finished 5-12 overall. Returning junior Lauren Fiztmaurice was named a second-team all-star in the 2B North league last year, and returning sophomore Lauren Ochoa was honorable mention.
The season unofficially begins at the Okanogan Jamboree on Dec. 1. The regular schedule launches on Dec. 7 with varsity boys and girls games at Pateros. The first home games on are on Dec. 11 against Tonasket.
The junior high school boys team has already begun playing regular games.