The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team easily handled 1B Pateros and played nearly well enough to beat 1A Omak in opening-season games last week, so it will be interesting to see how the Lady Lions compete against 2B opponents when league play begins Tuesday (Dec. 4) at Waterville-Mansfield.
Liberty Bell opened the season on its home court with a 53-35 win over visiting Pateros on Nov. 29. The Nannies actually started the game with a 4-0 lead and kept even with the Lady Lions, 11-11, through the first quarter.
Liberty Bell broke away in the second quarter, going on a 23-point spree that was ignited by sophomore Madison Surface’s three-pointer for a 16-11 lead. The half ended with Liberty Bell up by 18, 34-16.
The Mountain Lions extended their margin by a couple of points to finish the third quarter with a 44-24 lead. The Nannies could not make an appreciable dent in that gap during the final quarter.
The Lady Lions were led in scoring by sophomore Sammie Curtis with 15 points, followed by freshman Jadyn Mitchell with 11 points. Surface added 9 points.
Liberty Bell was at home again to face visiting Omak on Saturday (Dec. 1), and the Pioneers squeaked by with a 51-47 win. The Lady Lions were a bit unsteady early, with too many turnovers contributing to a 16-6 Omak lead at the end of the first quarter.
After that, however, Liberty Bell kept pace over the next three quarters, making a strong challenge at the end of the game.
The half ended with the Pioneers still ahead by 10, 31-21. The Lady Lions cut that margin in half with a strong third quarter which ended with Pateros up, 38-33, in large part due to Liberty Bell’s aggressive defensive play.
The Lady Lions got within four on a breakaway lay-in by junior Tommie Ochoa, and then cut the lead to three, 45-42, on a basket by Mitchell with a little more than 1:12 left in the game.
The final 72 seconds were intense. After Omak scored, Curtis canned two free throws to make it 47-44, Pioneers. Mitchell made one of two free throws to bring the Lady Lions as close as they would get, at 47-45, but she then fouled out with 42 seconds to go.
Omak added a couple of free throws to make it 49-45, and Liberty Bell responded when sophomore Destiny Ferreira scored on a drive to the hoop, closing it to 49-47 with 10 seconds on the clock. Omak closed it out with a couple of free throws for the 51-47 win.
Mitchell led the Lady Lions’ scoring with 14 points. Curtis added 7 points.
After Tuesday’s contest at Waterville-Mansfield, Liberty Bell will travel to Tonasket on Friday (Dec. 7), then host perennial powerhouse Brewster next Tuesday (Dec. 11), tipping off at 6 p.m.
Liberty Bell 53, Pateros 35
Pateros 11 5 8 11 35
Liberty Bell 11 23 10 9 53
Jadyn Mitchell 11, Tommie Ochoa 2, Madison Surface 9, Destiny Ferreira 3, Sammie Curtis 15, Hailey Damman 3, Hannah Bakke 2, McKenna Ott 2, Shae Taylor 6
Omak 51, Liberty Bell 47
Omak 16 15 7 13 51
Liberty Bell 6 15 12 14 47
Jadyn Mitchell 14, Tommie Ochoa 4, Destiny Ferreira 4, Sammie Curtis 7, Ali Palm 4, Hailey Damman 7, Hannah Bakke 6