By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School boys’ basketball team followed up what coach Kyle Acord called a flat performance against Lake Roosevelt with a much stronger game against Oroville last week.
Playing two of the top three teams in the league, the Mountain Lions fell to the visiting Raiders, 75-20, on Jan. 3, and lost at Oroville, 65-45, on Jan. 5. Brewster and Oroville are tied for first in the league, and Lake Roosevelt is in third place.
Liberty Bell finished the first half of league play with a 2-5 record (3-9 overall), and host one of the teams it beat earlier — Waterville-Mansfield — on Friday (Jan. 11), tipping off at 7:30 p.m.
“Against a very good Lake Roosevelt team, we came out flat and did not play well,” Acord said. “We talked a lot about keeping focus and playing through adversity and I thought we did a much better job against another very good team in Oroville. Hopefully, we can build on the Oroville game for the second half of league play.”
The Raiders raced to a 24-6 lead in the first quarter and didn’t let up. Lake Roosevelt, clearly not angling for the league’s sportsmanship trophy, continued a full-court press into the fourth quarter with a 50-point lead.
Sophomore Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega, the team’s leading scorer so far this season, led Liberty Bell’s scoring with eight points and had five rebounds.
At Oroville, Liberty Bell again got off to a slow start and trailed 39-18 at halftime. But the Mountain Lions outscored the Hornets in the second half, 27-26.
Senior Owen Hevly led Liberty Bell’s scoring with 10 points, his best game of the year, and had five rebounds and four assists. Gonzalez-Ortega added eight points, as did sophomore Nolan Falcon-George.
Lake Roosevelt 75, Liberty Bell 20
Lake Roosevelt 24 20 19 12 75
Liberty Bell 6 5 6 3 20
Deken Smith 0, Owen Hevly 0, Tommy Knox 0, Nolan Falcon-George 4, Dusty Patterson 4, Simon Studen 0, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 8, Tyler Darwood 2, Shay Crandall 2
Lake Roosevelt JV 58, Liberty Bell JV 18: David Kominak 8, Magnus Treise 7, Grey Patterson 2, Logan Hall 2
Oroville 65, Liberty Bell 45
Liberty Bell 7 11 11 16 45
Oroville 18 21 14 12 65
Owen Hevly 10, Tommy Knox 2, Nolan Falcon-George 8, Dusty Patterson 4, Simon Studen 7, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 8, Tyler Darwood 0, Shay Crandall 6
Oroville JV 43, Liberty Bell JV 23: Alex Whites 7, David Kominak 6, Magnus Treise 6, Grey Patterson 4
Scoring after 12 games: Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 108, Dusty Patterson 90, Owen Hevly 70, Simon Studen 63, Nolan Falcon-George 63, Tyler Darwood 25, Deken Smith 21, Shay Crandall 20, Tommy Knox 12