The Liberty Bell High School boys’ basketball team outplayed visiting Waterville-Mansfield for the final three quarters last Friday (Jan. 11), but fell just short of recovering from a sluggish first quarter in a 40-39 loss.
Earlier in the season, the Mountain Lions beat the Shockers by the identical score at Waterville-Mansfield, and this one was just as dramatic. Liberty Bell had a shot at victory with just a few seconds on the clock, but could not convert. The loss left the Mountain Lions with a 2-7 record in league play, 3-10 overall.
Cold shooting resulted in the Mountain Lions trailing by 12-4 at the end of the first quarter. But three-pointers by Simon Studen and Dusty Patterson boosted Liberty Bell to a 19-19 tie just before the end of the half, which ended with Waterville-Mansfield up 22-19.
The visitors rebuilt their lead to 31-24 by the end of the third quarter, as the Mountain Lions could manage only five points.
Just when the Shockers built their lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, Patterson hit another trey, Nolan Falcon-George converted two free throws after a technical foul on Waterville-Mansfield, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega scored two buckets and the home team took a 39-38 lead with about a minute-and-a-half to go in the game.
A basket put Waterville-Mansfield back in the lead. After the visitors missed the first end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with about 20 seconds left, Studen appeared to score the go-ahead basket but was called for traveling. The Mountain Lions got one more opportunity but fell short at the buzzer.
Gonzalez-Ortega was Liberty Bell’s leading scorer with 10 points. Patterson and Studen had eight points each.
Liberty Bell hosted Tonasket on Tuesday (Jan. 15). Next up is a trip to league-leading Brewster on Friday (Jan. 18).
W-M 40, Liberty Bell 39
Liberty Bell 4 15 5 15 39
W-M 12 10 9 9 40
Lucaas Gonzales-Ortega 10, Dusty Patterson 8, Simon Studen 8, Deken Smith 6, Nolan Falcon-George 5, Shay Crandall 2
W-M JV 36, Liberty Bell JV 27
Sebastian Kar 9, Alex Whites 7, Logan Hall 5, Grey Patterson 2, Marshall Budrow 2
Scoring after 13 games: Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 118, Dusty Patterson 98, Simon Studen 71, Owen Hevly 70, Nolan Falcon-George 68, Deken Smith 27, Tyler Darwood 25, Shay Crandall 22, Tommy Knox 12