The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team has advanced to the regional playoffs after finishing third in the 2B District 5/6 tournament last weekend.
The Lady Lions qualified for the district tournament semi-finals with a 46-44 win over DeSales on Feb. 9 in Hanford. That advanced them to Chelan, where they faced Tri-Cities Prep of Pasco — the second-ranked 2B girls’ team in the state — on Friday (Feb. 15).
The Jaguars prevailed over the Lady Lions with a 58-40 win, putting Liberty Bell in the third/fourth-place game against league rival Lake Roosevelt. The Lady Lions roared back with a 49-26 win over the Raiders on Saturday (Feb. 16) and moved on to regional play this weekend. Lake Roosevelt finished fourth and will also play in the regional tournament.
Tri-Cities Prep won the District 5/6 tournament with a 62-43 victory over Brewster, another North Central league rival of Liberty Bell. Both advance to the regionals. Also moving on is Mabton, which defeated North Central league member Waterville-Mansfield, 44-42, for the final spot in regional play.
The 16-team regional tournament will be played at various locations on Friday (Feb. 22) and Saturday (Feb. 23). Liberty Bell, seeded 10th, will play No. 15 seed South Bend on Saturday at Wenatchee High School, tipping off at 2 p.m. Liberty Bell will be designated as the home team. South Bend has an overall record of 15-9 and had a record of 12-6 in the Pacific 2B league, where it finished fourth behind the state’s No. 4 ranked girls’ 2B team, Ilwaco.
If the Lady Lions win over South Bend this weekend, they will play at the state tournament in Spokane’s Veterans Memorial Arena on Feb. 27, where they would face the loser of the regional game between Tri-Cities Prep and Auburn Adventist Academy. If the Lady Lions lose at the regionals on Saturday, their season is over. Liberty Bell was ranked 11th in the state, and Brewster 10th, among 2B girls’ teams, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association website.
Against Tri-Cities Prep last weekend, freshman Jadyn Mitchell led Liberty Bell’s scoring with 14 points and matched that with 14 rebounds, followed by sophomore Sammy Curtis with a double-double as well: 10 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Tommie Ochoa added seven points; junior Ali Palm had eight rebounds.
“The girls played Tri-Cities prep pretty close, but free throws in the fourth quarter killed us — Tri-Cities made 15,” Liberty Bell coach Stephanie Mitchell said.
Against Lake Roosevelt, Curtis put up 22 points and snagged eight steals to lead the Lady Lions, followed by junior Hannah Bakke with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Jadyn Mitchell with six points and nine rebounds.
“The girls were fired up after losing to Lake Roosevelt during the regular season [51-49 on Feb. 1] and a tough loss the night before,” coach Mitchell said. “They wanted to come out strong and get a win. They played strong team defense and shared the ball well.”
After last weekend’s games, the Lady Lions’ season record stands at 18-5.
Tri-Cities Prep 58, Liberty Bell 40
Jadyn Mitchell 14, Sammy Curtis 10, Tommie Ochoa 7, Hannah Bakke 3, Ali Palm 2, Madi Surface 2, Shae Taylor 2
Liberty Bell 49, Lake Roosevelt 26
Sammy Curtis 22, Hannah Bakke 10, Jadyn Mitchell 6, Ali Palm 5, Destiny Ferreira 4, Tommie Ochoa 2