The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team launched its season with two non-league games, taking a step up to a 1A opponent and a step down to a 1B foe with different results.
But it could have been two wins for the Lady Lions if they had hit a few more free throws on Dec. 4 in the season opener at Omak, where Liberty Bell battled to the end before falling, 58-56. Two days later, the Lady Lions traveled to Pateros and easily dispatched the Nannies, 65-31.
“Hailey Damman was huge for us against Omak. She gave us the offensive spark off the bench to keep us in the game,” said Liberty Bell coach Stephanie Mitchell. However, that couldn’t make up for missing 21 of 46 free throws, Mitchell said.
Junior Sammy Curtis led Liberty Bell scoring with 16 points and made it a double-double with 12 rebounds. Damman, a senior, added 12 points and sophomore Jadyn Mitchell had 9.
At Pateros, the Lady Lions came out slow in the first half but picked up the pace in the final two quarters, Mitchell said.
Mitchell scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds. Senior Ali Palm was in double figures with 14 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Senior Hannah Bakke had 13 rebounds to go with 7 points, and senior Tommie Ochoa stayed busy with 6 steals and 5 assists. Junior Madi Surface accounted for 10 points.
The Lady Lions were at Waterville-Mansfield on Tuesday (Dec. 10), and will host Tonasket on Friday (Dec. 13) in their first home game of the year. Liberty Bell will be at Brewster next Tuesday (Dec. 17) and at Manson on Dec. 20, returning home to host a four-team tournament on Dec. 27-28, including teams from Pateros, Entiat and Bridgeport.
Omak 58, Liberty Bell 56: Jadyn Mitchell 9, Sammy Curtis 16, Hannah Bakke 6, Ali Palm 5, Tommie Ochoa 3, Hailey Damman 12, Caitlyn Cooley 3, Madi Surface 2.
Liberty Bell 65, Pateros 31: Jadyn Mitchell 17, Sammy Curtis 7, Ali Palm 14, Hannah Bakke 7, Tommie Ochoa 3, Madi Surface 10, Shae Taylor 7.