The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team started league play with two wins last week, including the Lady Lions’ home opener.
At Waterfield-Mansfield, Liberty Bell prevailed, 58-44, on Dec. 10. The Lady Lions hosted Tonasket on Dec. 13, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 60-42 win. Liberty Bell’s season record now stands at 3-1, 2-0 in league play.
The Lady Lions came out strong against the Shockers, Liberty Bell coach Stephanie Mitchell said, and kept up the pressure throughout. Leading the Lady Lions in scoring was senior Ali Palm with 17 points, in addition to 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Sophomore Jadyn Mitchell added 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Senior Hannah Bakke was also in double figures with 10 points. Senior Tommie Ochoa grabbed 6 steals.
Against Tonasket, Liberty Bell again jumped to a quick 12-4 lead, and led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. But the Tigers clawed back aggressively in the second quarter and bolted to a 25-22 halftime lead.
Mitchell and junior Madi Surface scored two quick baskets early in the third quarter to put the Lady Lions back on top, 26-25. But Surface and Palm were each saddled with four personal fouls and had to spend time on the bench.
In the meantime, Mitchell pretty much single-handedly kept Liberty Bell in the game and the Lady Lions claimed a 37-32 lead on the strength of a jump shot by senior Hailey Damman.
Then Mitchell also got her fourth foul as the third quarter ended with Liberty Bell up 37-34.
Nonetheless, with three starters in foul trouble, the Lady Lions dominated the fourth quarter with stifling defense and a rediscovered shooting touch. Surface’s layup on a steal and breakaway gave the home team a 50-37 lead and Tonasket was too far out of contention to recover.
Mitchell had her best game of the year with 25 points (including 11-12 free-throw shooting) and 15 rebounds. Surface added 10 points. Bakke had 10 boards, while senior Ochoa continued to plague the opponents’ passing lanes with 6 steals to go with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Liberty Bell was at Brewster on Tuesday (Dec. 17), and travels to Manson on Friday (Dec. 20). The next action will be at a holiday tournament hosted by the Lady Lions on Dec. 27-28, also including Entiat, Pateros and Bridgeport.
Liberty Bell 58, Waterville-Mansfield 44
Madi Surface 7, Hannah Bakke 10, Jadyn Mitchell 12, Ali Palm 17, Tommie Ochoa 6, Sammy Curtis 6
Liberty Bell 60, Tonasket 42
Hannah Bakke 7, Jadyn Mitchell 25, Tommie Ochoa 6, Ali Palm 3, Madi Surface 10, Sammy Curtis 2, Hailey Damman 3, Shae Taylor 4
Tonasket 8 17 9 8 42
Liberty Bell 12 10 15 23 60
Scoring after four games:
Jadyn Mitchell 63, Ali Palm 39, Sammy Curtis 31, Hannah Bakke 30, Madi Surface 29, Tommie Ochoa 18, Hailey Damman 15, Shae Taylor 11, Caitlyn Cooley 3