Two comebacks determined how the Liberty Bell High School boys’ basketball team fared in the holiday tournament they hosted last weekend: one by the opponents, and one by the Mountain Lions.
On Friday (Dec. 27), Liberty Bell had a halftime lead against Pateros, but the Billy Goats dominated the third quarter and came back for a 66-56 win. On Saturday (Dec. 28), the Mountain Lions fell behind Entiat early on, but recovered for a 60-53 win over the Tigers. The games against the two 1B teams left Liberty Bell with a 2-5 record on the season, 1-2 in league play.
Earlier in the season, the Mountain Lions had lost to Pateros, 51-48. On Friday, the teams played evenly for much of the first quarter. Junior Nolan Falcon-George nailed a 3-point shot to put Liberty Bell up 13-10, and senior Magnus Treise’s wild half-court fling at the buzzer hit the net for a 3-pointer that stretched the Mountain Lions lead to 17-12 at the end of the quarter. A Treise lay-in made it 19-12, and the lead stayed at 7 until halftime, with the Mountain Lions up 31-24.
The Billy Goats took charge in the third quarter, catching Liberty Bell 37-37 with 2 minutes left in the frame and building a 43-39 lead with 30 seconds remaining. Junior Dusty Patterson dropped in a 3-pointer for the Mountain Lions, but Pateros answered with a 3-pointer of its own at the buzzer for a 46-42 lead.
In the first two minutes of the final quarter, the Billy Goats built that lead to 10, 54-44, and eventually extended it to 12, 60-48. Liberty Bell finished well, but could not catch Pateros.
Junior Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega had a strong game for the Mountain Lions, with 15 points matched by 15 rebounds. Falcon-George added 14 points, and Treise 8. Senior Shay Crandall had 7 rebounds.
Against Entiat, Liberty Bell fell behind 17-11 after one quarter. The Mountain Lions quickly chipped away early in the second quarter and took a 20-19 lead with 5 minutes left. Liberty Bell extended that to 33-24 partly on the strength of two 3-pointers by junior Deken Smith. Pateros closed to 33-28 at the end of the half.
A 3-pointer by Patterson gave the Mountain Lions a 38-31 advantage, but Entiat would not go away. The third quarter closed with Liberty Bell up 47-43.
The Tigers got within 3 points a couple of times in the final quarter, but aggressive defense by the Mountain Lions allowed the home team to build a 9-point lead, 58-49, with a minute left. Liberty Bell could have made it more comfortable but hit only 2 of 12 free throws in the final seconds of the game to finish with a 7-point win, 60-53.
Patterson led Liberty Bell’s scoring with 10 points and added 7 rebounds. Smith had 9 points, freshman Riley Lidey 8, and Falcon-George scored 8 points along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
“I thought all four boys’ teams [Bridgeport also was in the tournament] were evenly matched and made for a fun tournament and four great basketball games to watch,” Liberty Bell coach Kyle Acord said. “As a team, we are still working on being more consistent in our overall play, but I thought we had some very good play at times over the two games.”
The Mountain Lions travel to Bridgeport on Saturday (Jan. 4), then host Soap Lake on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in league contests.
Pateros 66, Liberty Bell 56
Pateros 12 12 22 20 66
LBHS 17 14 11 14 56
Riley Lidey 6, Magnus Treise 8, Nolan Falcon-George 14, Dusty Patterson 5, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 15, Tyler Darwood 3, Shay Crandall 5
Liberty Bell 60, Entiat 53
Entiat 17 11 15 10 53
LBHS 11 22 14 13 60
Deken Smith 9, Riley Lidey 8, Isaiah Stoothoff 3, Magnus Treise 2, Nolan Falcon-George 8, Sawyer Crandall 4, Dusty Patterson 10, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 6, Tyler Darwood 6, Shay Crandall 4
Scoring through seven games:
Nolan Falcon-George 87, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 52, Dusty Patterson 48, Tyler Darwood 44, Deken Smith 30, Isaiah Stoothoff 29, Riley Lidey 27, Shay Crandall 24, Sawyer Crandall 17, Magnus Treise 15, Alex Whites 3