The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team battled through foul trouble, inconsistent shooting and uncharacteristic turnovers, but couldn’t overcome league-leading Waterville-Mansfield’s second-half surge as the visiting Shockers claimed a 57-45 win last Friday (Jan. 17).
The Lady Lions stormed back on Saturday (Jan. 18) to claim a road win at Manson, 53-20, and stay near the top of the league standings with a 7-2 record (10-3 overall).
The Shockers were looking to reverse the Lady Lions’ win early in the season, at Waterville-Mansfield. The teams both got off to slow starts, with the Lady Lions taking an 11-5 first-quarter lead. In the second quarter, Liberty Bell’s foul troubles escalated quickly. Senior Tommie Ochoa, the team’s floor leader, picked up her fourth foul with about 3:30 to go. Junior Madi Surface was hit with her fourth foul a few seconds later. Junior Sammy Curtis was saddled with three fouls. The Shockers took an 18-15 lead, but a couple of free throws by sophomore Jadyn Mitchell and a basket by senior Hannah Bakke put the Lady Lions up 21-20 at halftime.
The teams played evenly through the first half of the third quarter, but Mitchell — Liberty Bell’s leading scorer — was charged with her fourth foul with the score tied at 29-29. A 3-pointer by senior Hailey Damman and a bucket by senior Ali Palm kept Liberty Bell close, as the quarter closed with Waterville-Mansfield leading 37-34.
Attrition started to take its toll on the Lady Lions in the fourth quarter and Waterville-Mansfield scored the first 7 points to go up by 10, 44-34. Curtis, Ochoa and Surface all fouled out. Mitchell was fouled on a 3-point shot and made all 3 free throws to bring Liberty Bell within 5, 48-43, but that was as close as the Lady Lions could get.
All told, Liberty Bell was hit with 29 fouls, compared to 20 for Waterville-Mansfield. Mitchell led the Lady Lions with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Palm had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
It was a different story at Manson, one of the league’s lower-tier teams, as Liberty Bell’s defense kept the home team under control. Mitchell topped the stats sheet with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Curtis contributed 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Surface had 7 steals, and Ochoa picked off 5 Manson passes.
Liberty Bell was at Tonasket on Tuesday (Jan. 21), and hosts Brewster on Friday (Jan. 24). The Lady Lions lost at Brewster earlier in the season.
Waterville-Mansfield 57, LBHS 45
W-M 5 15 17 20 57
LBHS 11 10 13 11 45
Jayden Mitchell 18, Tommie Ochoa 3, Sammy Curtis 7, Ali Palm 10, Hailey Damman 3, Hannah Bakke 4
Liberty Bell 53, Manson 20
Jadyn Mitchell 15, Tommie Ochoa 7, Madi Surface 5, Sammy Curtis 13, Ali Palm 6, Hailey Damman 3, Hannah Bakke 4
Scoring through 13 games:
Jadyn Mitchell 212, Sammy Curtis 150, Ali Palm 119, Madi Surface 78, Tommie Ochoa 71, Hannah Bakke 56, Hailey Damman 39, Shae Taylor 29, Caitlyn Cooley 13