The Liberty Bell High School boys’ basketball team, which played its way into the league tournament and then advanced to the semifinals, played for third place this week and will advance to districts win or lose.
After tying with Tonasket for sixth place in league play, the final spot for advancing to the league tournament, the Mountain Lions topped the Tigers, 50-40, in a tie-breaker game at Brewster on Feb. 11.
That put Liberty Bell in the first round of the league tournament the next day, and the Mountain Lions took advantage of their first post-season appearance in four years to edge Bridgeport, 61-60, in a loser-out game on the Mustangs’ home court on Feb. 12. Bridgeport had finished third in league play, and had beaten Liberty Bell twice during the regular season.
In the semifinals, the Mountain Lions came up against Brewster and lost, 85-36, on the Bears’ home court on Feb. 14. That put them against Oroville on Tuesday (Feb. 18) at Chelan, playing for third place; Brewster and Lake Roosevelt played for the league championship. All four teams advance to districts at Quincy on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22). Liberty Bell lost twice to Oroville during the regular season.
Last week’s results left the Mountain Lions with a 9-14 record for the season.
“I was proud of how the guys played hard in all three games last week, even the last game,” Liberty Bell coach Kyle Acord said. “It would have been easy to let up against Brewster on Friday night after two tough, loser-out games Tuesday and Wednesday, but the guys continued to fight hard.”
Against Tonasket, a strong second quarter proved the difference in the final margin. Junior Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega had an impressive game with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Shay Crandall added 9 points. Junior Dusty Patterson grabbed 9 rebounds.
Liberty Bell started strong against Bridgeport, taking a 10-point first-quarter lead. The Mustangs chipped away for the next three quarters, but fell just short of catching up. Junior Tyler Darwood led the Mountain Lions’ scoring with 17 points and picked up 9 rebounds, and junior Nolan Falcon-George added 16 points. Gonzalez-Ortega registered his second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Patterson handed out 5 assists.
Darwood and Gonzalez-Ortega shared top scoring honors with 10 points each against Brewster.
Liberty Bell 50, Tonasket 40
Tonasket 11 5 11 13 40
LBHS 11 16 11 12 50
Riley Lidey 8, Nolan Falcon-George 6, Dusty Patterson 4, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 15, Tyler Darwood 8, Shay Crandall 9
Liberty Bell 61, Bridgeport 60
LBHS 22 13 12 14 61
Bridgeport 12 17 15 16 60
Deken Smith 7, Riley Lidey 1, Nolan Falcon-George 16, Dusty Patterson 2, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 14, Tyler Darwood 17, Shay Crandall 4
Brewster 85, Liberty Bell 36
LBHS 6 13 3 14 36
Brewster 12 26 28 19 85
Deken Smith 4, Riley Lidey 2, Isaiah Stoothoff 2, Magnus Treise 3, Dusty Patterson 5, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 10, Tyler Darwood 10
Scoring through 23 games:
Nolan Falcon-George 268, Tyler Darwood 185, Lucaas Gonzalez-Ortega 178, Dusty Patterson 150, Shay Crandall 105, Riley Lidey 88, Magnus Treise 62, Deken Smith 56, Isaiah Stoothoff 49, Sawyer Crandall 24, Alex Whites 3