The Liberty Bell High School girls’ basketball team got two games in last week as Republic made the trip to the Methow on Dec. 14, and the Mountain Lions then traveled to Lake Roosevelt on Dec. 16 for a game originally scheduled for Friday. The results: a scrappy win over Republic, a loss on the road.
The Lake Roosevelt game was rescheduled to accommodate scheduling of officiating crews. A shortage of officials in all three local associations is forcing creative blending of crews and added travel to service North Central Washington schools.
Liberty Bell outlasted the Republic girls, 40-34, in a struggle of wills. The Lions just seemed to find the hoop a few more times in the closing moments to finish off the victory. Senior Jadyn Mitchell led all scorers with 19 points, and managed another double-double, adding 13 rebounds.
Shae Taylor scrapped and hustled her way to 19 rebounds in what coach Stephanie Mitchell described as a career effort. “She had her best game yet. She was all over the court grabbing rebounds, playing great post defense, and her all over hustle she kept us in the game,” the coach said. Taylor added 4 steals and 7 points.
Thursday’s trip to Lake Roosevelt did not go so well as the Raiders ran away from the Mountain Lions, scoring a 73-29 victory in Coulee Dam. Mitchell did notch another double-double, a regular thing for her this year, hitting for 13 points and 11 rebounds. Mitchell has doubled in every game so far this year. Ruby McCarthy tallied 7 points, Caitlyn Cooley added 5 and Taylor grabbed 6 rebounds.
Like the boys, he girls take a break now until the Jan. 4 trip to visit Okanogan. The Bulldog girls pose a formidable task as one of the top five teams in the 2B class so far this year. Next home action for Liberty Bell in the Den is Jan. 15, when the Manson Trojans come for a visit.
COVID, weather reduce boys’ schedule
The Mountain Lions’ last competitive week of 2021 was reduced from three games to one as a Dec. 14 scheduled home non-league game with Republic was canceled outright, and a road trip to Manson postponed on Saturday. The Republics boy’ program reported a positive COVID test, and Saturday’s trip fell victim to winter weather and driving conditions.
The Mountain Lion boys lost to Lake Roosevelt on Thursday in what Nate Chrastina characterized as a hard-nosed, defensive battle, 52-44.
“I’m very pleased with our effort,” said the head coach. Free throw attempts, rebounding and turnovers were three areas Chrastina pointed to as keys in the loss to the Raiders.
Liberty Bell turned the ball over to Lake Roosevelt 19 times during the game and, while outrebounded by just two boards, lost out on some put-back opportunities with only 10 offensive rebounds. The Lions shot 80% from the charity stripe, hitting four of their five attempts.
Chrastina said would like to see a more assertive attack of the hoop, hoping to draw fouls and more tries from the line, taking advantage of the team’s high percentage on free throws. “We’ve got to be better in these areas and are working to do just that over the holidays these next couple weeks,” the coach said.
Isaiah Stoothoff again led all scorers with a game high 15 points, doubling up with 11 rebounds. Eighth-grader Remi Paz posted 9 points in the effort.
Saturday’s game at Manson was postponed as significant morning snowfall created difficulty clearing roads adequately in the Manson area. The reschedule of that road game is slated for Jan. 21. The Trojans will travel to Liberty Bell on Jan. 15. The Mountain Lions take a holiday break until a Jan. 4 contest at Okanogan.
Old Home Week
The annual Mountain Lion Christmas Alumni Game, a fundraiser for the basketball programs, is scheduled for Thursday night (Dec. 23) in the Lions’ Den at Liberty Bell High School. The women tip off at 6 p.m., the men at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and there will be an accompanying silent auction and concessions available for attendees.
Wrestlers at Cashmere Invitational
Three Mountain Lion Wrestlers traveled to Cashmere last weekend for the Bulldog Invitational Wrestling Tournament, featuring athletes from all over North Central Washington in the 1A and B classifications.
Liberty Bell senior Grey Patterson, wrestling at 170 pounds, won the third-place trophy. He pinned Eric Ramirez (Quincy) at 0:19 of the first round, then lost to Genaro Reyna (Cashmere) 9-2. In the consolation bracket, he pinned Franky Rosario (Cascade) at 1:43, and pinned Ian Carlo Lopez (Cashmere) at 1:58 to win third place.
Damien Spears (170 pounds) drew a double bye to advance automatically to the semi-final round as the No. 2 seed. He defeated Ian Carlo Lopez (Cashmere) 6-2 and was pinned in the championship bout at 2:24. Spears suffered a knee injury and is on the shelf pending an evaluation and treatment.
Holden Riggs, wrestling at 145 pounds, forfeited his first match to Blake Pratt of Newport, then wrestled in the consolation bracket, losing by fall to Chelan’s Ron Hooten at 1:39 into the match, ending the tournament for Riggs.
Mountain Lions Cassidy Jones-Mowen, Noah Holston and Cody White did not wrestle at the Cashmere tournament.