Liberty Bell’s Noah Holston, wrestling at 195 pounds, brought home a first-place trophy from the Royal Christmas Tournament Championship. He defeated Logan Royer of Hermiston (Oregon) by a fall in1:22, and Tonasket’s Granger Sutton (fall, 1:28) on his way to the championship bout. In that match, Jevin Stricker from Mary Walker (Springdale, Washington) tested Holston, only to drop a 7-3 decision.
Cody White placed sixth for Liberty Bell, winning his first-round bout with a second-period fall over Michael Small of Mary Walker (3:15), then suffering a tough loss by a 2-1 decision to Kevin Sanabria of Tonasket.
According to coach Joe Downing, Holston is on track to qualify for the WIAA Mat Classic in mid-February, and do well there. “Noah has been putting in his time and working hard toward his goal of becoming state champ this year,” the coach said.
Holston’s only two setbacks this year were early-season losses at the Tri-State Tournament, featuring some of the best in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon and Washington) regardless of school classification. He is undefeated in the WIAA B classification so far this year.
The Mountain Lions traveled to Freeman High School on Dec. 28, dropping both games to the Scotties of the 1A Great Northern League. The girls lost 63-34, and the boys feel by 76-46.
In the boys’ game, the Scotties featured a balanced attack with two players hitting for 18 points, and another for 17 as they rolled to a 30-point victory over the visiting Mountain Lions. Isaiah Stoothoff led the Mountain Lions with 12 points on a 6-9 shooting night from the field. Kyler Mitchell pulled down 5 rebounds and added 9 points for the visitors.
“We are proud of the consistent effort our guys gave on every possession,” said coach Nate Chrastina. “They competed on every possession and took none off. Those guys [Freeman] are a top 10 1A team in the state and they played like it for 32 minutes.”
As long a trip as it was, Chrastina gave credit to the Liberty Bell crowd that was there: “A big thanks to our fans that made the trip to Freeman to watch us play!”
Sydney McLean led the Scottie girls with 13 points and Jaycee Goldsmith added 11 as Freeman jumped out to a commanding 22-8 first-quarter lead. Jadyn Mitchell extended her streak of double-double efforts for Liberty Bell, collecting 13 points and 12 rebounds. Ruby McCarthy and Caitlyn Cooley each scored 10 points, with Cooley snagging 7 rebounds.
Liberty Bell has a challenging road double this weekend, traveling to Tonasket for a league girls’ and boys’ double-header, then hitting the road bright and early for the trip to Davenport as part two of this year’s home-and-home matchups between the Mountain Lions and Gorillas. Varsity game times are 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for both days.