District playoffs set for this week
Senior Night (Feb. 1) had few highlights for the home court teams, as the Liberty Bell High School boys’ and girls’ teams each fell to their visiting Tonasket Tiger counterparts in games that were never close.
After losing at Tonasket by just 8 points, 57-49, on Jan. 24, the Liberty Bell girls could not find their shooting touch against the Tigers and quickly fell behind, trailing by 28-13 at halftime. The Mountain Lions managed only another 4 points in the third quarter as the Tigers pushed their advantage to 38-17.
Liberty Bell finally managed a double-digit quarter in the final frame, putting up 12 points, but could gain no ground as Tonasket matched them with 13 for the final 51-29 tally.
Jadyn Mitchell led Liberty Bell’s scoring with 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Ruby McCarthy added 5 points and Shae Taylor 4. Caitlyn Cooley attacked the boards for 13 rebounds.
Seniors Shae Taylor, Joslyn Rispone, Jadyn Mitchell and Caitlyn Cooley were honored for the girls’ squad before their game.
On Saturday (Feb. 5), Liberty Bell finished its regular-season play with a 53-18 rout of Oroville. Mitchell was again consistent with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sandra Hernandez, Cooley and Taylor each added 8 points. Rio Lott and Helaina Remsburg had 5 points each.
“Sandra [Hernandez] had a great game against Oroville, playing great defense and getting steals,” coach Stephanie Mitchell said in an email. It was the best offensive performance of the year for Hernandez as well.
Tigers hang on
The Liberty Bell boys had dropped 54-38 decision to the Tigers in Tonasket on Jan. 24, but any hope of closing that margin was dashed in the first quarter when the Mountain Lions could muster only 2 points on the way to a 35-9 halftime deficit on Senior Night. It seemed like few shots were destined to fall for the home team.
The Mountain Lions picked up the pace a bit in the third quarter, but Tonasket’s taller lineup continued to find the range and extended its lead to 55-23.
Liberty Bell came alive with some furious energy in the fourth quarter, pressing the Tigers and going on a 16-1 scoring spree that cut the lead to 56-39 with five minutes remaining in the game. But that was as close as it got, as Tonasket recovered with a 15-7 run to finish things out for a 71-46 win. The Liberty Bell fourth quarter featured five three pointers, two by Remi Paz and one each for Lucien Paz, Bradyn Schmekel and Kyler Mitchell.
The boys finished their regular season with a 55-49 win at Oroville on Saturday. Freshman Morgan Spellman led the way for Liberty Bell with 16 points, Remi Paz hit for 14 and Lucien Paz added 12.
Post-season play commenced this week, with both teams traveling to Brewster for the first round of district playoffs — the girls on Tuesday (Feb. 8) and the boys on Wednesday (Feb. 9) — in loser-out play.
If the No. 5-seeded girls win at Brewster, they will play the winner of the Oroville-Okanogan matchup on Friday (Feb. 11). If the No. 7-seeded boys defeat the Bears, they will face the winner of the Bridgeport-Lake Roosevelt contest on Saturday (Feb. 12).