Waterville/Mansfield girls lose close game to Liberty Bell

By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent

Alex Poppie goes for the ball against Liberty Bell. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

WINTHROP — The Waterville/Mansfield girls basketball team lost in heartbreaking fashion to the host Liberty Bell Mountain Lions by a final score of 50-49 on Dec. 5. The Shockers controlled the game for most of the first 31-plus minutes of play before an unfortunate sequence of events spelled doom for the squad.

In comparison to the Shockers’ first two contests of the season against 1B Entiat and league foe Brewster, they were able to score effectively all night long — including success from behind the 3-point arc.

Elizabeth Katovich takes a shot. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

With seven seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Shockers led Liberty Bell 49-47 with a chance to ice the game with a pair of free throws. Waterville/Mansfield missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity and promptly gave possession back to Liberty Bell. The Mountain Lions drove down the court and got the basket to go after the referee’s whistle blew signaling a Shockers foul. After three timeouts were called, the Mountain Lions nailed the ensuing free throw as time expired to win the game.

“We made some shots and we kept the turnovers down tonight,” Waterville/Mansfield coach Kieth Finkbeiner said after the game. “If we could have secured some defensive rebounds, that would have been important as well.”

Finkbeiner reiterated that the Shockers are continuing to take steps in the right direction and that the team remains focused on playing team-oriented basketball.

Top scorers for Waterville/Mansfield were Justine Clements (18 points) and Elizabeth Katovich (13 points).