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Bolts run into trouble as regular season ends

Liberty High falls to IC West and CR Wash

NORTH LIBERTY– The Liberty High varsity boys’ basketball team hit a three-game losing streak as the regular season drew to a close with losses to Cedar Rapids Prairie, Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Washington ahead of the final game, on the road at Dubuque Senior.
The West High Trojans knocked off the Lightning for the second time this season on Friday, Feb. 14, at West High, 47-38, following a 49-30 victory at Liberty on Jan. 24. The Bolts only trailed West by four points, 11-7, at the end of the first quarter but found themselves down 25-17 at halftime. The Trojans kept their lead going in the third, taking a 36-23 advantage into the final period. Liberty outscored West, 15-11, in the fourth, but could not close the gap.
Senior Andre Brandon led the Lightning with 12 points and was the only double-digit scorer for the Bolts. Junior Ira Hazeltine drained two three-point buckets in the contest.
Liberty High at Iowa City West Friday, Feb. 14
Iowa City West 47, Liberty High 38
Scoring– Andre Brandon 12, Ira Hazeltine 8, Sam Funke 6, Basil Aldoss 5, Ethan O’Donnell 5, Kelby Telander 2.
3-point goals– Hazeltine 2, O’Donnell 1.
The Bolts and Washington High tangled on Monday, Feb. 17, with the Warriors prevailing, 72-65, at Liberty High. The game was knotted at 15-all at the end of the first, and the Lightning scorched the Warriors, 21-15, in the second quarter for a 36-30 halftime lead. The pendulum swung Washington’s way in the second half as the Warriors regrouped and put up 21 points in the third and fourth quarters for the win.
Brandon again led with a dozen points and found support from Hazeltine with 11, including a trio of three-pointers.
The losses dropped Liberty to 9-11, while West improved to 17-2, and Wash moved up to 4-16. The Warriors’ win over Liberty snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Cedar Rapids Washington at Liberty High, Monday, Feb. 17
CR Wash 72, Liberty High 65
Scoring– Andre Brandon 12, Ira Hazeltine 11, Kelby Telander 9, Basil Aldoss 8, Savion Taylor 5, Ethan O’Donnell 5, Ben Houselog 5, Sam Funke 4, Grayson Tyler 3, Colin Shults 3.
3-point goals– Hazeltine 3, Aldoss 2, Tyler 1, Telander 1, Taylor 1, O’Donnell 1, Houselog 1.
The Bolts begin the “Road to the Well” Monday, Feb. 24, hosting the Clinton River Kings in a Class 4A Substate 4 first-round game. The winner will play Dubuque Hempstead at Hempstead on Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. Hempstead drew a first-round bye. The substate final is set for Tuesday, March 3, at the U.S. Cellular Center, in Cedar Rapids, with an 8 p.m. tip-off time. Linn-Mar and Western Dubuque tangled in the upper half of the bracket on Feb. 24, while Cedar Falls had a bye. The winner faces Cedar Falls on Feb. 28.
The 2020 state tournament runs from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 13, at the Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines.