Freedom, Bethlehem Catholic win girls games
Freedom High School hosted the annual Yasso-Rothrock Christmas City Classic girls’ basketball games this past Saturday when Bethlehem Catholic won the day’s first game against Stroudsburg 55-34, Bangor won the second game against Liberty 33-31, and Freedom won the third over Phillipsburg 67-50.
Phillipsburg took the early lead against Freedom, but all that changed when Patriot guard Corrin Gill came up with a turnover and scored.
“Our coach [Dean Reiman] always talks about anticipation, so I kind of anticipate when they’re going to pass it,” Gill said.
Hailey Silfies tied the game with 2:08 remaining in the first quarter, and Jennifer Kokolus put the Patriots ahead.
While Freedom felt some relief with Phillipsburg’s height on the bench for the second quarter, the Stateliners were able to close the gap with their bench, namely, Mia Martinez and Grace Moser.
“We knew we had to step up our defense because right toward the end of the second quarter, we gave up a lot of easy baskets,” said Gill.
By halftime, the score was 28-26 Patriots, but not before Rachel Sanchez and Brenna Ortwein scored a three apiece.
“[Coach Reiman] wants us to work the ball around to get those open shots, so I knew he was counting on us to make them, so I knew it was the perfect time to shoot,” said Ortwein.
“[At halftime] we just talked about taking care of the ball, taking good shots, playing good defense. We were, in the first half, getting a lot of points off rebounds, so we had to continue rebounding and playing our game.”
Silfies opened the third quarter with a three pointer, Kokolus scored nine points in the same quarter, and Gill had a steal and a layup at the buzzer.
“It was exciting. We had momentum, and it kept it going,” Gill said.
By then, the Patriots led 45-32, but the game was far from over. Martinez was still in the game, and Sierra Stein and Lauren Flynn, who provided the height for the Liners, returned.
In addition, Malaysia Kellem, who scored 12 points for Phillipsburg, was a challenge for Freedom.
“It was hard because she has a lot of confidence with the ball, so you had to be talking to everyone, and it helps with everyone behind you telling you they have your back,” said Ortwein.
Silfies stepped up the scoring for the Patriots, tallying 12 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter, on top of another three by Sanchez.
Kokolus totaled 15 points, Kyra Jefferson and Ortwein each had seven, Sanchez had six, and Yasmine Herrera and Gill scored two points apiece.
Kokolus had 12 rebounds, Silfies had 10, Ortwein had seven, and Gill had three.
“I think we handled it well, and we did a good job of knowing who were their scorers,” Gill said.
Silfies was awarded player of the game for Freedom.
Tatianna Rivera was player of the game for Liberty, and Hope Brown was player of the game for Becahi.