Liberty Lions basketball teams undefeated in league

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Introducing the Lions of Liberty Charter High School, a small “literacy first” program, which was located in La Mesa for three years before moving in September to its new campus (the former Palm Middle School), located just west of State Route 125.

Introducing the Lions of Liberty Charter High School, a small “literacy first” program, which was located in La Mesa for three years before moving in September to its new campus (the former Palm Middle School), located just west of State Route 125.

Playing against other Division V schools in the CIF San Diego Section’s Frontier North League, both Lions basketball teams are undefeated in league play entering the second round of action. For the girls, it would be a second straight FNL crown should they continue piling up the victories, while the boys would get their initial banner.
Junior forward Savannah Whitehurst fuels the Lady Lions team.

“Savannah ‘s come a long way considering I had to convince her to play basketball — she was concentrating on volleyball,” said head coach Kenny Hill, who also coaches these same players on the San Diego Cougars club team. “I believe she made a smart decision, because now there are several smaller colleges looking at her,” Hill said.

The basketball team, anchored by Whitehurst, is pretty good too. The Lions boast a 13-2 overall record, going unbeaten in six league contests.

Prior to Liberty, Hill compiled 16 years of coaching experience at other levels, equally divided between college ball and international competition.

“We won one championship in China then I coached in Indonesia,” Hill recalled. “But then I was at a game at El Cajon Valley High when a parent asked me to please apply for the position here,” Hill said.
After re-teaching the game’s fundamentals, Liberty looks forward to placing a second banner on the wall at Lemon Grove Recreation Center, its home court.
A banner is well on the way for the Lions boys basketball team.

Despite a .500 overall record, an upgraded schedule saw the team participate against much larger schools at tournaments hosted by Valhalla and Montgomery.

“Those games really prepared us,” said Lions junior guard Roman Odom. “It makes the league games a piece of cake for us.”

Liberty Charter is following a similar path first taken by fellow Division V powerhouse Foothills Christian: play a tough non-league schedule then use league games to prepare for CIF Playoff competition.
“In my freshman year, we only won four games,” added Odom. “But a new coach (Kenneth Brandon) came in and turned everything around.”

Odom entered the week averaging 10.8 points per outing, second only to sophomore guard Micah Porter, who is scoring at a clip of 18.9, which would rank fourth among all schools in East County.

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