Liberty topples Mercer Island, 59-50

January 31, 2012

By Christina Lords

Delane Agnew, Liberty High School junior forward, lofts two of her 14 points against Mercer Island over sophomore guard Ari Moscatel during the third quarter. The Patriots won the Jan. 25 contest, 59-50. By Greg Farrar

As Liberty High School Patriots girls basketball coach Randy Leifer looks to wrap up the regular season, he’s sure this year’s past and future success hinges on how deep his bench is.

As the Patriots took on KingCo Conference 3A/2A opponent Mercer Island the evening of Jan. 25, all but two players on the roster scored for the team.

“I think we really have a lot of depth on our team, and we shot the ball well tonight,” Leifer said after the 59-50 victory over the host Islanders. “We didn’t rebound as well as we should have been, though, and we’ll work on that.”

Starting junior forward Delane Agnew had a team-high 14 points for Liberty — eight of which came in the first quarter to give Liberty a hot start in the contest.

Starting sophomore guard Sierra Carlson contributed 12 points and four rebounds, while senior guard Stephanie Yea knocked down two 3-point shots in the first half and ended the game with eight total points.

The score was 29-14 at the half.

While Liberty senior center Aspen Winegar, averaging 13.9 points per game, only came up with four points against the Islanders, she contributed eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks on the night.

“Having that depth makes for a nice dynamic on the team, because people can play all game and get some time in,” Leifer said. “If someone isn’t doing that well that night, then there’s someone else already ready to come in.”

Leifer said as the team looks to wrapping up the regular season and begins to prepare for the playoffs, the team must shore up its rebounding skills to deny other teams second- and third-chance shots.

Turnovers remain a stumbling block for the team as well, he said.

“After taking that break because of the weather, I think we need to just need to get everybody back in shape,” Leifer said. “We need to cut those turnovers down and get more aggressive with our rebounding. Those are the two big things we’ll need to focus on.”

Mercer Island’s Julia Blumenstein and Ari Moscatel led the Islanders with 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Patriots whip Interlake, lose to Bellevue

Liberty overcame host Interlake in the final quarter Jan. 27 en route to a 47-37 victory. The Patriots trailed by three points after the third quarter but outscored Interlake 19-6 in the final quarter to win the game. Megan Tsutakawa led the Patriots with a game-high 16 points. Carlson added 12 points.

On Jan. 28, Liberty fell behind by five points in the first quarter and never could catch up to visiting Bellevue in losing 47-27.

No Liberty player scored in double figures. Carlson and Tara Johnson each had seven points to lead the Patriots.

The loss dropped Liberty to 9-2 in league play and into a three-way tie for first place with Juanita and Lake Washington. The Patriots played at Lake Washington Jan. 30 and hosted Juanita Jan. 31. Liberty concludes its regular season Feb. 2 at home against Mount Si.

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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