Liberty girls basketball team drops KingCo title game

February 14, 2012

By Christina Lords

Delane Agnew, Liberty High School junior forward, lies sprawled on the floor but still tries to deny a rebound to Bellevue sophomore forward Holly Warendorf during the third quarter for the 3A KingCo Championship Feb. 9 at Bellevue College. By Greg Farrar

Liberty High School girls basketball coach Randy Leifer admits his team had an abysmal first half as they battled in the KingCo Conference 3A championship game Feb. 9 at Bellevue College.

It certainly didn’t help that the Bellevue Wolverines came out strong at both ends of the court, solidifying a 54-36 win over the Patriots.

“They were putting a lot of pressure on us, on our defense,” he said. “We didn’t take very good care of the basketball, and we settled for quick offensive shots.”

The Wolverines came into the tournament in the No. 4 slot and managed to overtake the Patriots with an 11-5 first-quarter lead. Bellevue boasted a 22-7 lead at halftime.

“They were able to get to the hoop a lot more than we did, and when they did, they shot the ball really well,” Leifer said.

The Wolverines’ defense held Liberty’s top scorers, Aspen Winegar and Sierra Carlson, to a combined 11 points. No Patriot scored in double figures — a situation the Patriots haven’t faced since the last time they took on Bellevue. Liberty dropped that game, 47-27, on Jan. 28.

Liberty only had four offensive rebounds for the night.

Leifer said he is proud of the success of the Patriots’ season and knew early in the year that the team had a shot at playing for the KingCo title.

“I thought we definitely had a chance, where we had several returning pieces from last year,” he said. “We lost some of our players, obviously, but we had three starters coming back, and I knew we had a shot at being there.”

Megan Tsutakawa led Liberty against the Wildcats with eight points. Winegar had six points, while Carlson added five points.

Bellevue’s Katie Savard contributed a game-high 13 points for the Wolverines.

Patriots stun Lake Washington

Two of the Patriots’ most-important games of the season came earlier in the week.

On Feb. 7, Winegar and Carlson hit clutch fourth-quarter shots as the Patriots upset second-seeded Lake Washington, 42-41. Lake Washington led 32-26 going into the final quarter. However, Liberty outscored the Kangaroos down the stretch to pull out the victory. Winegar hit a key 3-point field goal and Carlson followed with a game-winning basket to cap the Patriots’ rally.

Winegar finished with a game-high 13 points and Carlson had 11 points.

On Feb. 6, Liberty earned a berth to the Class 3A Sea-King District when it defeated visiting Mercer Island, 60-40, in a first-round, loser-out KingCo game.

Liberty bolted to a 20-7 first-quarter lead and held a commanding 42-18 advantage at halftime.

Winegar led the Patriots with 16 points and Carlson had 13 points.

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

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