Patriots fall to Newport, 48-46

December 10, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Less than two weeks before Liberty basketball’s first game, senior forward Ashlan Applegate was in the midst of a euphoric celebration erupting at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium.

Shortly after winning the state 3A soccer title alongside her teammates, however, Applegate made the annual transition to a different athletic arena — the basketball court.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Ashlan Applegate, Liberty High School senior forward, finds the basket for two of her 12 points in the Patriots’ 48-46 loss to Newport on Dec. 4.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Ashlan Applegate, Liberty High School senior forward, finds the basket for two of her 12 points in the Patriots’ 48-46 loss to Newport on Dec. 4.

She didn’t need much time to acclimate to the hardwood, as evidenced by her team-leading 12 points and 13 rebounds in Liberty’s 48-46 loss to Newport Dec. 4.

“I think Ashlan Applegate played a huge game for us,” first-year Liberty coach Curtis Terry said. “She definitely stepped up when we needed her today.”

The Patriots put up a respectable fight against their 4A opponent, but squandered an early lead, giving the Knights a chance to get back into the game.

Liberty led at the end of each of the first three quarters, but the gap between the teams grew smaller as the game progressed.

The largest lead came after the first, when the Patriots outpaced Newport 16-9. It dwindled to 23-19 after the second, and 35-34 after the third.

“I think we let opportunities slip away, because we were up eight or nine early and we could have pushed it to 14 or 15 and put some distance between ourselves, but we couldn’t finish offensively,” Terry said.

Fouls also hurt the Patriots, Terry said, giving Newport chances with the clock stopped, using free throws to get back in it.

Liberty displayed fight in the fourth quarter, though, despite trailing for much of it, with Applegate in particular showing aggressiveness, diving for every ball and making a great out-of-bounds save toward the end.

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“She was able to draw their big girl out on the floor and knock down some open shots for us, and she also just played tough on defense on the inside,” Terry said of Applegate.

With 12 seconds left, Liberty trailed 48-43, before Junior Cherelle Demps cut the deficit to just two points, with a clutch 3-point shot.

Time would run out, though, before the Patriots could complete a comeback.

“I think one thing we saw tonight was our poise,” Terry said. “Even though it was late in the game, with like 30 seconds left and we’re down, we don’t have the ball, we were able to get a steal and come down and get a basket.”

Applegate led the team in scoring with 12, but Demps finished with eight points, followed by senior Rebekah Campbell, who had seven points and six rebounds.

Senior captain Sierra Carlson finished with seven points, two rebounds, an assist and two steals.

“We’ll use this later in the year, knowing what to do and what not to do, and the fact that we battled back showed a lot of guts from our team,” Terry said.

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