Liberty girls take third at KingCo tournament

February 18, 2014

The scoreboard painted a bleak picture after the first quarter of the Liberty High School girls basketball team’s Feb. 13 contest against Juanita.

The Patriots managed just two points in the first eight minutes of play, while the Rebels racked up 15.

By Greg Farrar Sierra Carlson, Liberty High School senior guard, with a team-high 14 points, leaves the court smiling at the end of the Patriots’ come-from-way-behind, 44-33 win against Juanita in their 3A KingCo Conference tournament game Feb. 13 at Bellevue College.

By Greg Farrar
Sierra Carlson, Liberty High School senior guard, with a team-high 14 points, leaves the court smiling at the end of the Patriots’ come-from-way-behind, 44-33 win against Juanita in their 3A KingCo Conference tournament game Feb. 13 at Bellevue College.

Shots just weren’t falling for Liberty in the first quarter of the game that determined third place in the KingCo tournament. It was a struggle, senior captain Sierra Carlson admitted, to remain resolute as the misses just accumulated.

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Liberty boys, girls basketball squads fall to Bellevue

February 5, 2013

Cherelle Demps, Liberty High School sophomore guard, drives between Elisa Park (left) and Kate Holmes, of Bellevue, during the second quarter of their Jan. 31 basketball game. By Greg Farrar

Cherelle Demps, Liberty High School sophomore guard, drives between Elisa Park (left) and Kate Holmes, of Bellevue, during the second quarter of their Jan. 31 basketball game. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School gymnasium was awash in a sea of red on Jan. 31, when the Patriots boys and girls basketball teams hosted Bellevue in the final regular games of the season.

Parents, students, staff members and basketball coaches donned red in honor of heart health awareness, after the school spent the week rallying and raising funds for cardiovascular disease.

During the games, students collected donations for the American Heart Association and educated attendees about heart disease prevention and warning signs. The effort raised about $7,000, and the school will continue to raise funds through Feb. 14.

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Liberty High School Red Out / Feb. 1, 2013

February 5, 2013

Liberty basketball teams combine for perfect week

January 29, 2013

The Liberty High School boys and girls basketball teams combined to go a perfect 4-0 last week against both Interlake and Lake Washington.

Liberty girls struck first, defeating Interlake, 57-31, on Jan. 23. The Patriots went into halftime down to the Saints, 28-27, but a second half Liberty defensive surge saw to it that Interlake would score only three more points the rest of the game.

The Liberty boys beat Interlake, 72-61, in a game that remained relatively close until the Patriot offense emerged with a 28-point third quarter.

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Liberty Patriots sweep rival Lake Washington Kangs

January 8, 2013

Matthew Campbell, Liberty High School senior center, puts up two of his team-leading 19 points during the Patriots’ third quarter tear against Lake Washington on Jan. 4. By Greg Farrar

Students returned to school after winter break on Jan. 2, but coach Omar Parker’s Liberty boys basketball team didn’t see much of a layoff during the two-week respite.

In fact, the Patriots practiced on Christmas Eve and played in a tournament in Salem, Ore., just three days later.

“We practiced long and hard over the entire break,” Parker said.

The hard work definitely paid off for the Patriots, who soundly defeated Lake Washington, 64-44, in a Jan. 4 contest.

The Patriots shot out of the gate quickly on the way to an 18-10 lead after the first quarter. Liberty went on to extend the lead by one, heading into halftime, leading, 29-20.

The beginning of the second half, however, was a different story, as Lake Washington emerged from the locker room with what appeared to be a new sense of urgency. Just three minutes into the half, the Kangs cut Liberty’s lead to just one point.

At that point, the Liberty coach called a timeout to refocus the team.

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Issaquah School District teams reflect on 2012 missions accomplished

December 25, 2012

Jubilant members of the Issaquah High School boys swim team and their coaches hoist their state 4A second place team trophy and give themselves a cheer Feb. 18 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah School District high school sports teams have a strong tradition of excellence, and 2012 was no different.

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Matthew Campbell nets 18 in Liberty High School basketball loss

December 25, 2012

The Liberty High School boys basketball team went up against one of the top teams in the state when the Patriots hosted sixth-ranked Mercer Island on Dec. 18.

But despite a big game from Matthew Campbell, who scored 18 points, the Patriots fell to the Islanders, 75-59.

Liberty players Tynan Gilmore and Dayton Mackay also netted double-digit points, scoring 14 and 11 points, respectively.

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Juanita basketball team is too physical for Liberty

December 11, 2012

Delane Agnew, Liberty High School’s senior forward, is fouled from behind by Juanita’s Tayler Lloyd during their Dec. 7 game. Juanita beat Liberty, 52-37. By Christina
Corrales-Toy

For the first time this season, the Liberty High School gymnasium was buzzing with excitement, filled with an energetic student section ready to cheer on its girls basketball team in the Dec. 7 home opener against the Juanita Rebels.

But nerves, and the enthusiasm that comes with the first home game of the season, may have gotten the best of the Patriots, who fell to Juanita, 52-37, Liberty coach Randy Leifer said.

“I think part of it was nerves. You know we’re a pretty young team and it was our first home game, so they were excited,” he said.

The Patriots put themselves in a hole early, with poor shooting to begin the first half, sending the team into halftime down 23-13 to the Rebels.

But an energized Patriots team emerged for the second half, going on a run in which Liberty outscored Juanita, 14-10, in the third quarter.

With six minutes left in the game, Liberty had cut the deficit to just four points, with the Rebels leading, 36-32. But the short comeback was not enough to turn things around against the physical Juanita squad.

“We couldn’t make a basket early in the game, and then we settled in and shot a little bit better, and we got back in it and it looked like we were going to have a shot, and then we just missed a couple of opportunities,” Leifer said.

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Liberty boys basketball team fall to rival from Renton, 50-44

December 4, 2012

Liberty High School’s Robbie Thomas is fouled by a Hazen High School defender as he goes for the basket in the fourth quarter of the Dec. 1 nonleague game. Hazen defeated Liberty, 50-44. By Christina Corrales-Toy

New Patriots coach hopes to bring ‘spark’ to program

Only 3 miles, or less than 10 minutes, separate Liberty and Hazen high schools.

So it was a short drive for the Patriot boys basketball team, which traveled to Hazen to take on the Highlanders on Dec. 1.

It may have been a nonleague game, but it had all the intensity of a playoff match, as the Renton rivals battled it out.
Liberty won the rivalry game last year, but this year, Hazen held off a second-half surge by the Patriots to win, 50-44.

Liberty’s first-year coach Omar Parker said he was pleased with his team’s determination, especially in the second half, despite the loss.

“You know this is their kind of battle on the hill, the king-of-the-hill game, and so I think it brought something out of our guys to really compete, and I was proud of them,” Parker said.

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Dan Braillard, longtime ‘Voice of the Patriots,’ dies

October 30, 2012

There are certain things that make the atmosphere at a Liberty High School football game special.

Dan Braillard

The smell of burgers sizzling on the grill, the sea of blue-and -green clad fans, the music of the band filling the stadium and, most distinctly, the sound of Patriot announcer Dan Braillard’s voice echoing through the night, all made the Friday night lights shine a little bit brighter.

“Friday night at Liberty was kind of a production,” Liberty coach Steve Valach said. “Dan used that microphone as a way to just enhance the whole experience. It was kind of like a Shakespearean performance.”

Braillard, who spent 25 years announcing Liberty football games and 15 years calling Patriot basketball games, died of kidney failure Oct. 1. He was 66.

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