Liberty boys basketball team shuts down Mariner

December 1, 2011

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Dec. 1, 2011

The Liberty High School boys basketball team switched defenses in the second half and it paid off Wednesday as the Patriots rallied for a 44-36 nonleague victory against host Mariner.
Liberty, 1-1 overall, trailed by 14 points at halftime. However, the Patriots surrendered only four points in the second half. In fact, Liberty outscored Mariner 16-0 in the final quarter.
Robbie Thomas paced the Patriots with 16 points. Ben Wessell added seven points.
In a nonleague girls game, Skyline lost to visiting Bellevue 37-34. Bellevue overcame the Spartans 14-9 in the fourth quarter. Megan Wiedeman, of Skyline, scored a game-high 17 points. Haley Smith contributed 10 points for the Spartans.

Eagles, Patriots basketball teams win season openers

November 30, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 30, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team and the Liberty girls squad both opened their seasons Tuesday with nonleague victories.

The Issaquah boys cruised by host Mount Si 76-36. After a close first quarter that saw Issaquah lead 10-7, the Eagles blew out Mount Si 26-9 in the second quarter and raced away to the victory.

Issaquah senior guard Nick Price hit 8 of 15 shots and finished the night with a game-high 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots and had three assists.

Ty Gibson contributed 10 points for the Eagles. Jake Henke added nine points. Ryan Sexton and Grant Bair, who each hit a pair of three-point field goals, each had eight points.

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Trio of Patriots make 3A All-KingCo

March 1, 2011

The Liberty High School girls basketball program had one of its best seasons in several years this winter.

Among the reasons for the Patriots’ success were the contributions of Danni Sjolander, Aspen Winegar and Halie Ericksen.

Danni Sjolander, Liberty senior forward, puts up a shot against Juanita Feb. 8 at the KingCo 3A basketball tournament. By Greg Farrar

All three Liberty players received post-season honors at they led the Patriots to a 15-10 record.

Sjolander was selected to the 3A/2A All-KingCo Conference girls first team. Winegar and Ericksen were picked for the second team.

The trio helped the Patriots reach the 3A Sea-King District Tournament. Liberty had a 9-5 record in league play and tied for third place.

Sjolander, a 6-foot-1 senior, led the Patriots in scoring by averaging 13.1 points per game. She also averaged 2.1 assists, 2.6 blocks, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals.

“She had a good year,” Liberty coach Randy Leifer said. “She was really the leader of our team.”

Sjolander, a three-year starter, had three games where she scored 20 or more points. She had a season-high game against Mercer Island in December. Sjolander, who ranked third in league scoring, was a versatile player on offense.

“She can shoot both the outside shot and post up,” Leifer said.

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Two local wrestlers grab regional titles

February 15, 2011

David White, of Issaquah High School, and Hamilton Noel, of Liberty High School, each won individual titles Feb. 12 in their respective regional wrestling tournaments.

White captured the 145-pound class at the Region II Tournament at Skyline. He defeated Austin Henderson, of Bethel, 7-2 in the final. White was the only 4A KingCo Conference wrestler to win a regional title.

He opened the tournament with a 10-0 victory against Bothell’s Dustin Rhode and defeated Inglemoor’s Brian Trabun 13-2 in the semifinals.

Issaquah teammate Max Tickman placed third in the 112-pound class after defeating Brett Dykman, of Beamer, 10-4. Almen Thorpe, of Issaquah, took fifth in the 135-pound class with a 7-0 victory against Redmond’s Brandon Long. Sean Novak, of Issaquah, placed fifth in the 140-pound class after pinning Eastlake’s Nykolai Peterson in 2:26.

Issaquah finished ninth in the tournament with 56 points. Graham-Kapowsin took first place with 194 points.

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Liberty High School girls basketball team stuns Juanita

February 9, 2011

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9, 2011

The Liberty High School girls basketball team got one of its biggest victories of the season Tuesday when the Patriots topped Juanita 53-44 in the semifinals of the 3A KingCo Conference tournament at Bellevue College.

Juanita, the regular-season champion, had defeated Liberty twice during the season. However, the Patriots took control in tournament contest by shooting to a 19-12 first-quarter lead. Liberty held a commanding 32-21 lead at halftime.

Danni Sjolander and Aspen Winegar each scored 15 points to lead the Patriots.

Liberty plays Mount Si at 8:15 p.m. Feb. 10 in the tournament title game. Mount Si defeated Mercer Island 61-49 in the other semifinal.

The top four KingCo teams and the top eight from the Metro League advance to the Sea-King District Tournament, which begins Saturday.

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Prep Roundup

February 1, 2011

Skyline moves into first place

The Skyline High School boys basketball team won two games last week and moved into first place in the 4A KingCo Conference Crest Division standings.

Skyline battled back from an early deficit Jan. 25 and defeated host Redmond, 49-42. Skyline knocked Redmond out of first place.

Skyline’s Kasen Williams scored a game-high 16 points. Max Browne, Lucas Shannon and Teran Togia each had 10 points for the Spartans.

The Spartans followed up the victory against Redmond by beating Newport, 59-44, Jan. 28. Williams had 21 points and Shannon added 16 points. Togia tossed in 11 points.

In a showdown of division leaders Jan. 29, Skyline lost to host Garfield, 69-57. After a close first half, Garfield, the Crown Division leader, pulled away in the third quarter. Shannon paced Skyline with 18 points. Williams had 13 points and Jonah Eastern had 10.

Skyline, which began this week with an 8-4 league record, was to finish the regular season at home at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 against Eastlake.

In other 4A action last week, Issaquah High School lost two tough contests. The Eagles fell to host Eastlake, 76-70, Jan. 28 despite 31 points by Nick Price. Steven Rael and Fletcher Martin added 10 points for the Eagles. On Jan. 29, Issaquah lost to host Bothell, 77-73, in two overtimes. Price led the Eagles with 27 points. Martin had 16 points and Nik Landdeck 10 points.

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JV additions spark Issaquah’s play

January 25, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys basketball needed a spark as it entered the New Year, especially if the Eagles were going to keep their post-season tournament hopes alive.

So, coach Jason Griffith elevated Fletcher Martin and Brian Watson to the varsity squad from junior varsity.

Steven Rael, Issaquah senior guard, beats Eastlake senior guard Abdu Elkugia for the ball during their Dec. 17 basketball game. By Christopher Huber

Martin, a junior, and Watson, a freshman, have given the Eagles a lift. Both were major contributors last week when Issaquah got two needed victories, defeating Roosevelt and Newport in 4A KingCo Conference play.

Issaquah got a big boost of confidence Jan. 18 when it defeated visiting Roosevelt 69-64 in overtime. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

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Issaquah boys basketball team snaps losing streak

January 19, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. Jan. 19, 2011

Steven Rael scored a season-high 20 points Tuesday as he led the Issaquah High School boys basketball team to a 69-64 victory in overtime against visiting Roosevelt. The victory for the Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak.

Issaquah, 2-6 in 4A KingCo Conference play and 5-9 overall, made a tremendous fourth-quarter rally to send the game into overtime. The Eagles trailed by nine points after three quarters. However, Issaquah outscored Roosevelt 17-8 in the final period to send the game into overtime. The Eagles outscored Roosevelt 16-11 in overtime to win the game.

Counting Rael, five players in all scored in double figures for Issaquah. Nik Landdeck contributed 14 points. Fletcher Martin, Evan Peterson and Nick Price each had 11 points. Joe Knight had 15 points to lead Roosevelt, which is 2-7 in league play and 3-10 on the season.

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Eastlake gets surprise 54-50 win over Skyline

January 18, 2011

Just when it looked like the Skyline High School boys basketball team was headed for a share of the lead in the 4A KingCo Conference Crest Division standings, the Spartans ran into Sammamish Plateau rival Eastlake.

Eastlake, which had been in the cellar with Issaquah, surprised the Spartans 54-50 Jan. 14 and snapped the Spartans’ three-game winning streak. Read more

Issaquah girls basketball team rallies past Inglemoor

January 18, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Jan. 18, 2011

The Issaquah High School girls basketball team rallied in the second half Monday to defeat visiting Inglemoor 47-39 in a 4A KingCo Conference game.

Issaquah, playing without senior point guard Blaire Brady who was sidelined with an knee injury, started slowly against Inglemoor. The Eagles fell behind by eight points in the first quarter but fought back in the second quarter to trail by only two points at halftime.

The Eagles overtook Inglemoor in the third quarter by outscoring the Vikings 11-6. Issaquah then pulled away in the final quarter to remain unbeaten in league play.

Maddey Pflaumer topped Issaquah with a game-high 26 points. Sabrina Norton added seven points. Taylor Peacocke led Inglemoor with 11 points.

Issaquah, which leads the Crest Division, is 7-0 in league play and 9-4 on the season. The Eagles play at Roosevelt Wednesday and host Newport at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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