Liberty wrestler Hamilton Noel finishes sixth at Mat Classic

February 21, 2012

When the last chapter closed on the 2012 Mat Classic, all it said about Hamilton Noel’s performance was that the Liberty High School senior finished sixth in the 160-pound division at the Class 3A Tournament.

Not a word about his heart, of which he displayed plenty in the Tacoma Dome. Not a comma about his tears, of which there were also a few. Not a period about how he stepped on the mat weakened by an unspecified ailment that made him look almost nothing like the Noel that dominated at Regionals.

At the end, the fact that Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, the wrestler who won 160-pound state title was the same Noel defeated at the regional finals seven days earlier, seemed to do nothing but add insult to an already injured warrior.

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Liberty’s Hamilton Noel wins regional crown

February 14, 2012

Hamilton Noel (right), Liberty High School senior, holds Mercer Island's Blake Johnson during their 3A Region 1 160-pound title match. Noel won an exciting 3-2 contest. By Sebastian Moraga

Hamilton Noel said he knows what is at stake.

The Liberty High School senior qualified for the state wrestling tournament again by winning the Class 3A Region 1 160-pound title Feb. 11 at Skyline High School.

On Feb. 17 and 18 in the Tacoma Dome, Noel will go for his third, and last, shot at a state crown. He will graduate in June and said he knows time is running out.

In 2010, then-145-pounder Noel lost to Olympic High School’s Brandon Yeik, 13-7, in the state finals.

In 2011, 152-pounder Noel lost to Enumclaw’s Josh Musick, 6-2, in the state finals.

Now at 160, he punched his ticket for the Mat Classic by beating No.2 Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, in a 3-2 thriller.

“Blake is ranked No. 2,” Noel said. “I’ll probably see him again this year.”

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Eagles achieve goal of winning wrestling KingCo Conference 4A tournament title

February 7, 2012

 Issaquah High School wrestlers, coaches and team managers howl as they pose for photos after winning the KingCo 4A Tournament team championship Feb. 4. Winning this title with these athletes during wrestling’s 50th anniversary at Issaquah ‘is something I’ll always remember,’ said coach Kirk Hyatt (kneeling second from left).By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School wrestling coach Kirk Hyatt had a hunch entering this season that his team had championship talent.

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Liberty girls basketball team finishes third in KingCo

February 3, 2012

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Feb. 3, 2012

The Liberty High School girls basketball team bounced back from two tough losses earlier this week to defeat visiting Mount Si 57-46 Thursday in the Patriots’ final regular-season contest.

Liberty finished third in the KingCo Conference 3A/2A standings with a 10-4 record. The Patriots, 14-6 overall, host Mercer Island at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the opening round of the league tournament.

The Patriots, who lost to co-leaders Lake Washington and Juanita earlier in the week, shot to a 17-12 first-quarter lead against Mount Si and never looked back. Liberty held a commanding 27-17 halftime lead on Senior Night.

Appropriately for the Patriots, seniors played a major part in the victory. Senior Aspen Winegar scored a game-high 17 points. Seniors Stephanie Year, Megan Tsutakawa and Morgan Safley contributed nine, seven and three points respectively. Sophomore Sierra Carlson added 16 points.

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Forfeits hurt Patriots against Mount Si

January 31, 2012

Shane Small (top) wrestles Mount Si High School’s Tye Rodne at Bellevue Jan. 28. Small, a 152-pounder from Liberty High School, defeated Rodne, 8-4, but Mount Si overcame the Patriots, 51-21. By Sebastian Moraga

The Liberty High School wrestling team tried but could not overcome Mount Si, losing 54-21 Jan. 28 at Bellevue High School.

Both teams, along with Mercer Island and Sammamish, went to Bellevue to make up KingCo Conference 3A/2A matches the mid-January snowstorm had postponed.

“I don’t think it’s ever helpful,” Patriots assistant coach Wright Noel said of the time away from the mat. “It takes a while to get the kids back in it after they have done nothing for a week. But all the schools have had to deal with the same issues.”

The delay caused the Liberty upperclassmen to not have a Senior Night, he said.

“That’s always tough on our seniors,” he said.

The squad that showed up on Wolverine Way to grapple with Mount Si was not a full-force band of Patriots, as evidenced by the four forfeits that gave the Wildcats 24 points. Liberty forfeited at 285, 195, 113 and 106 pounds.

“And we have a couple of kids injured, so that hurt,” Noel said. “But Mount Si did a good job.”

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Unbeaten Issaquah wrestlers overwhelm Newport

January 27, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. Jan. 27, 2012

The unbeaten Issaquah High School wrestling team had too much muscle for Newport on Tuesday as the Eagles produced a 64-15 KingCo Conference 4A victory.

Jordan Hamilton (113), Louden Ivey (120), Jerdon Helgeson (138), Joseph Tonnemaker (145), Taylor Evans (152), Andrew Ramirez (170), Matt Solusod (220) and Jonathan Norris (285) all had pins for Issaquah. David Tickman (106) won his match with a major decision.

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Issaquah High School wrestlers give alumni entertaining week

January 17, 2012

Almen Thorpe, Issaquah High School senior, has Dalton Mann of Woodinville in trouble on the way to a pin in his 132-pound match Jan. 11 on 50th anniversary Alumni Night. Thorpe also won matches by pin last week against Garfield and Bothell. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School wrestling program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, gave its alumni plenty to cheer about last week. The Eagles won four matches and placed third in the Jack Reynolds Invitational.

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Liberty High School wrestlers topple KingCo foes

January 17, 2012

Liberty posted two easy KingCo Conference 3A/2A victories Jan. 12 when the Patriots walloped Juanita, 53-21, and crushed Sammamish, 48-18.

In the Juanita match, Conner Small (138) and Austin Whitley (152) had pins for Liberty. Hamilton Noel (160) won his match with a technical fall.

In the Sammamish match, Small and Noel Brandon (195) had pins for the Patriots.

At the Jack Reynolds Tournament, in addition to Small’s title in the 138-pound class and Tierney placing second at 170, Noel placed second in the 160-pound class. Brandon was third in the 182-pound division.

Liberty wrestlers take down two KingCo opponents

January 13, 2012

NEW — 4:45 p.m Jan. 13, 2012

The Liberty High School wrestling team posted two easy KingCo Conference 3A/2A victories Jan. 12 when the Patriots walloped Juanita 53-21 and crushed Sammamish 48-18.

In the Juanita match, Conner Small (138) and Austin Whitely (152) had pins for Liberty. Hamilton Noel (160) won his match with a technical fall.

In the Sammamish match, Small and Noel Brandon (195) had pins for the Patriots.

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Spartans rack up wrestling wins

January 10, 2012

Conner Small, Liberty High School freshman, puts the shoulders of Redmond's Bryan Lapierre on the mat for a pin during the Liberty Wrestling Invitational Jan. 7. Small went on to win the 138-pound division. By Greg Farrar

Local high school wrestlers were plenty busy last week with Skyline and Issaquah both competing in league matches and invitational tournaments, and Liberty hosting its annual invitational.

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