Liberty’s season ends at regionals

March 3, 2014

NEW — 4:30 p.m. March 3, 2014

By Greg Farrar Ashlan Applegate, Liberty High School senior forward, throws up three of her 10 points to open the second quarter against Cleveland in their 3A state regional loser-out game March 1.

By Greg Farrar
Ashlan Applegate, Liberty High School senior forward, throws up three of her 10 points to open the second quarter against Cleveland in their 3A state regional loser-out game March 1.

If anyone had any questions about the Liberty High School girls basketball team’s season goal, they need only to look at the players’ forearms as they stepped on the Bellevue College court for a March 1 loser-out, winner-to-state game. Read more

Highlanders surprise on the court

February 6, 2014

By Greg Farrar Isaiah Davis (right), Hazen High School senior guard, drives around Lindbergh senior forward Michael Smith on Jan. 29 to put up the last two points of the game in the Highlanders’ double-overtime, 71-64 victory.

By Greg Farrar
Isaiah Davis (right), Hazen High School senior guard, drives around Lindbergh senior forward Michael Smith on Jan. 29 to put up the last two points of the game in the Highlanders’ double-overtime, 71-64 victory.

The 2013-2014 Hazen High School Highlanders boys basketball team isn’t used to losing, so when it suffered its second loss of the season against Renton Jan. 24, the boys couldn’t wait to get back on the court.

“We took two days off and I think they were just excited to get back competing on the court again, which was encouraging to see,” coach Ryan Thompson said.

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Liberty basketball girls turn heads

February 6, 2014

If you scoured the 3A state girls basketball rankings at the beginning of the season, you wouldn’t find Liberty High School mentioned on any lists.

The Patriots weren’t even considered in the same class as KingCo 3A/2A giants Juanita and Bellevue. It’s understandable — this group, with virtually the same roster, went 13-11 last year, good for fourth in the conference.

By Greg Farrar Ashlan Applegate (44), Liberty High School senior forward, puts up a shot as Marissa Therriault, of Sammamish, defends during the first quarter of their Jan. 17 basketball game. The Patriots won against the Totems, 54-28.

By Greg Farrar
Ashlan Applegate (44), Liberty High School senior forward, puts up a shot as Marissa Therriault, of Sammamish, defends during the first quarter of their Jan. 17 basketball game. The Patriots won against the Totems, 54-28.

The Patriots girls basketball team is quickly turning heads across the state, though, with big wins against ranked opponents Everett, Bellevue and previously unbeaten Juanita.

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Highlanders defeat Patriots, 50-44

December 6, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Anthony Phillips, Hazen High School junior center, goes to the basket as Liberty defends during their Dec. 1 basketball game. Hazen defeated Liberty, 50-44.

After the final buzzer rang in the boys basketball matchup pitting Renton rivals Hazen and Liberty high schools against each other, the court was filled with a sea of celebrating students — Hazen students, that is.

Hazen’s sizable student section, all clad in white, stormed the court at Hazen High School after the Highlanders knocked off Liberty, 50-44, Dec. 1.

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50 Newcastle families hoop it up at world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tourney

August 2, 2012

Last month, more than 70 players from 50 Newcastle families participated in Hoopfest, the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.

Hoopfest was June 30 and July 1 in downtown Spokane. It spanned 42 city blocks with 458 courts, 7,000 teams and 27,000 players.

Contributed
Some of the more than 70 Newcastle boys and girls celebrate with a group photo after finishing their basketball tournament play at the 2012 Spokane Hoopfest.

David Cour said many kids are part of the Liberty Select Basketball program, which is a select feeder program for the high school.

Cour traveled with his wife and three sons to the event, their fourth time participating. Their sons Chase, 12, and Griffin, 9, both played in the tournament. (Their third son, Kellan, 6, is too young to play.) Chase won his bracket and Griffin came in second place. Cour said the trip is very enjoyable, especially if families are into basketball.

More than 1,000 volunteers help run Hoopfest, including a monitor for each court. Games are 25 minutes or end when the first team gets to 20 points. There were also a lot of sponsor booths and other activities for kids.

Every year, the presence of Newcastle has grown in the event because of word-of-mouth. Dennis Rattie heard so many good things about it from others that he decided to take his 8-year-old, Ethan, to play.

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Liberty’s Winegar signs with The University of Montana Western

July 3, 2012

Liberty High School girl’s basketball player Aspen Winegar signed a letter of intent to play basketball at The University of Montana Western.

Winegar earned four varsity letters in basketball and was named a captain as well as the most valuable player at Liberty. She rose through the rankings of the all-league teams in her time at Liberty, making honorable mention in 2010, second-team all-league in 2011 and first-team all-conference and all-state in 2012.

“Aspen Winegar was a positive force on the Liberty girls basketball team for four years,” Liberty coach Randy Leifer said in a press release. “She is an outstanding player that can play with her back to the basket in the post or move outside, where she led the league in 3-point shooting percentage. Aspen is not only an excellent player, she is also a great teammate who set a good example for others, worked hard, was very coachable and kept teammates smiling.”

The University of Montana Western competes in the Frontier Conference of the National Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Liberty girls topple Mercer Island for 59-50 win

February 3, 2012

As Liberty High School Patriots girls basketball coach Randy Leifer looks to wrap up the regular season, he’s sure this year’s past and future success hinges on how deep his bench is.

As the Patriots took on conference opponent Mercer Island the evening of Jan. 25, all but two players on the roster scored for the team.

“I think we really have a lot of depth on our team, and we shot the ball well tonight,” Leifer said after the 59-50 victory over the Islanders. “We didn’t rebound as well as we should have been, though, and we’ll work on that.”

Starting junior forward Delane Agnew had a team-high 14 points for Liberty — eight of those dropped the first quarter to give Liberty a big push up front — in the contest.

By Greg Farrar Delane Agnew, Liberty High School junior forward, lofts two of her 14 points against Mercer Island over sophomore guard Ari Moscatel during the third quarter.

Starting sophomore guard Sierra Carlson contributed 12 points and four rebounds, while senior guard Stephanie Yea knocked down two three-point shots in the first half and ended the game with eight total points.

The score was 29-14 at the half.

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Liberty overcomes sluggish start to beat Hazen, 54-48

January 6, 2012

Both teams look to improve in conference play

Ben Wessel, Liberty High School senior post, fouls Hazen High School junior center Cody Moorhead on the putback from a rebound during the first quarter of the Dec. 22 game. By Greg Farrar

As the Hazen High School boys team opened play against Liberty on Dec. 22, Hazen coach Ryan Thompson liked the pace his team was setting.

Led by senior guard starter Alex Olson’s eight points in the first quarter, the Highlanders were up 17-8 after the first quarter of the game.

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Liberty girls grab decisive 66-39 win over Hazen

January 6, 2012

Hazen senior Airashay Rogers contributes 19 points

As the Liberty High School girls basketball team squared off against Hazen High School, they knew they had a lot riding on their shoulders.

After beating out Sumner and Newport, as well as conference foes Sammamish, Bellevue, Juanita and Mercer Island, they remained undefeated.

The Patriots kept that streak alive on their home court with a decisive 66-39 victory over the Highlanders on Dec. 22.

Adele Payant (left), Liberty High School sophomore center, and Hazen High School sophomore forward Gabby Brower chase after a rebound late during the third quarter Dec. 22. By Greg Farrar

“We’ve been able to finish games off when they’re close, and we’ve had some close ones,” Liberty coach Randy Leifer said. “We shoot the ball well, and we’ve got three returning starters this year that give us an inside presence.”

The Patriots entered the game strong, scoring 23 points in the first quarter, and held the Highlanders to just 10 points in the first half.

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Hazen basketball standout signs to play with Huskies

December 1, 2011

Airashay Rogers, the star senior point guard for the Hazen Highlanders girls basketball team, will be the first student athlete in two years to graduate from the school and go on to play a Division I sport in college.

Rogers signed a letter of intent Nov. 21 to play basketball for the University of Washington — the first high school recruit to be brought into the new helm of first-year coach Kevin McGuff.

Rogers, who will study business and marketing at the school, said she’s still focused on a successful season with Highlanders basketball.

Hazen High School senior point guard Airashay Rogers signs a letter of intent to play for the University of Washington. By Christina Lords

“It’s not going to be anything easy,” she said. “I still have to focus on my high school season before I try to go past it. I still want to make sure I have the same connection with my team as before. Nothing has changed, I’m just moving on next year.”

Rogers averaged 26 points per game, 2.4 assists, two blocks, 9.4 rebounds and 6.5 steals per game for the Highlanders last season.

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