December 6, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 6, 2012
Both teams look to improve in conference play
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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
March 4, 2011
Liberty High School’s swimmers and wrestlers stole the spotlight this winter season, reaching the state championships.
Swimmer Logan Briggs took second place in the state 3A championships in the 200-yard freestyle, helping lead Liberty’s swim team to a tie for seventh place at the state championships.
Wrestler Hamilton Noel took second place in the state in 152-pound weight class.
Liberty’s basketball teams’ postseasons were cut short, with the girls falling in the Sea-King District Tournament, and the boys falling in the KingCo 3A Tournament.
March 4, 2011
A month ago, Liberty High School senior Chandler Jenkins wasn’t sure where he wanted to go to college. The three-sport athlete had received scholarship offers from numerous colleges to play football, but he wasn’t sure which one to take.
However, on national signing day Feb. 2, he signed a letter of intent with the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I didn’t want to regret the decision in five years,” Jenkins said.
He said he wanted to set himself up for a good career, although he is not sure what field he would like to go into.
Jenkins will play the slot receiver position in the Air Force triple-option offense, and will get plenty of opportunities to run the ball.
Jenkins celebrated his signing before school Feb. 9 in Liberty’s career center. With him were his father Cephus, mother Kathleen, stepfather Neal, older brother Jordan, aunt Shirley and grandmother Thelma.
March 4, 2011
Despite a midseason coaching change, the Hazen boys basketball team found great success in the 2010-2011 season, fighting through a district tournament to achieve its first state playoff berth since 2002.
Swimmer Chase Onstot and diver Brandon Alexander earned a trip to the state swimming and diving championships in Federal Way Feb. 19, and five Highlanders earned a trip to the state wrestling tournament in the Tacoma Dome Feb. 18.
The Hazen High School boys basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 1-point loss in the second game of the state tournament to end its season.
The berth in the tournament followed district tournament wins over Kelso, Bremerton, Camas and Kennedy high schools. Had Hazen lost one of those games, its season would have been over.