In a night of celebration, the Liberty girls and boys basketball teams made short work of visiting Interlake. Both teams dominated the first half and stretched the lead in the second half on the way to KingCo 2A/3A conference victories on Senior Night Friday.
Liberty girls 63, Interlake 46
Senior Cherelle Demps scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead Liberty to the 17-point victory and improve to 5-4 in KingCo 2A/3A, 13-5 overall.
It was a rugged game for the first three quarters as the Patriots were whistled for nine fouls in the first quarter alone. With Liberty leading 32-24 heading into the final frame, the game finally got into a flow. Interlake (1-8, 8-9) closed to within four points at 36-32 and it was a five-point lead at 42-37 when Demps scored six consecutive points including a pair of hoops on offensive rebounds following her own shot. Four consecutive free throws by senior Avery Greenberg closed a 10-point run and Interlake did not threaten again.
Coach Carly Fromdahl went with an all-senior lineup of Demps, Greenberg, Danielle Demps, Devin Anderson, and Sarah Bliesner to open the game. That group held Interlake without a field goal in the first quarter and Interlake did not score a basket until Maddie Chandler hit a short jumper with 4:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Offensively, Danielle Demps was the catalyst in building a 24-13 halftime lead, scoring 11 points and controlling the tempo of the game. She finished with 15 points.
Demps said that while the Patriots like to run up and down the court when possible, the stop and go play of the first half did not bother them. “We’re used to whistles and fighting adversity every time we play. We’re just trying to keep trucking.”
The victory provided relief from a surprising 31-point loss Wednesday to a Juanita team the Patriots had beaten by three points in the first meeting.
Liberty boys 62, Interlake 36
Junior Noble Cooper crashed the senior party, scoring 16 points and leading the Patriots to their ninth victory of the season. Cooper scored 10 of his points in the first half as Liberty (5-4, 9-6) built a 23-18 lead. Cooper’s success was built in the high post where he consistently found himself open for 13 to 15-foot jumpers. The forward with the soft shooting touch was 4 of 11 from the field and added a pair of free throws.
Liberty extended the lead to 14 at the end of the third quarter as it held Interlake (1-8, 3-14) scoreless for the first 3:45.
The Patriots, giving up just an average of 44 points a game, harassed Interlake with a tight defense. The frustration finally boiled over for the Saints in the fourth quarter when they were whistled for two technical fouls. In addition, Interlake turned the ball over five times when they were called for offensive fouls away from the ball.
As happened in the girl’s game, Liberty coach Omar Parker started all seniors with Petyon Frey, Zach McKee, Griffin Lockhart, Matt Marelli, and Nate Stenis. Frey contributed 14 points. Sophomore Mike Walter came off the bench to score eight points.