<Updated with date, time, place of Regional game>
By the end of the first quarter of the West Central District 2/3 2A championship game, the biggest question remaining was who Liberty would play in the Regional Tournament.
Liberty went on an 11-2 run in the final 4 minutes of the first quarter to build a 21-9 lead. From there, the Patriots cruised to 54-44 district-title clinching victory over KingCo Conference rival Sammamish Saturday night at Foss High School.
The answer to the Regional Tourney question is East Valley of Spokane (19-3), the number 3 team out of District 5/6/7. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Renton High School.
There were not any surprises in the title game and there were not expected to be any. It was the third time Liberty and Sammamish met. And it was the third time Liberty dominated its KingCo opponent.
Danielle Demps provided the early spark on both ends of the court. The senior guard hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter including back-to-back early giving Liberty an 8-2 lead. “I was able to be open, hit the shots and then it just trickled down,” said Demps, who finished with 14 points. “Our defense picked up and we just rolled from then on.”
It wasn’t long before the defense picked up. Eight Sammamish turnovers in the opening quarter led to 11 points for Liberty. That continued throughout the game. Liberty scored 31 points off 30 Sammamish turnovers for the contest.
As in the semifinal game against White River, Cherelle Demps was a big benefactor of the turnovers. She finished as the game’s high scorer with 16 points. From there, Liberty spread out the scoring. Sydney Argosino came off the bench to score 9 points, all on 3-pointers.
While things went swimmingly for the Patriots in the first quarter, it was an inconsistent game overall. The Patriots offense took the second quarter off and scored just 7 points. Then, after building a 26-point with 7 minutes left in the game, Liberty’s offense again disappeared. Unlike the second quarter though, the defense also slacked a bit. The Totems sliced the gap to just a dozen at 50-38 with about 3 minutes remaining.
Liberty head coach Carly Fromdahl said the big lead and getting everybody involved in the championship game played a part in the fourth quarter struggles. There were some different rotations than usual and that messed with the chemistry a bit.
“That’s why you get the big lead,” Fromdahl said. “Getting the big lead lets you do that with the team.”