Bad luck, very good team ends Liberty run to state tournament

Liberty girls basketball coach Carly Fromdahl might want to schedule a game against Pullman next season. Perhaps there would be some sense of satisfaction in an opportunity for revenge.

For the second consecutive season Liberty fell one game short of a trip to the final eight. East Valley (Spokane), the number three team out of District 5/6/7 defeated Liberty 71-50 Saturday afternoon at Renton High School.

So why would Liberty want to play Pullman next year? It was Pullman that somehow upset East Valley in tournament play. That loss knocked East Valley out of the district championship game and down into the number three seed out of District 5/6/7.

That set in motion a sequence of events that arguably gave Liberty a tougher matchup as a number one seed than it would have as a lower seed out of District 2/3. The Patriots ended up playing a team that probably was the best out of East Valley’s district.

Pullman lost to River Ridge, the District 2/3 number 5 seed Saturday. Ellensburg, the top seed in District 5/6/7 easily handled North Kitsap the district 2/3 number 6 seed. Here’s what really will stick in the craw of Liberty. Sammamish, a team Liberty manhandled three times this season, is headed to Yakima after defeating Sehome Saturday. The Totems won by 14!

This set of events for Liberty, is just bad luck and disappointing.

It was bad luck for Liberty that Pullman pulled off the upset against East Valley in district play. Tournament time is known for upsets. This time, Liberty ended up as the collateral damage of the Pullman stunner. There was nothing sinister here. The WIAA had actually set up the pairings in February. When the upset happened, some team was going to get the big challenge of the power house from the east.

It’s disappointing the Patriots ran into East Valley when they did. The Patriots and coach Fromdahl knew the drive to a state title would mean they would need to meet and beat the best. There are no promises it will happen at the state tournament. Liberty just happened to get that challenge in regionals this time.

On Saturday, Liberty, was not quite up to that challenge. The Patriots were leading by one at halftime but a 12-0 run in the third quarter gave East Valley an 11-point lead and the Patriots couldn’t recover.

It was not for lack of trying. They were beat by what was probably a better team. It’s not a disgrace, just disappointing.

Seniors Cherelle and Danielle Demps, Avery Granberg, Sarah Bliesner and Devin Anderson face the most disappointment. Their goal was the final eight and they fell short. In time, this group of seniors will be able to reflect upon the season and know they were successful despite the ending.

Meanwhile, the underclassmen will look to the future and another run at the Sun Dome. And, if there is any justice, a chance to play Pullman.