The IssaquahPress Sports B4 Wednesday February 19, 2014 Liberty girls take third at KingCo tournament By Christina Corrales-Toy firstname.lastname@example.org By Greg Farrar Torre Eaton (top), Issaquah High School senior, proceeds to take down Isaiah Av, Evergreen sophomore, for the only points scored in their 113-pound title match Feb. 15 in his 2-0 victory for the 4A Region 2 wrestling championship. PINNING DOWN A TITLE Issaquah, Skyline grapplers heading for Mat Classic By Neil Pierson npierson@ sammamishreview.com Senior 113-pounder Torre Eaton may be the most promising chance for Issaquah High School’s wrestling medal hopes. Eaton had an outstanding regular season, and won the regional crown by eking out a 2-0 decision over Evergreen (Vancouver) sophomore Isaiah Av at the Class 4A Region 2 championships, held Feb. 15 at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore. The match that clinched Eaton’s third consecutive state appearance was impressive — a pin of Evergreen’s Andrew Lonero that took only 28 seconds. “I just did my thing and the result was there,” Eaton said. Meanwhile, Skyline High School Joseph DeMatteo is no stranger to the pressures of the Mat Classic, and he’ll be one of the most experienced wrestlers on the Tacoma Dome floor this weekend. DeMatteo, a senior, clinched his fourth bid to the state wrestling tournament by finishing third in the 145-pound class at the regional event. DeMatteo will be looking to finish in the top eight and win his first medal, after previously coming up short at 126, 113 and 103 pounds. Being a state veteran should help him. “I think I really just have a mental edge on the competition because I’ve been there four times, so I know what mindset I need to be in,” DeMatteo said. “New guys kind of get nervous when they’re at state, and it’s just a lot to take in with 24 mats at the T-Dome.” DeMatteo will face Kentwood senior Dalton Meyers on Feb. 21 in a first-round state match. He had to work hard to become a four-time state qualifier. In his regional opener, he trailed Union’s Judah Reynolds 2-1 late in the third period. But he used a Whizzer, a common defensive tactic, and a half-Nelson to flip Reynolds onto his back for a near fall and a 4-2 win. DeMatteo lost 12-2 to Woodinville’s Dalton Mann in the semifinals, but clinched his state berth by pinning Battle Ground’s Taylor Stewart. That earned him a rematch with Reynolds, and DeMatteo won 6-1 to claim third place. Skyline scored 74 points to finish eighth out of 17 teams at regionals. The Spartans qualified five wrestlers for Mat Classic XXVI. Their other top-four regional placers included freshman Zach Froeber (second, 106 pounds); junior Nathan Swanson (third, 120); senior Tristan Steciw (third, 132); and sophomore Bo Longmore (fourth, 170). Swanson will make his second trip to the Mat Classic after an 0-2 finish as a sophomore 106-pounder. He also believes prior experience should bode well. “It helps a lot to not get blown away once you get there,” he said. “It’s just so unbelievable how many people are there, how many mats are there. I think the second time I’ll do a lot better, know what it feels like.” Swanson faced a win-orgo-home regional match with Newport’s Diego Dwyer. Swanson built a 9-5 lead in the third period, and then punctuated it with a pin in the dying seconds. “He kept throwing me,” Swanson said, “but I stayed calm, caught him See WRESTLING, Page B5 Woodinville bottles up Eagles’ top scorers By Neil Pierson npierson@ sammamishreview.com It was a simple but effective formula that wound up being the difference in Woodinville’s victory over Issaquah in a Feb. 12 girls basketball playoff game. Senior guards Mandie Hill and Mackenzie Wieburg supply the bulk of Issaquah’s offense, and visiting Woodinville was able to collar them for the vast majority of the teams’ first-round clash in the Class 4A KingCo Conference tournament. The Eagles rallied to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons scored the final six points and forced some crucial turnovers to win, 55-49. Issaquah coach Bob Richey said Woodinville’s defensive pressure stymied his star players. Hill averaged 18.9 points per game during the regular season, but was held to 12, and Wieburg, who averaged 13.7 points, scored only five. “The scouting report, it’s not rocket science,” Richey said. “You’re going to try to take the top scorer out of the game whoever you play.” For much of the game, Hill and Wieburg were able to get their teammates involved in the offense. Issaquah sank nine 3-pointers — seven of them in the first half — and most of them came from supporting players like Sophie Foreman, Jozie Crisafulli and Sarah Hiegel. By Greg Farrar Mackenzie Wieburg, Issaquah High School senior guard, has a shot rejected in the fourth quarter by Woodinville junior Keenae Tiersma Feb. 12 in the 49-55 4A KingCo Conference tournament loss at Bellevue College. A Hiegel 3-pointer tied the game at 49 with about three minutes to play, but they were the Eagles’ final points. The Falcons picked up a pair of offensive rebounds with about one minute left, resulting in a Mackenzie Campbell basket. With a four-point deficit, the Eagles tried to score quickly, but Crisafulli was surrounded on her drive into the paint and turned the ball over. The play was indicative of the game’s hard-fought nature. “The reality is that it’s an intense game, both teams going at each other defensively,” Richey said, “so it really comes down to who’s going to take care of the ball at the end of the game. “And you’ve got to give credit to Woodinville — I thought they did a really nice job running their offense late in the game. Our kids played great defensively, but they really spread us out and they made a little bit better decisions late in the game.” Issaquah (13-8 overall) started the game hot, with Foreman burying two 3-pointers to forge an 11-4 lead for the Eagles. But Woodinville (13-7) caught fire in the second quarter as five players combined to score 20 points. The quarter featured eight lead changes, and the Falcons’ 9-0 spurt allowed them to take a 3128 lead to halftime. Issaquah’s defense buckled down in the third period, limiting Woodinville to 10 points, but the Eagles were unable to pull away on offense. Crisafulli scored six straight points for her team, and Wieburg made her first field goal of the game with 2:26 to go in the third for a 36-34 Issaquah lead. Woodinville’s Erin Hamilton scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the second half, and Campbell chipped in with 12. Hill was Issaquah’s only double-digit scorer, although Foreman and Crisafulli scored nine points each and Nicole Victory added eight. Richey indicated he wasn’t disappointed in Hill’s performance, as she ran the offense much of the game and found openings for her teammates. “Mandie did a good job of finding other people and helped us in a lot of other ways that probably See EAGLES, Page B5 The scoreboard painted a bleak picture after the first quarter of the Liberty High School girls basketball team’s Feb. 13 contest against Juanita. The Patriots managed just two points in the first eight minutes of play, while the Rebels racked up 15. Shots just weren’t falling for Liberty in the first quarter of the game that determined third place in the KingCo tournament. It was a struggle, senior captain Sierra Carlson admitted, to remain resolute as the misses just accumulated. “I’ve done that earlier in the season,” she said, “miss a shot and get down on myself, but this time, I knew I couldn’t afford to put my head down this game.” Carlson powered through the initial adversity to lead her team with 14 points, in an exciting come-frombehind, 44-33 win for the Patriots. Liberty would go on to outscore Juanita in the three remaining quarters, but it was a thrilling third quarter that sealed the deal for the Patriots. The Patriots emerged from halftime down 2312. Juanita began the second half with a quick two points, before Liberty proceeded to take over the game. The furious comeback began with a pair of Carlson 3-pointers, followed by one from Danielle Demps, who had 10 points in the game. The Bellevue College gym filled with noise, as Liberty supporters banged on the benches and cheered at the Patriots’ changing momentum. “It was crazy,” Demps said. “We fed off the crowd’s adrenaline, our friends and families’ adrenaline, and our bench. Our bench really came through tonight.” The Rebels clearly looked rattled in a third quarter in which they produced only two points. The Liberty shooters’ momentum, combined with an aggressive defense, opened the door for the Patriots to tie the game at 25 apiece about five minutes into the third. Liberty wouldn’t look back after that, maintaining a lead the rest of the game. “Everyone’s mind had to shift from the first half to focus on the second half, and that’s what happened,” Demps said. The win earned the Patriots the KingCo third seed in the SeaKing District tournament. Liberty continued its road to state with a 47-34 win against Seattle Prep on Feb. 15. That win earned them a showdown with the state’s top-ranked 3A girls basketball team, Cleveland, Feb. 18. The results were not available at press time. If the girls win, though, they’ll continue their quest to the regional tournament with a Feb. 20 game against West Seattle or KingCo opponent Mercer Island at Bellevue College. If they lose, they would play the loser of that matchup in a loser-out game Feb. 21. “We’re feeling pretty good,” Carlson said. “Our season’s not over and we still have some work to do.” Liberty boys season ends at Franklin Just two days after the Liberty boys basketball season ended with a 49-44 loss to Franklin, the Patriots were right back on the court. About 15 players that will form the bulk of next year’s team spent their first morning of mid-winter break at the Liberty High School gym working to get better. “I think it’s indicative of the excitement surrounding our program and where we’ve come in just two short seasons,” coach Omar Parker said. “I’m really encouraged about that. There are so many great signs that point to Liberty basketball going in the right direction.” Liberty’s season came to a close with an openinground loss to Franklin, one of the state’s premier high school basketball programs, in the SeaKing District tournament Feb. 15. Senior Kellen Birdsall, a first team All-KingCo selection, put a cap on his stellar season, with a game-leading 28 points in the loss. Freshman Mike Walters added 11 points, while Austin Mackey had five. “Nobody else could really muster a basket, and that’s a credit to Franklin’s defense,” Parker said. “They were strong defensively, and so were we. It was a low-scoring game.” Liberty secured a spot in districts with an openinground, 72-56 win against Interlake in the KingCo tournament. The Patriots played See PATRIOTS, Page B5 By Greg Farrar Sierra Carlson, Liberty High School senior guard, with a teamhigh 14 points, leaves the court smiling at the end of the Patriots’ come-from-way-behind, 44-33 win against Juanita in their 3A KingCo Conference tournament game Feb. 13 at Bellevue College.