After finishing one game short of state last season, the Liberty girls basketball team is ready for another push.
“I’m excited about this year,” said coach Randy Leifer. “We’re a little quicker, a little smaller than we’ve been in the past.”
Returning starters are senior forward Delane Agnew and junior point guard Sierra Carlson. Carlson scored 8.2 points per game and Agnew added 6.2 last season. Agnew is the team’s only senior.
The Patriots’ leading scorer and rebounder from a year ago, Aspen Winegar, graduated, and the team is lacking size.
“It will be a challenge to rebound with some bigger teams,” Leifer said. “Teams with a lot of size will create some matchup problems for us inside.”
Leifer said the Patriots will simply have to be more aggressive to offset the size disadvantage.
Other key returners are sophomore forward Avery Granberg, junior forward Alicia Abraham, junior forward Ashlan Applegate, junior post Adele Payant and junior point guard Tara Johnson.
Abraham (3.4 points per game), Applegate (2.8), Payant (1.8) and Johnson (1.2) all played strong off the bench last season. Applegate is the team’s leading returning rebounder at 3.7 per game.
Impact newcomers are sophomore guard Cherelle Demps, sophomore guard Danielle Demps, junior forward Sarah Bliesner and sophomore guard Devin Anderson.
With a deep roster of talented players, Leifer was able to have several players be on the floor for significant minutes last season. He said this year’s team is even deeper.
“We’re going to try to play more uptempo to take advantage of that,” he said. “We can keep our players fresh and wear other teams down.”