Sophomore Sophia Liesse captains the Lake Washington High girls basketball squad. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Sophomore Sophia Liesse captains the Lake Washington High girls basketball squad. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Liesse helps lead LW to hot hoops start

Kang sophomore possesses an all-around game.

Lake Washington High girls basketball coach Jeff Wilson is amazed at the all-around game that sophomore captain Sophia Liesse unleashes on the court.

She’s the team leader in points, steals and blocks and stands second in assists and rebounds. Her scoring high is 13 and she’s notched two 10-rebound games, two eight-assist games, two six-steal contests and two six-block contests.

“Her full game is such a big thing. Like one game she’ll only have two points, but she’ll have eight rebounds, six assists and four blocks. It’s just the consistency of her game,” Wilson said of the 5-foot-9 guard.

Liesse helped lead the Kangs into a first-place tie with Juanita with a 4-1 record in 2A/3A KingCo action and a 7-6 overall mark at press time. The local squads will face off at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at LW.

“I think it’s teamwork. A lot of the girls on the team are really close with each other, so we’re able to communicate well,” said Liesse, adding that a highlight this season was beating Bellevue, 41-32. “Last year, they totally destroyed us by 50… so to come back was really big for us.”

They were upset with last year’s result against Bellevue and worked diligently to turn things around this season. The postgame celebration was a memorable experience, Liesse said.

Liesse was drawn to the hoops hardwood as a second-grader after watching her older brother play the game.

“I think that the best part is really just playing together and winning, ‘cause we never used to win, so winning with the team is a really good feeling,” she said.

LW, which starts three freshmen and two sophomores, also features standouts Ellie Pederson (5-10 sophomore guard) and Rosa Smith (5-7 freshman point guard). Pederson has been scoring big and nailed a game-high 16 points in a 77-30 win against Mountlake Terrace. Smith is a speedy player who controls the offense well and has a solid understanding of the game. She notched 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in a loss against Archbishop Murphy.

The Reporter asked Liesse a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Kirkland?

Homegrown.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people are hypocritical.

What’s something unique about yourself?

I used to have a pet tortoise. (She now has two dogs and one cat.)

What’s your dream vacation spot?

Bora Bora.

Who’s your idol growing up?

My mom.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

That everything happens for a reason, so just embrace what happens, live in the moment.

What do you appreciate the most in life?

My family.

What’s your main goal in life?

Just to be successful and to find happiness in whatever I end up doing.

What’s your favorite kind of music?

Hip-hop.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

“Like Mike.”

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