GIRLS BASKETBALL: Federal Way blows away Tahoma; Decatur loses district opener to Capital

The Federal Way Eagles are one win away from qualifying for their third straight Class 4A State Girls Basketball Tournament after bombing the Tahoma Bears, 75-40, in the opening round of the West Central/Southwest Bi-District Tournament Tuesday.

The win on the Eagles' home court came four days after Auburn Riverside handed Federal Way its first loss in Washington in the South Puget Sound League Championship Game. The Eagles' other loss this season came to the defending Idaho state-champion Coeur d'Alene High School in a tournament at North Idaho College over the Christmas break.

Federal Way will take on Skyview at 6 p.m. at Rogers High School on Friday, Feb. 18 in the district quarterfinals. The winner will automatically qualify for the Class 4A state tournament. Skyview (17-4) won the Greater St. Helen's League and beat Olympia in their district opener Tuesday, 49-36.

Things were surprisingly tight for the Eagles during the first quarter of Tuesday's game against Tahoma. The Bears, who finished fourth in the SPSL North, trailed only 18-14 after the opening eight minutes of play.

But ultra-talented Federal Way proved too much the rest of the way. The Eagles outscored Tahoma, 25-6, during the second quarter to take a commanding 43-20 halftime lead.

Junior guard Darah Huertas-Vining led four Federal Way players in double figures with 20 points. Brittany Barrington finished with 15, Dyesha Belhumeur added 14 and Raven Benton chipped in 11 points.

The Eagles played their second straight game without their leading scorer and rebounder, Talia Walton. The University of Washington-bound senior strained her knee in practice the week before the SPSL Championship game. It's still up in the air if she will play again this season.

Capital 52, Decatur 34 (West Central/Southwest 3A Tournament) —

The Gators dropped their West Central/Southwest 3A Bi-District opener Tuesday to Capital at Stadium.

The loss means the Gators will have to win three-straight matches to qualify for the program's first state tournament since 2000. Decatur will play the loser of a game between Auburn Mountainview and Timberline at 12:45 p.m. at Clover Park High School on Saturday in a loser-out contest. Auburn Mountainview and Timberline play Friday night.

The Gators (8-16) hung tough with the Cougars during the first quarter Tuesday. Capital, who finished third in the Narrows League, led just 10-7 after the first eight minutes. But Capital outscored Decatur, 18-9, in the second quarter to take command of the game.

The Gators were led by the 11 points of senior Kayla Lipston and got seven points each from Alexis Cole and A'yesia Rogers.

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