GIRLS BASKETBALL: Federal Way blows out Union in district opener behind Benton's 26

The Federal Way Eagles girls basketball team are just one win away from qualifying for their fourth state basketball tournament in a row.

The Eagles, led by senior Raven Benton, opened the West Central District Tournament with a convincing second-half performance to beat Union at home Wednesday night, 57-35.

Benton dominated the scoring for Federal Way against the third-place team from the Greater St. Helen's League with a career-high 26 points. The Eagles led only 27-23 at halftime, but enjoyed a 30-12 advantage in the second half to pull away from Union.

Federal Way, who won the South Puget Sound League championship last weekend over previously unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Mount Rainier, also got eight points from senior Dyesha Belhumuer. Jessica Chatman had 16 points and 15 rebounds for Union (14-8).

The Eagles will now face Central Kitsap with a state tournament berth on the line. The two teams will meet in the West Central District quarterfinal at 8 p.m. at Stadium High School on Friday, Feb. 17.

Central Kitsap (17-4) beat Auburn Riverside in their district opener, 55-50. Central Kitsap, who finished third in the Narrows League, used a 17-8 fourth quarter to beat the Ravens. Auburn Riverside led by four entering the final eight minutes. The Cougars were led by 14 points from Krista Stabler and 13 from Jenna Warner.

The winner of the Federal Way-Central Kitsap game will play the winner of a game between Kentwood and South Kitsap in the semifinals at 8 p.m. at Auburn High School on Saturday, Feb. 18. The losers will play at 6 p.m. at Stadium on Saturday and have to win two games in a row to qualify for state.

The West Central District championship game will be played at 8 p.m. at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Monday, Feb. 20.


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