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Eagle girls blow away Bethel to earn SPSL's third seed
By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror
The Federal Way Eagles proved to be the hotter team Saturday afternoon at the South Puget Sound League Tournament. The Eagle girls downed the Bethel Braves, 59-42, to secure the SPSLs third seed into the West Central District Tournament.
Federal Way will host the South Kitsap Wolves Thursday night in the opening round. South Kitsap (10-11) finished fifth in the Narrows League and lost to Olympia, 40-38, Friday night.
Both Federal Way and Bethel entered Saturday nights game on hot streaks. Like the Eagles, the Braves had won 10 of their last 11 games and finished second in the SPSL South. But Federal Way made it 11 out of 12 with a dominating win at Puyallup High School.
Freshman guard Brittany Barrington led the Eagles (18-4) with 20 points. But it was fellow ninth-grader TyShanna Burgess that proved to be a huge difference-maker during the decisive second quarter.
Federal Way went on an 18-0 run bridging the second and third quarters and won going easily. During the run, Burgess came off the bench to score all eight of her points.
Federal Way (17-4) also eight points from another freshman, Chantel Dixon.
Senior Whitney Nelson led the Braves (16-6) with 12 points. Bethel hosts Jefferson Thursday night in the opening round of the West Central District Tournament.
Jefferson girls 55, Rogers 49 (Friday)
Sophomore guard Hannah Kiyohara had a career-high 23 points for the Raiders (15-8), who will be the seventh seed from the SPSL at the West Central District Tournament. The Raiders will travel to Bethel Thursday night to take on the Braves, the No. 4 seed from the SPSL.
Jefferson shot 20 free throws in the fourth quarter and outscored the Rams 19-11 in the final eight minutes. Rogers led 38-36 entering the fourth quarter. Unique Taufaasau chipped in 10 points for the Raiders.
Kiara Martinez led Rogers (7-14) with 14 points and the Rams, the eighth seed from the SPSL, will play Bellarmine Prep Thursday.
Bethel boys 65, Decatur 64 (Saturday)
Bethel senior Brandon MaGee converted the second of two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in Saturday nights SPSL Tournament at Puyallup High School to break a 64-64 tie.
The upset win by Bethel (16-6), gives the Braves the SPSLs No. 3 seed into the district tournament and drops Decatur to the fourth seed. The loss now sets up a rugged test in the first-round of the West Central District Tournament. The Gators (17-5) will host Federal Way at 7 p.m. tonight. The Eagles (15-5) finished as the seventh seed from the SPSL after dominating Puyallup Friday at the league tournament, 71-48. Federal Way ended up one game back of Decatur, Kentridge and Kentwood for the SPSL North title. Decatur and Federal Way split their two regular-season meetings.
MaGee led all scorers with 21 points and Oliver Henry added 16 Saturday for Bethel. Michael Hale and Darious Walker each scored 19 points for Decatur, who led by four at halftime.
Beamer boys 71, Kentlake 63 (Friday)
The Titans (10-12) pulled a minor upset over the Falcons Friday night to snare the SPSLs No. 9 seed to districts. Beamer and Kentlake were the two fifth-place teams from the South and North divisions.
The Titans outscored Kentlake (11-11), 44-25, in the second half after trailing 38-27 at halftime.
Beamer was led by the 24 points of Andrew Winton. Teammate Dakin Wanquist added 23 points, including a 10-of-12 effort from the free-throw line.
The Titans will now face third-ranked Bellarmine Prep, the champions of the Narrows League, tonight in Tacoma.
Bellarmine features the guard tandem of Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley, who are both averaging 25 points a game. Gaddy, a junior, has already committed to the University of Arizona.
Federal Way boys 71, Puyallup 48 (Friday)
Federal Way showed the dominance of the SPSL North on Friday with a victory at Bethel for the No. 7 seed to the district tournament.
Aaron Broussard led all scorers with 21 points for the Eagles, while teammate Jeff Forbes added 13 as Federal Way rolled out a 22-10 third quarter.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com