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Williams, Smith lead Federal Way to win; SKitsap drops Gators
By CASEY OLSON
Tournament time is when basketball teams lean on their star players.
The Federal Way Eagles (19-4) did just that Wednesday night in their West Central/Southwest District Tournament opener against Vancouvers Mountain View Thunder. Federal Way senior Earnest Pooh Williams and junior Terrell Smith scored 31 points apiece to advance the Eagles into the quarterfinals with an 81-55 victory on their home court.
Federal Way took on No. 2-ranked South Kitsap last night with a berth into the Class 4A State Boys Basketball Championships on the line (after press time). The winner will play at 8 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of last nights game between Foss and Kentwood. The losers of the two games will play at 6 p.m. at Foss High School Wednesday in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Federal Way took control of Mountain View (16-8) in the second eight minutes of Wednesday nights game. Williams tallied 11 of his 19 first-half points during the second quarter, including a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Eagles a 36-23 lead heading into the locker room.
Smith took over the scoring load in the second half of play. The junior tallied Federal Ways first eight points of the third quarter and finished the second half with 21 of his 31 points, including four three-pointers and two dunks.
Williams and Smith werent the only stars at Federal Way High School Wednesday night. The game also featured some star power in the stands. University of Washington head basketball coach Lorenzo Romar entered the gym before tip-off to chants of Lorenzo, Lorenzo from the Federal Way student section. Romar was in Federal Way watching Smith. The 6-5 point guard will be a highly-recruited player next season as a senior.
Former Federal Way and University of Arizona star Michael Dickerson also took in the Eagle win. Dickerson retired from the National Basketball Association two years ago after a five-year professional career that was stalled by numerous injuries. Dickerson, whose half-sister Salena is leading the state in scoring for the Federal Way girls team, averaged 15.4 points and 2.6 assists in 212 games with the Houston Rockets and the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies.
The Gators (18-6) fell into the losers bracket of the West Central/Southwest District Tournament with a 77-60 loss to No. 2-ranked South Kitsap (21-1) Wednesday night in Port Orchard.
The Narrows League champions made 13-of-14 free throws during the final three minutes of the game to pull away from the Gators. Decatur had the South Kitsap lead down to four before the free-throw barrage.
South K is a very good team, well coached, very strong, very well balanced, said Decatur head coach Kevin Olson. We gave a good effort in a very tough environment.
The Gators went to the free-throw line only five times in the entire game and two of those came on their first possession of the game. Decatur also didnt reach the bonus in either half.
The disparity in fouls didnt cost us the game, Olson said. We had opportunities to make plays and didnt make them. We had several fast breaks and didnt convert. Maybe there was contact, but regardless, we have to play through that and finish shots near the basket.
Decatur was led by the 18 points of point guard Andrew Kim, who scored five points during a 10-2 Gator run early in the fourth quarter to tighten the score to 56-52. But that was as close as Decatur would get. JaRon Brown chipped in 12 points and Travis Wagner had 11 for the Gators.
Decatur now puts itself in familiar territory. Having to win two-straight games is nothing new to the Gators. Decatur was forced into two must wins at last weeks South Puget Sound League Tournament after finishing in fourth place in the South Division. The Gators ended up beating Enumclaw and Bethel to earn the berth into the district tournament.
Now weve got two games to get to state, Olson said. Hopefully, we can get it done.
Decatur took on Mountain View last night (after press time) and the winner will play the loser of a game between Mount Tahoma and Prairie at 8 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School Wednesday.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org