Sports

Complete package: Smith is Player of the Year

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

There’s not a lot of flash in Terrell Smith’s basketball game. He leaves that stuff to the other guys.

His dunks aren’t of the highlight-reel variety and his passes don’t come from behind the back. All the 6-foot-5 Federal Way High School junior point guard does is play solid basketball night in and night out. And it’s a style of play that earned Smith the Mirror’s All-City Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors.

Smith filled up the Federal Way stat book while leading the talented Eagles to a 16-4, second-place regular season in the South Puget Sound League South Division. The junior averaged 22.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists per contest while bringing the ball up the court against constant pressure from smaller and quicker guards.

“I think Terrell Smith is the most complete player in this league,” said Beamer head coach Jarrett Mentink. “He can do so many things so very well.”

And that’s saying something in the talent-rich SPSL South, which included players like Curtis’ Isaiah Thomas, Decatur’s Andrew Kim, Puyallup’s Austin Kilpatrick and Smith’s Federal Way teammate, Earnest “Pooh” Williams.

“He’s got a very nice perimeter game, as well as a strong inside game,” said Decatur head coach Kevin Olson. “He controlled the game for Federal Way this year, got the tough rebounds and led their fast break time and time again.”

Smith’s importance to the success of Federal Way was on full display during a West Central/Southwest District quarterfinal game against South Kitsap. The Wolves paid Smith the ultimate compliment when they went into a diamond-and-one defense against him — meaning four South Kitsap defenders played zone, while one played Smith man-to-man all over the court.

The Wolves “limited” Smith to 14 points and went on to win the game. Federal Way went on to drop a loser-out, winner-to-state contest against Bellarmine Prep, leaving the Eagles on the outside of the state tournament for the third-straight season. A fact that eats at Smith, who has been a starter since his freshman season.

“It was very disappointing,” Smith said. “I have never been to state in my life. Next year, it’s really going to be my goal.”

Smith has already committed to play during the summer AAU season with the powerful Friends of Hoop select team. Friends of Hoop has developed into one of the best AAU programs in the nation over the last few years, thanks to McDonald’s All-Americans like Martell Webster, Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes. Smith will join guys like Thomas, O’Dea’s Jamelle McMillan and Kentridge’s Renado Parker on this summer’s squad.

“I’m just trying to get a little more college exposure,” Smith said.

He’s already getting looks from schools like the University of Washington and Washington State, among others. Husky coach Lorenzo Romar was in the crowd watching Smith pour in 31 points in Federal Way’s first-round district win over Mountain View.

“I’d like to go to the U-Dub,” Smith said. “But I’m going to keep my options open.”

Smith is joined on the Mirror’s All-City Boys Basketball Team by Williams, along with Beamer junior Marques Hollins, Jefferson junior Derek Eilertson, and Decatur seniors JaRon Brown and Kim.

Smith and Williams formed a lethal one-two punch for the Federal Way Eagles.

The tandem finished the season as the highest-scoring duo in the state at nearly 50 points a game. Williams, who has already signed a national letter of intent to attend Utah State in the fall, was second in the SPSL South in scoring behind Thomas at just over 24 points a game. The 6-5 wing also finished several fast breaks with alley-opp dunks on passes from Smith and can also step out and hit the 3-pointer.

“He made it pretty easy on me,” Smith said. “The defense couldn’t really look upon me to stop because they had to stop two players.”

Hollins was solid all season long for the 10-10 Titans. The 6-2 guard averaged 11.0 points, 2.25 rebounds, led the team with 55 assists and shot nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line. Hollins also hit the biggest shot in the short history of Beamer basketball when he sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer from three-quarter court to beat cross-town rival Decatur, 61-58, Jan. 27.

Eilertson led the Raiders in scoring during their 4-16 season. The 6-2 junior shooting guard averaged 12.4 points and was lethal from behind the 3-point line. Eilertson attempted 137 total shots on the season and 101 were from 3-point range. He also led TJ by shooting 75.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Kim was the heart and soul of the Gators all season long. The 5-11 point guard led Decatur back into the postseason for the first time since 2002.

The Gators finished in fourth place in the SPSL South with a 15-5 record and won a pair of loser-out games at the league tournament to earn a berth into the West Central/Southwest District Championships, where they lost two straight. But Kim was solid during the Gators’ postseason run, averaging over 20 points a game. During the SPSL regular season, Kim shot over 50 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 14 points and five assists. He is looking at playing next year at schools like Pacific Lutheran and Evergreen State.

The 6-5 Brown led the Gators in scoring (17.7 a game) and rebounding (8.3) while shooting 53 percent from the field.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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