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BOYS BASKETBALL: Federal Way and Decatur will battle once again Monday at ShoWare Center
Decatur and Federal Way high schools are separated by a 3-mile drive up or down Southwest 320th Street.
The two schools have also been powerhouses in boys basketball for a number of years and had developed one of the better rivalries in the state. But it's a rivalry that hasn't been included on either teams' schedule the last few years.
That will change when the Gators and Eagles get together in the marquee game of the seven-game 2013 King Showcase presented by Team Financial Partners inside Kent's ShoWare Center on Monday. The game will take place at 6 p.m.
It will be the first time Decatur and Federal Way have played since the 2008-09 season. Since that time, the two schools have been shuffled around the South Puget Sound League divisions before Decatur was reclassified to a Class 3A school before the 2010-11 season.
The director of the 2013 King Showcase, Federal Way resident Steve Turcotte, was able to convince longtime Eagle coach Jerome Collins and longtime Decatur coach Kevin Olson to play each other after three seasons apart.
Turcotte used to be in charge of the King Holiday Hoopfest at the University of Washington, where the Gators and Eagles played in 2009.
"That game drew a real good crowd back then," Turcotte said. "And when I started doing my own thing at the ShoWare, I talked to Kevin and talked to Jerome and they were both open to it. So we made it the marquee game."
The 2009 game at the King Holiday Hoopfest was actually the first of two times Decatur and Federal Way played that season. The two teams also played in the SPSL Championship game, which the Eagles won in double overtime, 69-63.
It was also the start of the postseason run by the Eagles, which ended with the program’s first and only state championship. Federal Way entered the game as the top-ranked team in the state and Decatur was ranked second. The Eagles also won the earlier meeting at the 2009 King Holiday Hoopfest.
"These two teams don't play anymore, so it's going to be kind of nice to get them on the court," Turcotte said.
Despite playing in six consecutive state tournaments, the Gators’ last win over Federal Way came in 2008. That was the season that saw Federal Way and Decatur play a grand total of four times.
The two teams split the meetings, 2-2, but Federal Way got the last laugh when they beat the Gators in the Class 4A state semifinals inside the Tacoma Dome. The win led the Eagles into their first of two-straight state championship game appearances.
It looks like the 2013 edition of the Federal Way basketball team has a chance at making another run at another Class 4A state title. The Eagles were the second-ranked team in the Washington before losing two-straight games to Emerald Ridge and Beamer last week.
Federal Way has a ridiculous five players averaging in double figures and only one of them, D'Londo Tucker, is a senior. Brayon Blake leads the way at 13.8 points, Tucker is averaging 13.0, Malik Montoya is scoring 12.0 a game and Adrian Davis and DeeShawn Tucker are both chipping in 10 points.
Decatur, on the other hand, has struggled a little this season. The defending SPSL 3A champs are 3-2 in league play and 7-5 overall, meaning a win over the Eagles might jump start the Gators' season. Decatur is being led by Jason Young and Kevin Locascio. Young is averaging 18.0 points a game and Locascio is scoring 16.3.
The other games during the 2013 King Showcase in Kent will be Kentwood vs. Jackson (girls) at 10 a.m.; Foss vs. Columbia River (boys) at 11:30 a.m.; the top-ranked Mount Rainier girls against top-ranked Oregon City at 1 p.m.; Mountlake Terrace vs. Fairfax, Calif. (boys) at 2:30 p.m.; Kennedy vs. Benson, Ore. (boys) at 4 p.m.; and Kent-Meridian vs. Kentridge (boys) at 7:30 p.m.