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BOYS BASKETBALL: Jefferson's Park hits another game-winner, this time against Auburn Riverside
Danny Park is turning into Mr. Clutch for the Thomas Jefferson Raiders. For the second game in a row, the senior guard hit the game-winning shot in another key South Puget Sound League North Division victory for the Raiders.
Park hit a driving, off-balance leaner with 30 seconds remaining Thursday night to break a 53-53 tie on the road at Auburn Riverside. Park then rebounded a Raven miss on the other end and hit two clutch free throws to give the Raiders the 57-53 win.
Park hit a layup at the buzzer Tuesday to give the Raiders a two-point victory over Kentwood.
The wins moved TJ to 8-3 in the SPSL North and 9-5 overall. They currently sit in third place, just a half game back of Tahoma (9-3) and two back of first-place Auburn (10-1).
"That's two games in a row that he has saved our bacon," said head coach Kyle Templeton.
Thursday night, the Raiders jumped out to a quick 13-6 lead after the first quarter and took a 28-20 lead into halftime. But the Ravens came back in the third quarter to pull to within three, 40-37, entering the final eight minutes.
Park led the Raiders with 13 points and fellow seniors Daryon James (12 points) and Josh Duckworth (11) were also in double figures.
"It was a strange game," Templeton said. "There wasn't a ton of atmosphere and we had four guys who are battling colds. But we gutted out the win and any road win in our league is a good win."
The Raiders now have four of their final five SPSL North games on their home court, where they are unbeaten this season.
Jefferson also got a huge game from Tyshawn Webster-Piper. The senior finished with just two points, but grabbed 17 rebounds, dished out three assists and had a pair of steals.
"He is just phenomenal," Templeton said. "He doesn't score much, but does everything else."
Jefferson is hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer game on Jan. 25 against the first-place Auburn Trojans. The school will be collecting donations to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Federal Way — The fifth-ranked Eagles dropped their third game in their last four Thursday to the first-place Curtis Vikings in University Place, 68-62.
The win put the Vikings (15-1 overall, 11-1 SPSL South) two games up on Federal Way (11-3 overall, 9-3 SPSL South) with just four games left in the SPSL South regular season.
Curtis jumped out to a 19-12 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 41-29 at halftime. The Eagles fought back to cut the lead to just four, 57-53, midway through the fourth quarter. But the Vikings hit several clutch free throws down the stretch to get the win.
Federal Way was led by Viont'e Daniels, who finished with 14 points. Adrian Davis chipped in 12.
Beamer — The Titans improved to 8-3 in the SPSL South with a 67-64 win over Spanaway Lake Thursday night, their fifth in a row.
Beamer was led by 22 points and 16 rebounds from Bogdon Blivenyuk, 14 from Juwan Flowers and 11 from Trey Burch-Manning.
The Titans, who sit a half-game back of Federal Way for second place in the South, travel to first-place Curtis Saturday night. Beamer (11-3 overall) does hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles, having beaten them last week.