GIRLS BASKETBALL: Beamer, Federal Way win district openers Tuesday night

The Todd Beamer Titans said goodbye to their homeport Tuesday night with another impressive win. This time, the Titans beat up the Gig Harbor Tides, 52-24, in the opening round of the West Central/Southwest District Tournament.

As the second seed from the South Puget Sound League, Beamer (18-4 overall) earned the right to host the first-round game. Next up for the Titans is the Kentwood Conquerors at 6 p.m. at Rogers High School on Friday in the quarterfinals. The winner will be guaranteed a berth into one of the four, four-team regionals around the state.

Despite the inflated final score Tuesday against Gig Harbor (8-12), the Titans still have some room for improvement. The Tides, who finished fourth in the Narrows, trailed by only nine points at halftime, despite scoring only 14 points in the opening two quarters.

But Beamer blew the game wide open by scoring the first 13 points of the second half and outscoring Gig Harbor, 16-2, during the eight minutes.

The win over the Tides came on the heels of the young Titans losing by one point to the top-ranked Mount Rainier Rams in the SPSL title game last weekend.

Like they have been all season, Beamer got huge contributions from its freshmen class. Nia Alexander led the way with 16 points, including 12 in the second half. Fellow ninth-graders Quinessa Caylao-Do (10 points) and Bria Rice (9 points) were also solid Tuesday.

Federal Way

Raven Benton has been a scoring machine all season long for the Eagles. The senior proved yet again why she was named the SPSL South's Player of the Year after averaging 26.6 points a game during the regular season Tuesday night.

Benton poured in 34 points during the opening round of the West Central/Southwest District Tournament to lead the Eagles to a 52-44 win over the Auburn Riverside Ravens in Auburn.

Federal Way will now take on the Yelm Tornadoes (18-3) in the quarterfinals of the district tournament. The game will be played at 7:45 p.m. at Rogers High School on Friday. Yelm, who finished second in the Narrows League, easily beat Tahoma Tuesday in their district opener, 45-27.

The winner of the Federal Way-Yelm game is assured of a spot in one of the four, four-team regionals played across the state.

Benton dominated the second half against Auburn Riverside. The Ravens jumped out to a 22-19 lead at halftime, but Benton poured in 23 points in the second half to lead the Eagles back.

Kayla Smith was second on the team Tuesday night with seven points and Zaedrea Robinson chipped in four for Federal Way.

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