Federal Way shocks Curtis

Curtis sophomore Curtis Terry missed two free throws with .3 of a second as Federal Way hung on for a 62-60 win Friday.

“I’m proud of the kids,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “With the adversity we faced last week, we made some adjustments and got some practice under our belts, and got ready for a state-ranked team. That has a lot to do with their character and pride. I’m pleased with what they’re doing. I don’t think there’s a team in this league who could lose the talent we lost and still compete — and win.”

The Eagles used timely defense, clutch shooting and depth to outlast Curtis, which was the No. 10 ranked team in the state before Federal Way ruined their Christmas.

A few key Federal Way players got into foul trouble, but players who didn’t start came into the game and made key contributions.

“We decided on Will (Reese) and Brandon (Chavers) to come off the bench to give us some energy,” Collins said. “They can start anywhere else in the league. Brandon came off the bench and did a good job. So did Will Reese and Greg Warren.”

Chavers sparked the Eagles with eight points and five assists.

“We had to win this game to get us where we want to go,” said Chavers. “I like the way we’re playing right now. We’re sharing the ball and we’re being patient.”

He also grabbed five rebounds.

“I’m a quick jumper,” said Chavers, who is 6-feet tall but managed to grab rebounds over taller players.

“That’s a huge win,” said Federal Way senior wing Brad Mahlstedt. “We lost a few players and everyone is counting us out. We’re learning together, we’re coming together and playing hard and strong. People need to take us more seriously.”

Mahlstedt scored six points, including two key baskets in the fourth quarter.

“We came out and made a statement,” said Federal Way junior post Nate Sanchez. “It’s a big win. If we would have lost this, I don’t know what we’d be thinking. We have to get ready for (league-leaders) Bethel and Puyallup when we play them the next time around.”

The Eagles built a 39-27 lead midway through the third quarter. But Curtis pulled with in 43-41 at the end of the quarter.

“It was frustrating, but we didn’t give up,” Sanchez said. “We maintained the lead most of the game.”

Curtis tied the game at 46 with six minutes left in the game, and took a 48-46 lead one minute later.

Carlson hit two free throws to tie the game, then Chavers hit a 3-pointer to give Federal Way a 51-49 lead with four minutes left.

“We all hit clutch free throws at the end,” said Federal Way senior wing Jason Carlson.

In the fourth quarter, Carlson was a perfect five for five from the free throw line. As a team, Curtis shot only five for 12 from the free throw line.

“We made the passes and lay ups when we needed to,” Carlson said. “Brandon came through with a great pass to Nate at the end.”

The Eagles went up 58-51 with 2:27 left in the game, but four turnovers in the final two minutes nearly cost them the game. But Curtis’ poor free throw shooting gave Federal Way the win.

“We had the opportunity to put them away with several big leads with the ball in our hands, but we didn’t take care of it,” Collins said. “We learn from these situations and our kids hung in there.”

Federal Way gets back on the court this week when it plays in a tournament in Bothell during the winter break.

“We’re just going to have some fun, this is vacation time,” Collins said.

The team isn’t sure what other teams it will face.

“Who ever it is,” Carlson said, “it don’t matter.”

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