Gators, Eagles both win

The Decatur boys basketball team recovered from a 15-point deficit in the first quarter to take a 49-48 win Tuesday at Emerald Ridge.

Emerald Ridge had the ball and trailed by a point with 12 seconds left, but Decatur’s intense defense forced an errant pass into the crowd.

“I really challenged the guys tonight,” said Decatur coach Kevin Olson. “This game was it. If we lost, the season would basically be over. I called out the seniors and told them that they would truly regret not giving everything they possibly could.”

After giving up 23 points in the first quarter — including a 20-5 run to start the game — Decatur picked up its defensive intensity and held Emerald Ridge to just 25 points the rest of the game.

The Gators allowed Emerald Ridge just four points in the final quarter.

“After the first quarter, we could have folded the tents, but we showed some real character and fought back,” Olson said. “The emotion and intensity that we showed the last three quarters was outstanding. I was really proud of the way we responded to the adversity. We are not going to go down without a fight.”

Decatur senior Alonzo Akres scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Gators. Brandon Hicks added six points and seven rebounds and Christian Scholze had four points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists. Steven Patenaude scored four points and James Van Stralen snagged three steals and took three charges, including two in the fourth quarter.

Decatur needed a win over Emerald Ridge to keep its playoff hopes alive. With a win over Federal Way last night, Decatur would pull into a tie with Emerald Ridge for the fifth playoff spot, which would result in a tie-breaker on Tuesday at a neutral location. Emerald Ridge had a bye last night.

“Going to Federal Way for the last game with a chance to move on in the playoffs is a great opportunity,” Olson said, “It will be a real challenge. They are very good. We will have to play our best game for the entire game.”

When the two teams played earlier this season, Decatur had the lead going into the fourth quarter, but Federal Way came back for the win.

“I’m sure it will be an exciting game — fun, hard fought and emotional,” Olson said. “Regardless of what happens, I’m proud of the way we have finished the regular season. Hopefully we can extend it with a good performance.”

Federal Way 66, Rogers 65

Teddy Williams followed his shot and converted the winning basket as Federal Way held off Rogers 66-65 Tuesday.

Williams scored 14 points for the Eagles. Nate Sanchez scored 19 and Jason Carlson scored 14. Brandon Chavers scored 10.

Prior to last night’s game against Decatur, Federal Way was in fourth place in the SPSL South with a 10-5 record.

With a win, the Eagles could move into a tie with Curtis, which has an 11-5 league record after beating Jefferson 75-51 Thursday night. .

If Federal Way beat Decatur Friday night, the Eagles would play Curtis in a tiebreaker on Tuesday at a neutral location to determine which team gets third place. Federal Way is assured of no worse than fourth place in the SPSL.

Playoff schedules will be printed in Wednesday’s Mirror.

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