Federal Way meets Auburn Saturday

For three quarters Thursday, the Federal Way boys basketball team hung close with the defending state champions.

Unfortunately, the game was four quarters long.

Federal Way eventually wore down against Lincoln in a 64-51 loss Thursday at Lincoln.

Federal Way plays at 8 p.m. tonight against Port Angeles at Auburn.

If Federal Way wins, it plays at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Auburn. If it loses, it goes home for the season.

Against Lincoln, Federal Way hit four 3-pointers in the first half, including three by junior guard Andre Piper-Jordan. Federal Way hit 10 3-pointers in the game.

But Lincoln dominated the inside, largely in part to 6-foot-6 forward Justin Holt, a Pac-10 recruit with good foot work inside who can hit the jumper outside. Most of the times a Federal Way player got the ball inside, they missed the lay-up or got their shot blocked.

Still, the Eagles made a game out of it and trailed by just two points at halftime — 27-25 — hanging around in the first half because of clutch perimeter shooting and an occasional drive to the hoop.

“I was very surprised at the score at halftime,” Holt said. “They played tough and did a great job. They’re capable of beating anyone. Everything was going right for them in the first half, then we took it away in the second half.”

Federal Way was down by four entering the fourth quarter. The Eagles trailed by just six points, 54-48, with four minutes left in the game after Jason Carlson’s second 3-pointer of the night, but that was as close as it would get.

Carlson fouled out five seconds after the basket, and Nate Sanchez and Piper-Jordan had four fouls each.

Piper-Jordan finished with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Brandon Chavers scored nine — all in the second quarter. Jason Carlson and Teddy Williams scored eight points each.

Federal Way shot just one freethrow all night. Lincoln was 13-18 from the freethrow line.

“I thought we played the perimeter way too much, but they’re defense had a lot to do that,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “We have to be patient and run through the offense. We weren’t and it cost us.”

Lincoln went on a 9-0 run, including six points, two blocks and two dunks from Holt that fired up the crowd.

Holt finished with 22 points.

“We just gotta D-up more,” Piper-Jordan said. “Our shots fell in the first half. I though we could have taken the game. Going into the fourth, we’re only down four. We just gotta win the next to games and see these guys again at state.”

“We needed to win this game,” Chavers said. “I felt like we could have beat them, but we didn’t play defense. We let a lot of loose balls and rebounds get away. I think we were too relaxed in the key — not aggressive enough.”

Federal Way must win its next game or else it will be eliminated from the playoffs.

“We’re in the same position as last year,” Chavers said. “We need to win every game. We can’t lose.”

“We have our backs against the wall again,” Mahlstedt said.

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