Sanchez is FW's answer to Jefferson


Associate editor

The first time Federal Way (10-4) played Jefferson (2-11) this season, the game was over before it even started. The second-place Eagles jumped out to a 20-4 lead on the second-to-last place Raiders and never looked back.

“This time was a little bit different,” Federal Way’s Nate Sanchez said.

Although Federal Way ended up winning 66-56 Tuesday, Jefferson led for three quarters, thanks to constant hustle and teamwork.

The Raiders started fast and took a 29-24 lead into halftime.

“I wanted our guys to realize they could play with them,” Jefferson coach Dave Reynolds said. “We may not have as much talent, but we can play with as much heart. We weren’t intimidated by them.”

Jefferson extended its lead in the middle of the third quarter, going on a 9-2 run to build a 40-29 lead.

“We came out and knew we could win it,” said Jefferson’s Jared Bronson, who led the Raiders with 14 points and six rebounds.

Jefferson junior Dan Deschenes hit two 3-pointers in the second half and James Partridge added another.

“They hit some big threes and got us down, but I like the way our kids came back,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “We established it inside and controlled the paint. You gotta do that.”

Federal Way utilized its 6-foot-7 post Sanchez, who scored 17 points in the second half and grabbed four rebounds in the fourth quarter.

“We did not have an answer for Nate,” Reynolds said. “The guy works hard and he’s a class act.”

Sanchez finished with 30 points to help keep the Eagles in second place in the SPSL South.

For Federal Way’s Myron Hennings, the game was the first time back to Jefferson after transferring last spring.

“They are my friends, but they were in my face and pushing,” said Hennings, who was in early foul trouble and held to eight points. “It was harder than I thought coming back. They played harder than us all game. They’re better than their record shows.”

Jefferson has one senior starter, which bodes well for next year.

“A lot of our kids played JV last year, “Reynolds said. “There’s a learning curve of playing together and believing in each other. I’m very proud of our kids. They’ll do nothing but get better.”

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