Federal Way, Decatur highlight 2003-04 teams


Sports editor

It certainly wasn’t a normal basketball season in Federal Way.

The 2003-04 high school year didn’t bring an appearance at the Class 4A State Basketball Championships by any of the eight teams in the Federal Way school district. The boys and girls tournaments kick off today inside the Tacoma Dome and run through Saturday.

The absence is quite a rarity — to say the least. The district has had at least one team at the state tournament 14 of the last 16 years. A streak started back in 1988 by the Federal Way High School boys.

It wasn’t for a lack of individual talent in Federal Way, as evidenced by the Mirror’s All-City Basketball Teams.

Decatur and Federal Way high schools dominated the boys and girls first teams, occupying all 10 of the nominations. But that wasn’t a big surprise. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Jefferson and first-year Beamer struggled all season long — winning a total of eight games between the four teams.

The girls were led by the big three of Federal Way’s Christine Kim and Shelby Avaava and Decatur’s Kamrica Ary-Turner. The three were also named first-team All-SPSL South by the league’s coaches, joining Bethel’s Amanda DuRocher and Curtis’ Laina Sobczak, Ebonee Coates and Jackie Thomas.

Ary-Turner led the SPSL South in scoring with 15.7 points a game, followed closely by Kim, who poured in 15.3 points. Kim also led the South in assists at nearly six a game. She also averaged four rebounds.

But Avaava might be the biggest reason for Federal Way’s (13-8) turnaround this year following an 0-20 season last year. The 5-11 post played with injuries all season, including a broken finger. Avaava averaged nearly 11 points and seven rebounds.

Joining Ary-Turner, Kim and Avaava on the All-City First-Team were Decatur’s Amanda Font and Nicole Collins. The Gators finished in a tie for third place in the South (13-10).

Federal Way’s Darius Alo might be the cream of the crop on the boys’ side. The 6-foot-5 senior wing led the Eagles in scoring at 16.3 points a game, which was second in the SPSL South behind Curtis senior Curtis Terry (19.7). Alo also shot nearly 50 percent from behind the 3-point line and was a respectable 75 percent from the free-throw stripe.

“I am really going to miss him,” said Federal Way coach Jerome Collins.

Alo is getting some interest from Division II schools like Seattle Pacific, Seattle U, Puget Sound, as well as D1 programs like the University of Portland and the Air Force Academy, according to Collins. He was also named first-team All-SPSL South by the league’s coaches.

Rounding out the Mirror’s All-City First-Team are Decatur big man Kellen McCaffrey (15 points, 8 rebounds), the Gators’ rebound specialist Anwar Asadi (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Federal Way’s Morris Anderson (10 points, four rebounds) and Greg Warren (10 points, 6 rebounds).

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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