Comeback falls short


The Mirror

The Federal Way boys basketball team didn’t have enough at the end. The Eagles’ frantic fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell short Tuesday night against the Puyallup Vikings, 58-51, on the road.

The loss in Puyallup dropped the Eagles out of first place in the South Puget Sound League South Division. The Vikings and Bethel are tied at 7-1 in league play. Federal Way fell to 7-2.

“We are having a tough time right now,” said Federal Way coach Jerome Collins. “We are just not putting the ball in the hole. We are executing our offense and getting open shots. They are just not going down.”

The Eagles fought back to tie Tuesday’s game at 51-51 with 2:22 left when senior Dwayne Alo banked in a 3-pointer. But Puyallup’s Austin Kilpatrick and Johnny Spevak tallied the last seven points of the game to seal the victory.

“We were in pretty good shape to win,” Collins said. “We just didn’t execute.”

Federal Way’s offense faltered down the stretch and the Eagles never threatened Puyallup at the end of the game. After Alo’s three, the Eagles didn’t get a shot off until the game was out of hand. After a pair of Kilpatrick free throws with 2:04 left to put Puyallup up 53-51, the Eagles suffered a blocked shot and a pair of turnovers on their next three trips down the floor.

“You really can’t turn the ball over on the road,” Collins said. “You are putting yourself to doom when you do that. Hopefully, we can get things turned around. We are still in the thick of things.”

Senior guard Morris Anderson led the Eagles with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Federal Way’s leading scorer, junior Earnest Williams, scored Federal Way’s first five points of the game, but hit only one more three in the third quarter to finish with eight points. Williams was forced to sit out the entire second quarter because of early foul trouble. Sophomore Terrell Smith also finished with eight points.

Puyallup, in contrast, had four players in double figures, led by the 15 points of Spevak and 13 from the 6-foot-5 Kilpatrick.

“Those guys really hurt us,” Collins said. “We couldn’t match (Kilpatrick’s) athleticism and Spevak did a good job of splitting us a couple times.”

Federal Way got back into the game in the fourth quarter by getting the prodding Vikings to play more of their up-tempo style of basketball. After trailing 19-10 following the first quarter, 29-25 at the half and 44-39 after the third quarter, the Eagles used a 7-0 run to start the fourth to take their first lead since the opening minute of the game. The Federal Way run culminated with an Anderson one-handed dunk after a steal to make the score 46-44.

But the veteran Vikings then went on a 7-0 run of their own to take the lead back for good with 3:30 left.

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