Decatur in district hoops tourney


The Mirror

The Decatur Gators boys basketball team knew what had to happen at the South Puget Sound League Tournament. Two wins and their season continues. A loss and their season was done. Misson accomplished.

The Gators won their second loser-out game Saturday morning over the Bethel Braves, 60-41. The win gave Decatur the SPSL’s seventh, and final, seed into the West Central/Southwest District Tournament. Decatur was forced into the must-win game against the Braves (19-10) after finishing fourth in the SPSL South during the regular season.

“We put ourselves in these two loser-out games,” said Decatur head coach Kevin Olson. “So we had to get ourselves out of it.”

The Gators did just that in the win over Bethel. Decatur never trailed in the game and were in control the entire 32 minutes. It was the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Braves and Gators split their two games during the SPSL South regular season.

“We knew we couldn’t take Bethel for granted,” Kim said. “We knew we had to come out and play our game. But we did feel more comfortable with Bethel. We knew their personnel.”

Kim had another solid game for the Gators.

The senior point guard finished with 19 points and set the tone early in the game with his long-range shooting and penetration. Sophomore guard Marcus Tibbs chipped in 14 points and senior JaRon Brown tallied 10 for the Gators.

Decatur rolled to a 14-5 lead after the first quarter and led 27-21 at the half. But the Gators put the young and inexperienced Braves away with a 17-6 third quarter to take a 44-27 lead into the fourth.

“This is the first postseason for any of our guys,” Olson said. “Now we know what to expect.”

The Gators won’t get any breaks at the district tournament. Decatur opens up play tonight in Port Orchard against the second-ranked South Kitsap Wolves. South Kitsap blew away Mount Tahoma in the Narrows League championship game Saturday night to earn the league’s No. 1 seed. The Wolves enter the game with a 20-1 record and feature a balanced inside-outside scoring attack.

“We know we are the underdogs,” Kim said. “But we can beat any team. We’ve proved that. It’s a lot easier to be the underdogs because nobody expects anything from you. We are ready for anyone. We want to shock the world.”

Federal Way boys

The Eagles weren’t really tested against Kentridge Saturday at the SPSL Tournament. Federal Way downed the Chargers, 63-47, to earn the league’s third seed to districts.

The Eagles will host the Mountain View Thunder at 7 p.m. tonight. Mountain View (16-7) finished second in the Greater St. Helen’s League Tournament. It’s the same game Federal Way played a season ago.

As the third seed from the SPSL in 2005, the Eagles opened against the second-place team from the GSHL and lost in overtime to Prairie on their home court, putting their backs against the wall in the double-elimination district tournament. Federal Way eventually lost to Curtis in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.

Against Kentridge, the Eagles rolled out to a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game and never looked back. The Chargers (15-6) played without their leading scorer, sophomore forward Renado Parker. He was academically ineligible for the third game in a row.

Federal Way was led by a combined 47 points from Terrell Smith and Pooh Williams. Smith tallied 24 and Williams chipped in 23.

The Eagles led 17-7 after the first quarter and 31-22 at halftime.

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