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No. 1-ranked Eagles down Kentwood in SPSL North showdown
The No. 1-ranked Federal Way High School boys basketball team took the early advantage in the race for the South Puget Sound League North Division championship Tuesday night.
The Eagles got by the defending North Division champion and fifth-ranked Kentwood Conquerors, 61-53, on Kentwood's home court in a pivotal early-season SPSL battle.
But it wasn't as easy as the final score might indicate. Tuesday's contest was a game of runs by both teams.
Kentwood (1-1) rolled out to an 18-12 lead after the first quarter, but the Eagles (2-0) outscored the Conks, 40-12, during the next 15 minutes of play to take a 52-30 lead with a minute left in the third quarter.
But then it was Kentwood's turn at a run of their own.
The Conquerors' Jordan Retz connected on a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in the third quarter, which started a 23-3 Kentwood run that cut the Federal Way lead to just 55-53 with just over a minute left in the game.
The Eagles, however, sealed the victory at the free-throw line, thanks to makes by senior guards Jeff Forbes and Michael Hale.
Hale led Federal Way with 23 points. Junior Cole Dickerson chipped in 15 points and Forbes had 10 for the Eagles.
Kentwood, who tied with Kentridge and Decatur for the SPSL North Division title a season ago, was led by the inside presence of Josh Smith. The 6-foot-9 junior had 19 points and 15 rebounds in front of University of Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. Smith is listed as the No. 1-ranked junior recruit in the nation by www.rivals.com.
Decatur 74, at Rogers 48
Jerron Smith scored 28 points as the fourth-ranked Gators (3-0) rolled over the Rams in Puyallup Tuesday night. Rogers led 13-12 before being outscored 26-9 in the second quarter.
Jefferson 61, at Kent-Meridian 40
Xavyr Moss led three Raiders in double figures Tuesday night in Kent. Moss, a senior, tallied 17 points, Cramer Doughty had 12 and Spenser Sydney chipped in 11. Justin Lanier finished with eight points. Jefferson (2-1) trailed by one point after the first quarter.
Kentwood 74, at Federal Way 56
The Eagles led the No. 4-ranked Conquerors by a point at halftime, but couldn't hold it in the second half. Federal Way (2-2) was led by the 23 points and 11 rebounds of sophomore Tyshana Burgess. Kentwood got 22 points from Jessie Genger.
Rogers 49, at Decatur 35
The Gators (1-4) were beaten by Rogers Tuesday night in Federal Way. Decatur was led by the 13 points of Sarah Quantz.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com