Sports

Basketball: No.1-ranked Federal Way rolls over Kentwood

 - Charles Cortes/For the Mirror Federal Way senior point guard Michael Hale drives through the lane during Tuesday’s win over the fourth-ranked Kentwood Conquerors in Covington, 61-53. Hale scored a game-high 23 points.
— image credit: Charles Cortes/For the Mirror Federal Way senior point guard Michael Hale drives through the lane during Tuesday’s win over the fourth-ranked Kentwood Conquerors in Covington, 61-53. Hale scored a game-high 23 points.

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 its 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 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, which 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.

The Eagles’ rugged SPSL North schedule continues tonight at home when they take on the 10th-ranked Kentridge Chargers, who were beaten by the Auburn Trojans earlier this week. Federal Way will then take on the 2-0 Trojans in Auburn on Tuesday night. The Eagles and Trojans are the only 2-0 teams in the SPSL North.

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. Senior guard Marcus Tibbs chipped in 15 points.

The Gators travel to Curtis on Tuesday night in a pivotal early-season game in the SPSL South. Decatur and Curtis were the two preseason favorites to win the South, but the Vikings were upset Tuesday by Puyallup.

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.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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