Decatur boys fall from the unbeaten ranks
By CASEY OLSON
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor
January 13, 2009 · Updated 9:20 AM
The Decatur Gators’ winning streak is over. For the first time this season, the Gators boys basketball team tasted defeat. The Puyallup Vikings upended second-ranked Decatur Saturday night, 82-75, in a huge South Puget Sound League South Division matchup in Puyallup.
The win vaults the Vikings into first place in the South with a 5-0 record and drops the Gators to 5-1 in SPSL South play and 8-1 overall.
Puyallup was just too good in the decisive fourth quarter Saturday night. The Vikings (8-1 overall) tallied 26 points in the final eight minutes to overcome a two-point Decatur lead after three quarters.
Puyallup was led down the stretch by 6-foot-9 Kilian Larson and the shooting of sophomore Jay Balmer. Larson finished with 10 of his 18 points during the fourth quarter and Balmer ended the game with 24 points, including six 3-pointers.
But Decatur had their chances during the game, thanks to senior guard Marcus Tibbs and sophomore wing Jerron Smith.
Tibbs tallied a game-high 26 points, including 11 during the fourth quarter and Smith finished with 25 points on the night.
Decatur jumped to an early 22-17 lead after the first quarter and led 40-38 at halftime.
But the game changed early in the fourth quarter when the Vikings went on a 7-0 run to take a 63-60 lead with a little over five minutes to play. Decatur would never hold the lead again. A Tibbs 3-pointer with 1:30 left cut the Puyallup lead to two, 73-71, but that was as close as it would get.
The Vikings put the game away by making 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch and 23 of 26 during the game.
The Gators will host Puyallup on Jan. 23.
The Federal Way boys moved to 9-1 on the season and 6-1 in the SPSL North with a pair of blowout wins Friday and Saturday. The Eagles downed winless Tahoma Friday in Maple Valley, 75-42, and beat up Jefferson Saturday at home, 67-38.
Junior Cole Dickerson led the way in both games.
The 6-foot-6 junior tallied 19 points in the win over Tahoma and followed with 20 against Jefferson.
The No. 3-ranked Eagles struggled a little bit in the opening quarter against Tahoma Friday night, but outscored the Bears 60-29 in the final three quarters. Senior Andre Barrington finished with 16 points and Michael Hale chipped in 10.
Friday’s game marked the season debut of Federal Way guard Isiah Umipig.
The junior tallied seven points in his first game since last year’s state tournament. Umipig suffered a high ankle sprain during the summer.
Against Jefferson, the Eagles jumped out to an 18-7 lead after the first quarter. Hale finished with 17 points. The Raiders (3-4, 4-5) were led by the 11 points of Xavyr Moss and 10 points from senior Cramer Doughty.
Beamer moved to 4-3 in the SPSL South by splitting a pair of games Friday and Saturday. The Titans (5-6 overall) beat Graham-Kapowsin Friday, 63-42, but were blown away Saturday by Rogers, 62-32.
Vlad Alfciuc led Beamer with 19 points against Graham-Kapowsin. Napa Mefi and Kevin Davis both tallied 15 points in the win.Contact Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson at email@example.com or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.