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Boys basketball wrap: Kentwood, Smith down Federal Way
The South Puget Sound League North Division is the best league in the state. The nine-team league features three of the top-six teams in the Class 4A rankings.
Meaning you have to bring your "A" game every night and the Eagles didn't do that against the second-ranked Kentwood Conquerors Saturday. The Eagles had no answers for Kentwood's 6-foot-10 Josh Smith. Smith dominated the paint with 25 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Conquerors over Federal Way, 52-50, on the Eagles' home court.
The win gave Kentwood (10-3 overall, 8-1 league) the top spot in the SPSL North, their sixth straight win, and avenged an early-season loss to Federal Way. The Eagles dropped to 8-2 in the North Division and into a tie with Auburn and Kentridge for second place.
Things started out solid for Federal Way. The Eagles jumped out to a 23-15 lead after the first quarter. But the Kentwood defense, led by the inside presence of Smith, limited Federal Way to just 27 more points the rest of the game.
But the Eagles still had their chances late in the game. With Kentwood up by two, Smith cut off a baseline drive by Federal Way point guard Michael Hale, forcing him to lose the ball out of bounds without getting up the game-tying shot with less than two seconds left in the game.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Smith bounced the ball off the back of Federal Way's Isiah Umipig and dribbled out the final 1.1 seconds of the game.
Jeffrey Forbes led the Eagles (12-2, 8-2) with 16 points.
Kentwood, whose other two losses came out of state, locked down the Eagles' leading scorer entering the game, Cole Dickerson. Dickerson, who was suffering from flu-like symptoms was 1 of 13 and had two points.
In other boys action:
at Decatur 64, Rogers 51
The Gators (8-1, 11-1) took care of business Saturday night against the Rams (5-4, 8-5). Marcus Tibbs, Jerron Smith and Jordan McCloud combined for 55 of Decatur's points. Tibbs scored a game-high 21, Smith had 19 and McCloud chipped in 15. The Gators led by only four points at half, but pulled away in the third and fourth quarters.
at Jefferson 66, Kent-Meridian 44
The Raiders (4-6, 5-7) got back on the winning track Saturday against Kent-Meridian (1-9, 1-11). Jefferson had lost six in a row entering the game. Xavyr Moss (17 points), Eric Radford (11) and Joe Satterwhite (10) all scored in double figures during the 22-point win.
Federal Way 71, at Auburn Riverside 53
The No. 2 Eagles (8-1 SPSL North, 11-1 overall) had a tough time with the Ravens Thursday night. The Ravens actually led Federal Way in the third quarter before the Eagles pulled away.
The Eagles, who play No. 3 Kentwood Saturday night, No. 5 Decatur Monday and No. 6 Kentridge Tuesday, got 23 points and seven rebounds from Cole Dickerson. Jeffrey Forbes added 17 and Michael Hale had 15 points for Federal Way.
Mitch Hagerty led Auburn Riverside (4-5, 6-6) with 20 points and five rebounds.
Decatur 73, at Spanaway Lake 46
The fifth-ranked Gators (7-1, 10-1) led 24-11 after the first quarter Thursday night. Decatur got 24 points from sophomore Jerron Smith, Terrell Williams finished with a career-high 13 points and junior Jordan McCloud had 12.
at Beamer 63, Emerald Ridge 56
The Titans (5-4, 6-7) got 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks from Kevin Davis during the SPSL South win over Emerald Ridge Thursday. Beamer outscored the Jaguars, 21-10, in the fourth quarter. Napa Mefi finished with 17 points and Vlad Aflciuc had 12.
at Auburn 64, Jefferson 55
The Trojans (8-2, 10-2) led 52-34 after three quarters against the Raiders Thursday. Jefferson got 21 points from senior guard Cramer Doughty, 12 from Moss and 10 from Radford. The loss was TJ's sixth in a row.