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Mirror’s 2009 All-City Boys Basketball Team
Federal Way was the center of the Washington state high school basketball universe during the 2008-09 season. There’s no disputing that.
Not only did the Federal Way Eagles cut down the nets inside the Tacoma Dome as the Class 4A state champions, but the Decatur Gators and Todd Beamer Titans also earned berths into the state tournament.
The three teams the Federal Way school district sent to Tacoma was the most of any city in Washington. To compare, Seattle qualified two teams (Garfield and Roosevelt), and Spokane (Gonzaga Prep) and Tacoma (Foss) sent only one to the state tournament.
The unparalleled success of basketball in Federal Way this season is due, in large part, to the unbelievable talent of individual players in the city. The rosters of the district programs are littered with All-South Puget Sound League and All-State caliber players. A fact that made it extremely difficult to put together the Mirror’s 2009 All-City Boys Basketball Team.
The starting five on this year’s All-City Basketball Team could play with anybody in the state and includes a pair of three-time selections in Federal Way point guard Michael Hale and Decatur guard Marcus Tibbs. The other three picks earned first-team, All-SPSL honors after huge seasons — Federal Way’s Cole Dickerson, Decatur’s Jerron Smith and Beamer’s Kevin Davis.
Hale was the engine that made the Eagles go during their magical run to the Class 4A state championship. The 5-foot-8 point guard transferred to Federal Way after leading Decatur to a pair of state tournament appearances as a sophomore and junior.
This year, Hale averaged 14.4 points a game and led the SPSL in assists at over seven a game. Hale also shot over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range and led the Eagles in steals.
Tibbs, a 6-foot-1 guard, was the Gators’ floor leader all season long. Tibbs was granted a fifth-year of eligibility by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) before the season started and took full advantage.
During the 2008-09 season, Tibbs led the Gators in scoring at 16.4 a game, including eight games with 20 or more points, and led Decatur to the South Puget Sound League South Division championship. The Gators also finished third at the West Central District Tournament before losing two-straight games at the state tournament.
Tibbs also shot an amazing 58 percent from the field and led the Gators in assists (6.5 a game), blocked shots and steals. He also grabbed six rebounds a game.
Tibbs’ college basketball career is still up in the air. He is considering some four-year schools, but no offers have been made at this point, according to Decatur head coach Kevin Olson.
Dickerson was the most consistent player for Federal Way all season long. The 6-foot-7 forward led the Eagles in scoring at 17.5 points a game. He finished in double figures in 28 of Federal Way’s 30 games, which included a two-point effort during a Jan. 17 loss to Kentwood when he played only a few minutes because of the flu.
Dickerson also led the Eagles in rebounding at 8.21 a game and blocked 56 shots during the regular season. He also shot 66 percent from the field (166 for 253). During Federal Way’s postseason run, Dickerson was named to the Class 4A state All-Tournament Team after averaging 17 points in their four victories in Tacoma.
Dickerson finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots during the Eagles’ quarterfinal win over Walla Walla and 18 points in the title-game win over Garfield.
Davis was a monster this season for the Titans. The 6-foot-8 senior was a triple-double threat every time he stepped on the court for Beamer and finished the year with four of them.
Davis led the SPSL South in rebounding by averaging 15.3 a game and also was tops in the league in blocked shots (4.1 a game), all while scoring 16.3 points every night. Davis was also recognized around the state as one of the best dunkers.
Smith proved to be a silky-smooth scorer for the Gators all season long. The 6-foot-3 sophomore averaged 15.7 points a game and was a first-team, All-SPSL South selection. Smith scored in double figures in all but thre games this season for Decatur, including a season-high 28 against Rogers on Dec. 19. He also averaged four rebounds a game.
All-City Boys Basketball Team
G — Michael Hale, Federal Way
G — Marcus Tibbs, Decatur
G — Jerron Smith, Decatur
F — Cole Dickerson, Federal Way
F — Kevin Davis, Beamer
All-City Boys Basketball Honorable Mention
G — Jeff Forbes, Federal Way: The Eagles’ defensive stopper all season. Averaged 11.5 points and is headed to Eastern Washington on a full ride.
G — Napa Mefi, Beamer: Sophomore guard carried Titans in two loser-out district games. Averaged 15.1 points, including 28 in state-clinching win over Bellarmine Prep.
G — Andre Barrington, Federal Way: First-team, All-State Tournament after averaging 10.2 points during the season. Headed to Washington State on a football scholarship.
G — Xavyr Moss, Jefferson: Second-team, All-SPSL North selection. Averaged 13 points for the Raiders.
F — Jordan McCloud, Decatur: 6-foot-6 junior averaged 13.6 points and nine rebounds for SPSL South champs.
F — Cam Schilling, Decatur: Senior forward averaged nine points and seven rebounds. Student-body president and 3.9 grade-point average.