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Federal Way falls to Oregon powerhouse Jefferson at MLK Hoopfest; Rainier Beach outlasts Decatur
Perfection wasn't in the cards for the 2009-10 edition of the Federal Way Eagles boys basketball program.
Portland's Jefferson High School made sure of that Monday night at the King Holiday Hoopfest on the campus of the University of Washington. The Democrats, the two-time defending Oregon 5A state champs, handed the Eagles (12-1) their first loss in more than a year, 62-58, at the Bank of America Arena.
Federal Way's last loss came Jan. 17, 2009, to the Kentwood Conquerors. The Eagles won their final 17 games last year, including the Class 4A title, and started this season a perfect 12-0.
Jefferson and its superstar Terrence Jones never allowed Federal Way to get into the style of play that led to the 29-game winning streak. Jones, a 6-foot-8 point forward, was able to see over the Eagles suffocating full-court press as well as disrupt multiple shots in the lane with his long arms.
Jones, one of the hottest recruits in the nation, finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks for the Democrats (10-3). Jones has whittled his college choices down to Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, Kentucky and UCLA, among others.
But it was Jefferson's Stephen Madison that proved to be the difference maker Monday. The 6-foot-6 wing finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, which all seemed to come at key moments in the game. The Eagles and head coach Jerome Collins knew they would get a dominating performance from Jones, but were hoping to contain the Democrats secondary players.
Despite the efforts of Jones and Madison, Federal Way still had its opportunities to get back into the game in the second half. The Eagles used a 15-4 run during the fourth quarter to cut the Jefferson lead to just four points with 1:52 remaining, but four-straight points by Madison put the game away.
Federal Way was led by the 18 points by senior Cole Dickerson on 7-of-18 shooting from the field. The University of San Francisco-signee also snared nine rebounds. Senior guard Isiah Umipig, a Cal State Fullerton commit, finished with 15 points and Robert Christopher chipped in 12 points, including nine in the first half.
Jefferson controlled the game for the first three quarters Monday. The Democrats led 18-14 after the first quarter and took a 32-22 lead into the locker room at halftime, thanks to 14 points and six blocks from Jones.
The Eagles tried to mount a comeback early in the second half with a 10-1 run that closed the Democrats' lead to three, 38-35. But Jefferson responded with a 14-2 run to take a commanding 52-37 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Federal Way jumps right back into the rugged South Puget Sound League North Division with a home game against second-place Kentridge Friday night.
Rainier Beach 58, Decatur 53 (Monday)
The Decatur Gators showed plenty of fight during Monday's five-point loss to the No. 1-ranked Class 3A team in the state at the King Holiday Hoopfest at the University of Washington.
Despite turning the ball over an astounding 29 times and trailing by double digits, the ninth-ranked Gators (10-4) had a chance in the end against Rainier Beach (10-3).
Decatur tied the score 53-53 with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter when Jordan McCloud put back a missed shot. But that was the last time the Gators would score in the game and the Vikings converted five of their final 10 free throws to walk away from the UW with the victory. In total, Rainier Beach made just seven of their final 18 free throws during the fourth quarter, which allowed Decatur to hang around.
McCloud continued his strong season. The 6-foot-5 senior finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Decatur's leading scorer, junior Jerron Smith, finished with 14 points, but made only two field goals during the game. Smith did a bulk of his scoring damage on the free-throw line, converting 9 of 10.
The first half proved to be the difference Monday night. The Gators struggled big time taking care of the basketball against the long and athletic Rainier Beach defense. Decatur turned the ball over 19 times in the opening two quarters, which resulted in the Vikings taking a 24-11 lead midway through the second quarter.
But the Gators wouldn't go away.
Decatur closed out the second quarter on a 15-6 run to cut the Rainier Beach lead to 30-26 at halftime. The Gators converted on 13 free throws in the first half to get back into the game.