Basketball wrap: First-place Curtis upends Beamer, 71-61; Decatur, TJ win boys games; TJ girls also victorious

Decatur junior Jerron Smith finished with a game-high 24 points during the Gators
Decatur junior Jerron Smith finished with a game-high 24 points during the Gators' 66-53 win over Emerald Ridge Tuesday night. The victory moved the Gators into second place in the SPSL South with a 9-2 record.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The Todd Beamer Titan boys just didn't have enough in the end Tuesday night against the Curtis Vikings. The third-ranked Vikings outlasted the Titans at Beamer, 71-61.

The win completes a season sweep over the Titans and leaves Curtis (14-1 overall, 10-1 SPSL) alone atop the South Puget Sound League South Division. A Titan (9-5, 7-3) win would have basically forged a three-way tie for the South lead, along with Decatur.

The Vikings used an impressive third-quarter run to take a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter. But the Titans wouldn't go away thanks, in large part, to the play of 6-foot-8 Kevin Davis. The senior finished with 31 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and several highlight-reel dunks.

Beamer cut the Curtis lead to just two, 63-61, with just over two minutes left to play on a pair of free throws by junior guard Napa Mefi.

But those were the last points the Titans would score.

Curtis was led by the play of Devonte Lacy, especially during the second half. The junior tallied 17 of his 29 points during the pivotal third and fourth quarters.

Things started off well for the Titans Tuesday night. Mefi hit Davis on an alley-oop immediately following the opening tip to give Beamer a 2-0 lead. But the Vikings tallied the next 15 points of the game. The Titans fought back to trail by only one at halftime, 34-33.

Boys Basketball

• The Decatur Gators moved into second place by themselves Tuesday with a 66-53 win over the Emerald Ridge Jaguars. The Gators (9-2 in SPSL South, 11-4 overall) got 24 points from Jerron Smith and 17 from Jordan McCloud during the win, which sets up a huge game Tuesday against the first-place Curtis Vikings (10-1).

Tuesday's game turned during the third quarter when Decatur outscored Emerald Ridge 24-9 to turn a four-point halftime lead into a 52-33 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

• The Thomas Jefferson Raiders remained right in the playoff hunt in the SPSL North Division with an impressive 75-53 win over the Kentlake Falcons Tuesday. The Raiders (5-5, 8-6) outscored Kentlake 35-18 in the second half and were led by the 23 points of Jeff Brigham.

The win was TJ's third in a row and also avenges an early-season loss to Kentlake. The Raiders now sit one win back of the fifth and final postseason berth from the SPSL North. Kentwood, Auburn Riverside and Auburn are all three tied for third place at 6-5. Federal Way (9-0) and Kentridge (8-3) occupy the first two spots. Jefferson hasn't played at the West Central District Tournament since 1985.

Girls Basketball

• The Thomas Jefferson Raiders improved to 5-6 in the SPSL North with a big 48-39 win over the Kentlake Falcons Tuesday night at TJ. The victory moved the Raiders into sixth place in the North, one game back of the fifth and final playoff berth.

Jefferson got 17 points from Unique Taufa'asau, 11 from Hannah Kiyohara and 10 from Jada Piper.

• The Decatur Gators came close against Emerald Ridge, but lost 42-36 Tuesday night. The Gators (1-9) got nine points from A'yesia Rogers.

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