Boys basketball wrap: Top-ranked Federal Way gets back on track against second-place Kentridge

The Kentridge Chargers got the unlucky task of playing the top-ranked Federal Way Eagles following their first loss of the season Friday night. The defending state champs dominated the second-place Chargers, 95-67, in a South Puget Sound League North Division game at Federal Way High School.

The Eagles (13-1 overall, 10-0 in the SPSL North) had their 29-game winning streak snapped last week by Jefferson High School of Portland at the King Holiday Hoopfest in Seattle.

The Democrats, the two-time defending Class 5A Oregon state champs, downed the Eagles, 62-58, at the University of Washington on Jan. 18.

It looked like Kentridge might add another loss to Federal Way’s record. The No. 10 Chargers led 20-19 after the first quarter. But the Eagles got things going in the second quarter and ran away from Kentridge and their star guard Gary Bell.

The Chargers (11-5, 8-4) got 14 points from Bell in the first quarter, but the suffocating Eagle defense tightened down on the junior, who finished with 22 points on the night, including only two in the second quarter.

Federal Way used a 10-0 run early in the second quarter to take control of the game and led 41-34 at halftime.

The Eagles were led by the play of their 6-foot-6 forward Cole Dickerson. The senior dominated on the interior and finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds against the Chargers.

Senior guard Isiah Umipig added 21 points, Robert Christopher chipped in 14 and George Williams tallied 10 for the Eagles.

The Eagles last loss to an in-state team came Jan. 17, 2009, when they fell to the Kentwood Conquerors before going on to capture their first state championship.

In other boys basketball action:

• The Thomas Jefferson Raiders remained in the playoff hunt in the SPSL North with an impressive 66-41 win over Tahoma Friday night at TJ. The win moves the Raiders to 6-5 in league play and 9-6 overall. The top-five finishers in the North advance to the West Central District Tournament and currently, TJ sits in a tie for fifth with Kentwood with five games remaining in the regular season.

The Raiders still have to play first-place Federal Way twice, along with second-place Kentridge, third-place Auburn Riverside and Kentwood.

Jefferson got a huge game from senior Eric Radford Friday. The forward finished with a career-high 24 points for TJ, who led 24-10 after the first quarter. Senior guard Jeff Brigham chipped in 13 points. The Raiders didn’t allow any Tahoma player to score in double digits Friday. The Bears were playing without their star, Christian Behrens.

• Beamer moved to 8-3 in the SPSL South with a hard-fought 84-76 win over the Spanaway Lake Sentinels Friday night. Curtis sits atop the South with an 11-1 record, followed by Decatur (9-3) and Puyallup (8-3).

The Titans played Friday night without leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Davis, who sat out due to disciplinary issues, according to head coach Brent Brilhante.

Beamer got double-digit points from four different players Friday night, led by the 20 points of junior guard Napa Mefi. Senior Mac Gridley provided the inside presence the Titans were missing without the 6-foot-8 Davis. Gridley finished with a career-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Beamer also got 17 points from Vladi Aficiuc and 15 from Terelle Loggins.

The Titans led 25-18 after the first quarter and 43-33 at halftime.

• The Decatur Gators (11-5, 9-3) couldn’t hold a fourth-quarter lead Friday night against the Puyallup Vikings on the road. The ninth-ranked Gators were beaten in Puyallup, 67-62.

Decatur led 50-48 entering the final eight minutes of play Friday, but the Vikings (11-4, 8-3) outscored the Gators, 19-12, during the fourth quarter.

Decatur was led by the 22 points of Jerron Smith. Anthony Williams finished with 13 and Terrell Williams chipped in 12. Senior Jordan McCloud, who entered the game averaging nearly 20 points a game, finished with just six. It was the first time this season that McCloud has been held in single digits.

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