Boys basketball wrap: Decatur buries Beamer, creates three-way tie for second place in South; TJ upends Kentridge

The race for second place in the South Puget Sound League South Division got even murkier Tuesday night when the Decatur Gators blew by the Todd Beamer Titans, 70-59.

The Gator victory essentially created a three-way tie for second place in the SPSL South between Decatur, Beamer and Puyallup. All three currently sit with four division losses entering Friday night's season finales.

Puyallup (11-4) hosts rival Rogers, while Beamer (11-4) faces Graham-Kapowsin. If Puyallup and Beamer win, they’ll both finish 12-4 in league play and in a tie with Decatur, whose regular season ended with Tuesday's win over the Titans.

If this scenario happens, a mini playoff will take place Tuesday to determine the second, third and fourth seeds from the South into the SPSL Tournament. Curtis has already clinched the division's first seed.

Beamer and Decatur played a pretty sloppy first half Tuesday. The two teams combined for 27 turnovers, which has been a problem for the Gators all season long.

The two usually potent offensive teams combined for only 52 points during the first two quarters. Decatur junior wing Jerron Smith tallied three of those when he sank a half-court, buzzer-beater to give the Gators a 28-24 lead at the half. Smith finished with a game-high 25 points.

Decatur extended the lead during the second half by taking better care of the ball and limiting the chances of Beamer's Kevin Davis. The 6-foot-8 Davis, who killed the Gators during a Titan win earlier in the season, finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. But that included 10 points in the final two minutes when the game was out of hand.

Decatur senior Jordan McCloud finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds and junior point guard Terrell Williams added 17 points, five assists, five steals and five rebounds.

Napa Mefi finished with 18 points, including 11 in the first quarter.

In other boys basketball action:

• The Thomas Jefferson Raiders (10-9, 7-8) kept their playoff hopes alive with an impressive 69-57 win over Kentridge Tuesday night at home. The Raiders now need to beat top-ranked Federal Way in their final regular season game of the season Thursday night and have Auburn Riverside beat Auburn Friday. If that happens, TJ would snare their first district appearance as the SPSL North's fifth seed.

The Raiders got a huge night from senior Justin Lanier against Kentridge (12-7, 9-6). Lanier finished with a game-high 26 points and was key during the pivotal fourth quarter.

The two teams were tied at 46-46 entering the fourth quarter, but the Raiders outscored the Chargers, 23-11, during the final eight minutes. Seniors Jeff Brigham and Spencer Hicks both finished with 15 points. Gary Bell led Kentridge with 25.

Jefferson played without the services of head coach Kyle Templeton, who was suspended for the game because of three indirect technical fouls during Saturday's loss to Auburn Riverside. None of the technical fouls were on Templeton. The first was on the bench, the second was on a player kicking a chair and the third was on an assistant coach.

• Federal Way senior Cole Dickerson finished with 25 points during an 80-42 win over Kent-Meridian Tuesday night. The top-ranked Eagles (17-1, 14-0) jumped out to a 35-6 lead after the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

The Eagles got 13 points from Isiah Umipig, 11 from George Williams and 10 from Robert Christopher.

The SPSL North champion Eagles will take on South champ Curtis in the SPSL Championship game at 6:30 p.m. at Kent's Showare Center on Feb. 11 for the league's top seed into the West Central District Tournament.

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