Girls basketball: Federal Way's defense dominates in wins over Puyallup, Rogers; districts next

The Federal Way Eagles (19-4) seem to be back on track heading into the West Central District Tournament.

The Eagles, who were beaten up last week by Kentwood in a tiebreaker game, dominated the Puyallup Vikings Friday, 46-28, and blew by Rogers Saturday, 45-29, at the South Puget Sound League Tournament. The two wins earned Federal Way the fourth seed from the SPSL into the West Central District Tournament.

Defense was the key during both of the victories last weekend. Against Puyallup, the fourth-place team from the SPSL South Division, the Eagles’ defense held the Vikings scoreless for nearly seven minutes during the second quarter and against Rogers, Federal Way got a huge game from 6-foot-1 Talia Walton, who finished with a triple double. Walton had 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals on the night.

The Eagles will host the Olympia Bears in the opening round of the West Central District Tournament. Olympia finished fifth in the Narrows League after losing to Wilson at the league tournament.

The winner of the Federal Way-Olympia game will take on the winner of a game between Emerald Ridge (SPSL No. 8) and South Kitsap (Narrows 2) on Saturday with a berth to the state tournament on the line.

Against Puyallup at Thomas Jefferson High School, the third-ranked Eagles established their defensive presence early and cruised. Junior guard Brittany Barrington led Federral Way with 15 points and seven rebounds and Walton chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds. Walton also blocked a pair of shots, while dominating the interior.

Things were pretty much the same Saturday against Rogers, who the Eagles beat by 30 points early in the season. Rogers, the second-place team from the SPSL South, could never get anything going offensively at Kent’s ShoWare Center. Federal Way’s defense held the Rams to single-digit points during all four quarters and led 28-15 at halftime.

Besides Walton’s triple-double, the Eagles also got 12 points from Barrington and 10 from sophomore guard Darah Huertas-Vining. Rogers was led by the 15 points of Nichole Jones.

Federal Way, one of the preseason favorites to win the Class 4A state tournament after taking third a year ago, lost 61-50 to Kentwood Tuesday in a tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed in the SPSL North Division. The loss dropped the Eagles to the third seed in the North.

West Central District Girls

First round (Thursday)

Game 1: Narrows No. 6 (Central Kitsap) at SPSL No. 2 (Kentwood)

Game 2: Narrows No. 4 (Wilson) at SPSL No. 5 (Rogers)

Game 3: SPSL No. 7 (Kentlake) at SPSL No. 3 (Bethel)

Game 4: SPSL No. 9 (Auburn) at Narrows No. 1 (Bellarmine Prep)

Game 5: SPSL No. 8 (Emerald Ridge) at Narrows No. 2 (South Kitsap)

Game 6: Narrows No. 5 (Olympia) at SPSL No. 4 (Federal Way)

Game 7: SPSL No. 6 (Puyallup) at Narrows No. 3 (Mount Tahoma)

Game 8: SPSL No. 10 (Graham-Kapowsin) at SPSL No. 1 (Auburn Riverside)

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