Girls basketball: Federal Way headed back to state tourney after beating South Kitsap

Playing at the Class 4A State Girls Basketball Tournament is getting to be old hat for the Federal Way Eagles.

For the second year in a row, the Eagles will advance to state. Fifth-ranked Federal Way made sure of that with a convincing 63-48 win over the South Kitsap Wolves Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the West Central District Tournament at Foss High School.

Federal Way made its first state tournament appearance since 1998 last year and finished in third place. The Eagles returned four starters from that team and entered this season as the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the state before finishing third in the South Puget Sound League North Division behind Auburn Riverside and Kentwood.

The Eagles will get another shot at the current No. 1-ranked team in the state Wednesday night when they take on unbeaten Auburn Riverside. Federal Way and Auburn Riverside will play at 8 p.m. at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

The Ravens (23-0) twice got double-digit victories over the Eagles (21-4) during the SPSL North regular season. The winner will earn a berth into the West Central District championship game, against either Kentwood or Narrows League-champion Bellarmine Prep, who are playing in the other semifinal.

The Eagles dominated South Kitsap (17-7) Saturday. Federal Way rolled out to an early 12-point lead in the first quarter, before the Wolves cut the lead to two, 16-14.

But the Eagles outscored South Kitsap 30-15 in the second and third quarters to take a comfortable 46-29 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.

Federal Way was led by the play of Talia Walton. The 6-foot-1 junior finished with 27 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior guard Brittany Barrington ended up with 11 points.

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