Basketball: FW Eagles take down former state champs

The Federal Way Eagles took down the Auburn Trojans on Jan. 5 by a score of 71-58. Federal Way now has moved to 10-1 with their only loss being to Perry High School (AZ). The Eagles are now off to the 8th undefeated league start since 2013.

“It’s part of the program, the blueprint. It’s an expectation. They know it when they come here,” said head coach Yattah Reed.

The win continues a wave of momentum this Federal Way team had.

“It gives us a lot of confidence. It really sets us up nice for the rest of the season and heading into the playoffs,” said Eagles senior Isaiah Afework.

In the victory, the Federal Way Eagles have asserted themselves at the top of the NPSL standings. The game started out extremely competitive. It was a very physical game, and a total of eight points between the two sides were scored in the first three minutes.

The early bench play paid dividends for the Eagles early. Seniors Colton West, Dae’Sean Johnson-Holiman, and Dace Pleasant combined for four consecutive three-point makes, extending the lead to 21-13 by the end of the first quarter.

Auburn was able to rally back and make it a two-point game at halftime, 34-32. The focus came down to defense.

“We went away from the script we had planned for the game,” Reed said.

That Auburn momentum was completely stopped in the start of the second half. Federal Way scored nine straight points and did not allow a single point until the 4:40 mark in the quarter.

The Eagles never looked back after that quarter, and at the end of the third, FW led, 56-38. Coach Reed was proud of the way his team played and bounced back after halftime.

“I liked how they picked it up and responded in the second half,” he said.

By the fourth quarter, Federal Way had built and kept a sizable lead, and the closest Auburn ever got was 12 points with three minutes left.

With the lead and momentum the Eagles had, Afework was vocal on defense.

“My voice and my leadership is everything. We have great scorers and great basketball players. We need a leader and that’s what I bring to the table,” Afework said.

Federal Way takes on Kentlake on Jan. 10. There is still a little thought that this team can get even better.

“I don’t really think we have reached our potential yet this early in the season,” Reed said.