The Federal Way Eagles continued a dominant 2022-23 campaign with a convincing win over the Kentridge Chargers 76-62. Kentridge has lost to Federal Way nine times in a row, dating back to 2009.
Federal Way has been a force all season with the most points scored this season at 1,477. The next closest team is Auburn, who has 244 less points than the Eagles. Federal Way is the only team in the North Puget Sound League to score 90-plus points this season. The Eagles have reached that milestone six times this year while the rest of the league has yet to make that mark.
Head Coach Yattah Reed indicated Federal Way was ready for the challenge they faced in the Kentridge Chargers.
“They’re always well coached, physical and disciplined,” he said. “So, we knew coming in that’s what it was going to be like.”
It was a competitive and physical from the start for the Eagles. The Chargers hung with Federal Way for the majority of the first quarter. Yet still, the Eagles took a three-point lead at the end of the quarter, 22-19.
In the second quarter, Federal Way continued to push the Chargers around, and went on a late run before half which boosted the Eagles to a 12-point halftime lead.
The play from seniors Vaughn Weems, Dace Pleasant and Isaiah Afework took over in the second half. The separation started with the Eagles focusing on defense.
“We thrive off our defense, we take pride in it, our defense creates our offense,” Reed said.
Pleasant echoed his coaches emphasis on their defensive performance. “Our defense is where it’s at. I like our defense,” he said.
In the third quarter, the Chargers got the game to within 10 points, but the fourth quarter was dominated by the blue and white.
Some adversity hit the Eagles in that fourth quarter when tempers flared between Dace Pleasant, Coach Reed and the officials causing a technical foul call.
Pleasant was charged with the foul, which appeared to upset him and Coach Reed. Teammates brought tempers back down. “I have trust in my team to calm me down. … I gather my guys up and raise the intensity from there,” Pleasant said.
The physicality of the game was something that Federal Way hadn’t really seen yet this season. But against Kentridge, they were able to weather that storm.
“We needed that, we needed to face a team that was physical,” Pleasant said.
For Reed, when playing in big games against opponents who know the style of play, it comes down to discipline.
“When teams know every play you run, you have to be smart and hold your cool. And not do anything that would jeopardize the opportunity to win,” Reed said.
The Eagles haven’t had any Washingtonian team threaten their undefeated in-state win streak this season. Federal Way takes on Kentwood Jan. 27 before facing off against Tahoma for the NPSL league title game Monday, Jan. 30.