By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror
Things started out perfectly for the Federal Way Eagles’ boys basketball team Tuesday night in its South Puget Sound League North Division showdown with the Kentridge Chargers.
But the night didn’t end too well for Federal Way. The Eagles dropped their third game in their last four to the Chargers in overtime, 58-57. The loss eliminated Federal Way (12-5, 9-4) from the North Division title chase and dropped the Eagles into fourth place in league play.
The Eagles seemed on their way to an easy victory over first-place Kentridge (17-3, 11-2). Federal Way led by as many as 13 points late in the third quarter before being reeled in by the Chargers.
“I don’t know how we won that game,” said Kentridge head coach Dave Jamison.
After playing to a 55-55 tie in regulation, the Chargers’ got the game-winner in overtime from Chris Washington on an assist from Renado Parker with just under a minute remaining in the four-minute period. Washington finished with 17 points.
“It was just a high-low play,” Washington said of the winning shot. “I saw Renado’s screen and that’s when I came over and got the ball. They were doubling him all night, so I knew I was going to get a good look.”
Federal Way’s only points during overtime came on a layup by senior Aaron Broussard just 24 seconds in. But Broussard couldn’t convert on a pair of game-winning attempts in the last 15 seconds, missing a fadeaway and another short jumper near the free-throw line, as time expired.
“We didn’t practice yesterday because of the snow,” Washington said. “That might be why we came out a little flat-footed.”
Kentridge’s lethargic play extended into the third quarter Tuesday night. Federal Way sophomore forward George Williams hit a turnaround jumper to cap an 11-5 run. The basket gave the Eagles a commanding 46-33 lead with 2:28 left in the third.
“Our body language wasn’t very good. Our energy wasn’t very good and we weren’t executing very well,” Jamison said.
But that’s when things changed, especially with the mentality of Parker, Kentridge’s leading scorer. The 6-foot-5 senior tallied nine points in the fourth quarter and helped the Chargers chip away at the Federal Way lead. Parker finished with a game-high 22 points, including 13 of Kentridge’s final 22 points in regulation.
“Someone pushed his button,” Jamison said. “When his button gets pushed, he goes hard.”
Parker’s late outburst allowed the Chargers to outscore Federal Way, 21-9, in the final 10 minutes of the third and fourth quarters. But it almost wasn’t enough.
Kentridge grabbed its first lead with 2:35 to play in regulation when Parker picked up a loose ball and tossed in a right-handed hook to put the Chargers ahead, 53-51. The basket capped a 10-0 Kentridge run.
Federal Way, however, came right back. Junior guard Andre Barrington tied the score at 53-53 with a layup with 2:04 left in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles then got the ball back after Cole Dickerson blocked Parker’s go-ahead shot in the lane. Federal Way ran down the clock, before Parker came up with a big block of his own. Washington then found Parker with an outlet pass, who hit the layup with 29 seconds left, putting Kentridge up 55-53.
Broussard sent the game into overtime when he grabbed a perfect lob pass from Ian Tevis and converted the layup with just under eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kentridge had a chance at snagging the win in regulation, but Parker’s jumper clanged off the rim and Washington’s put-back follow fell short at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
After Broussard hit a short jumper just 24 seconds into four-minute extra period, Parker made one of two free throws to cut the Eagle lead to 57-56 with 3:18 left, setting up Washington’s game-winner.
Barrington led Federal Way with 16 points. Broussard and Dickerson both tallied 13 points apiece and junior guard Jeff Forbes chipped in 11. The Eagles led 17-13 after the first quarter and 33-27 at halftime. Dickerson tallied eight of Federal Way’s first 11 points of the game and finished with 11 first-half points.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org