By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror
The South Puget Sound League North Division boys basketball championship is up for grabs — literally.
The Kentridge Chargers created a four-team tie atop the eight-team league with a big-time win over the Decatur Gators on their home court. Kentridge held the lead throughout the second half and claimed a 71-64 home win over the Gators. The Kentridge victory evened the season series with the Gators, who beat the Chargers, 58-55, December 7.
Friday’s loss left Decatur (13-3 overall, 8-2 SPSL North) in a four-way tie with Kentridge (14-3, 8-2), Kentwood (12-3, 8-2) and Federal Way (11-2, 8-2) for the division lead with four games remaining in the regular season. Of the league games that the four teams have left to play, each one of them has to play two of the other three. The Gators take on Federal Way Thursday and Kentwood on Jan. 31. Federal Way also plays Kentridge on Jan. 29.
The Chargers controlled the tempo for most of the game. Kentridge rolled out to a 15-12 lead after the first quarter and led 33-28 at halftime, thanks to a 3-pointer by Renado Parker at the buzzer. Parker led the Chargers with 18 points while pulling down nine rebounds.
Decatur still had some chances in the second half to win the game. But the Gators interior defense couldn’t stop the Kentidge trio of Parker, Brandon Turner (17 points) and Chris Washington (15). And the freshmen backcourt of Gary Bell and Darae Simpson took care of the ball and played solid defense on Decatur’s Michael Hale and Marcus Tibbs.
Darious Walker led the Gators with 21 points, but Decatur never could get any closer than five points in the final 4:43 of the game. Tibbs had 19 points.
In other boys’ action
• Kentwood 75, at Jefferson 53: Jeremy Green scored 21 points and Josh Smith and Tre Tyler each added 15 for the No. 8 Conquerors. Kentwood outscored TJ, 47-34, in the second half.
Spenser Sydney led the Raiders (5-11, 1-9) with 21 points.
• At Federal Way 65, Tahoma 40: Three Eagles scored in double figures as they moved into a first-place tie in the SPSL North. Guard Jeff Forbes led Federal Way with 19 points, Aaron Broussard tallied 13 and Cole Dickerson chipped in 10. Federal Way, the state’s fifth-ranked team, led 31-12 at halftime.
• At Bethel 52, Beamer 35: Oliver Henry and Brandon MaGee each notched double-doubles for the Braves in their SPSL South win. Henry finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while MaGee scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and tallied five assists.
Bethel (11-5, 9-1) remains tied with Curtis for first in the SPSL South.
Dakin Wanquist led the Titans (6-10, 4-6) with 12 points. The Titans currently sit in a tie for fifth and final berth into the postseason in the South Division with four games remaining in the regular season.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com