Federal Way trailed Auburn Riverside for almost the entire first half of their Class 4A West Central District-opening girls basketball game Tuesday.
However, it must have seemed an uncomfortable lead for the Ravens, as they could almost sense the tick, tick, ticking from Eagles’ leading-scorer Raven Benton, who was getting early points but not quite erupting.
In the second half, Benton’s explosion came, and her 34-point night carried the No. 10-ranked Eagles to a 52-44 win at Auburn Riverside.
“She’s capable of that pretty much anytime,” Federal Way coach Joshua DeYoe said. “She’s been our go-to girl all year long, obviously. She defensively holds it down for us in terms of getting where she needs to be. But tonight, especially, I was very proud of her more for her
vocal leadership. She’s always led us by example, but she’s probably never been as vocal as she was tonight.”
Benton, who averaged 26.6 points per game during the season, scored 23 points in the second half. Her game-changers came in the third quarter, and included a pair of 3-point daggers as the Eagles roared from behind to take a lead they would never relinquish.
“I thought Raven had a really great game,” Auburn Riverside coach Tim Nelson said. “We tried diamond-and-one (zone); we tried man; we tried zone; we tried pressure. But I think mainly it had to do with our offense. We just didn’t have it today, thanks maybe to their defense.”
While none of Benton’s teammates scored more than seven points, several picked key spots for their contributions.
One of those was Jill Honrade, whose 3-pointer ignited a 9-0 run that opened the third quarter and turned the game for the Eagles.
“I’m pretty proud of our girls,” DeYoe said. “We executed our game plan how we wanted. We played tough defense. We played together, and we played fairly composed most of the time. There were a couple of shaky moments, but we were able to gather ourselves a little bit, and made some big shots, of course.”
Federal Way goes on to face Yelm, a 45-27 winner over Tahoma on Tuesday, at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Rogers High School; Riverside will meets Tahoma at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Bellarmine Prep.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/preps