With opposing coaches generating as many defensive schemes as they can think of trying to slow Foss High star Dezymn Trent, it often leaves ample opportunities for other Falcons to have a big night.
Such was the case Wednesday night in Foss’ Class 3A West Central District opening game against Decatur.
Guard Jericho Ballard scored a game-high 23 points, and Olashawn Miller added 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots as the Falcons led wire-to-wire in a 65-53 win at Franklin Pierce High School. Foss advances to play Columbia River at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Columbia River High School.
“We stepped up and hit big shots as a team because they were trying to box and one Dez,” Ballard said.
Despite the constant attention the Gators put on Trent, he still had a solid night – 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
“We know that everybody tries to beat us by stopping Dez, so we talk a lot about other guys stepping up and making plays,” Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said. “In the fourth quarter there were so many slashes (from) guys cutting to the basket. We don’t care how many points we score; it’s just a matter of getting the job done.”
Foss took control early, running out to leads of 15-6 after one quarter and 26-20 at halftime. Decatur countered with a third-quarter run, cutting the deficit to 40-34 with less than 10 seconds left. But the sharp-shooting Ballard made sure the Falcons held strong, drilling a 3-pointer — his third of the night — from the right wing to beat the quarter buzzer and push the lead back to seven points.
“I had to hit that to shut them out,” Ballard said with a grin. “They were talking a lot of mess.”
Added Cocke’: “He’s our shooter. We try and get him the ball and we just tell him to keep shooting and shoot with confidence.”
Foss (16-5) put the accelerator down in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 49-34 when Trent scored on a layup off a feed from Ballard. Ball movement on offense was present all night for the Falcons, who tallied 15 assists as a team.
“We knew (the Gators) were going to come in and run their stuff,” Cocke’ said. “We allowed them to do that. They made it interesting, cutting it to nine or 10 a couple of times, and then we’d get stops. In the second half, the pressure got to them and we got run outs and easy buckets.”
Miguel Gomez scored 16 points for Decatur (11-10), while Jason Young added 13.
Timberline 53, Auburn Mountainview 40: With Gonzaga coach Mark Few in the stands, Blazers’ star Donaven Dorsey gave his team a lift early in the fourth quarter on both ends at Franklin Pierce High School.
He knocked down a long jumper to push the Blazers’ lead to 47-36 with 51/2 minutes to go, and he and Elijah Sanders also patrolled the paint, limiting the Lions to one field goal in the fourth quarter.
Enumclaw 62, Fort Vancouver 40: Tony Chynoweth scored 20 points, and the SPSL 3A co-champion pulled away late in a first-round victory at Clover Park High School.
Mountain View 68, Mount Tahoma 67: The Thunder rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to edge the Thunderbirds in a loser-out first-round district game in Vancouver.
Bryan Neal scored a game-high 29 points for Mount Tahoma.
Bethel 72, at Evergreen (Vancouver) 56: Bryce Bowers’ 3-pointer capped a 12-4 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter to give the Braves a huge lead (42-26), and the SPSL South’s No. 4 team shocked the Greater St. Helens 4A runner-up in Vancouver.
Bowers led Bethel (15-8) with 21 points.
At Beamer 76, Union 63: In a battle of Titans, Juwan Flowers led five players in double-figure with 19 points to help Beamer (17-5) advance past the 4A Greater St. Helens League regular-season champion in Federal Way.
At Federal Way 70, Mount Rainier 60: Too much Brayon Blake inside. The Eagles’ forward scored 11 of his 20 points in the first half, and sixth-ranked Federal Way (19-3) cruised at home.
At Tahoma 68, Olympia 57: Ethan McCormack’s 3-pointer from the corner, and DeShon Williams’ steal and dunk midway through the fourth quarter helped Tahoma (17-6) set a single-season school record for victories.
White River 55, North Kitsap 32: The No. 7 Hornets bolted out to a 31-12 halftime lead, and rode balanced scoring in earning a first-round victory at Foss High School.
Dustin France led the defending district champions with 11 points.
Sumner 63, Bremerton 48: Riley Bruil tallied 19 points, and the Spartans took early control in cruising to an opening-round victory at Lakes High School.