With the memory of a one-point loss still fresh in their minds, the Todd Beamer Titans were looking for retribution when they hosted league rival Auburn Riverside on Tuesday.
They found it, and in a big way.
Makenzie Bond’s 15 second-half points helped the Titans (17-2, 12-1 NPSL) distance themselves from the Ravens on their way to a 58-41 victory.
“She’s our hidden jewel, our secret weapon,” Titans head coach Corey Alexander said of Bond. “She can shoot from outside and post up.”
Bond, a 6-foot-1 junior, punished the Ravens’ defense from the outside as she buried two 3-pointers and hit several jump shots from near the free throw line in the second half.
“This game we were trying to give it our all and keep home court advantage,” Bond said. “We really played as a team today. We made the extra pass and looked for the open people.”
The Titans have only one loss at home in five seasons under Alexander.
Auburn Riverside (14-5, 12-1) was undefeated in league play heading into Tuesday’s game and was looking to grab a share of the 4A North Puget Sound League Olympic title with a win.
The Ravens also came in with confidence, having beaten the Titans, 41-40, when they hosted them on Dec. 20.
But the Titans came out strong from the tip, with senior guard Japhera McEachin draining a 3 and freshman Aaliyah Alexander driving to the basket to open the scoring.
“I’m proud of all the girls, the way they stuck it out,” Riverside coach Christian Miller said. “We just came out a little flat.”
The Ravens, led by McKenzi Williams’ 15 points, fought back several times but still found themselves down at the half, 25-16.
Autumn Lee hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, giving Riverside some much-needed momentum.
But McEachin answered with a 3-pointer to regain a nine-point lead.
Midway through the fourth, the Titans went on a 12-0 run to build a 49-30 lead and put the game away for good.
The league title is still up for grabs. Both teams have one game remaining in the regular season, and if they are still tied, they will play each other again for the league’s top seed to the district playoffs. Alexander said that game would likely be on Tuesday. Auburn Riverside hosts Auburn, and Beamer hosts Federal Way on Friday.
Kentridge (18-1, 12-1) and Kentlake (16-2, 11-1) are in a similar situation in the 4A NPSL’s Cascade division, though Kentlake has two league games remaining to Kentridge’s one.