Marcus Stephens wasn’t going to let his final trip to the Tacoma Dome end with his first and only two losses here.
Not with how many wins he’s been part of on this stage.
Stephens set the tone, scoring 21 points with six assists and four rebounds and the Federal Way High School boys basketball team rebounded from a loss in the quarterfinals to beat Kennedy Catholic, 77-56, on Friday in the consolation bracket of the 4A state tournament.
In three years, the Eagles have advanced to the final day of the season three times – even though the last two years they were playing for state championships. Federal Way will play the winner of Curtis-Enumclaw at 8 a.m. Saturday for a fourth- or sixth-place trophy.
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“It was definitely rough coming into the day,” Stephens said. “Everybody wants first place. Nobody remembers who came in second, third or fourth. But I’m trying to leave a legacy for this team and for the coaches and fans. So you got to come out and play hard every game.”
Stephens, a 6-foot-3 senior point guard, scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half, making 7 of 10 shots when the Eagles otherwise came out sluggish in the early-morning game following their 61-57 loss to Richland – in which Federal Way had a chance to tie at the end but was called for a technical foul with 5.7 seconds remaining because it had six players on the court.
Federal Way was hoping to become the first 4A school to win three consecutive state titles. And it is the first 4A school to win 63 consecutive games – a streak that spanned from 2015-17.
But it made 22 of 58 shots (37.9 percent) in that game. It made 32 of 63 (50.8 percent) in this one — though Kennedy didn’t have a 7-foot-3 center like Richland did.
“Pride – this was for pride,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “All these guys who have come through here are the guys who have helped build the tradition to what it is.”
Federal Way used a 10-0 run from the end of the second quarter into the third to extend its lead to 13 points. It outscored Kennedy 43-28 in the second half.
Rashon Slaughter had a lot to do with that. He scored a game-high 25 points and had six rebounds on 11 for 20 shooting.
Emilio Mancol scored 20 points for Kennedy in its season ending loss.
Stephens – who started on each of Federal Way’s state title victories – is hoping to lead Federal Way to one more win.
“When you hear my name I want you to think winner,” Stephens said. “That I did whatever it took to win.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 4 FEDERAL WAY
FW: Stephens 21, McDaniels 1, Nnanabu 1, Womack 5, Henry 1, King 2, Collins 6, Jatta 8, Cola 8, Slaughter 25
KC: Mancol 20, Wilson 5, Hoffman 10, Sasonoff 4, Gaoteote 3, Thurber 8, Olufson 2, Macias 2, Maxie 2