The top-ranked Federal Way High School could have fallen into a trap game in the 4A boys basketball state quarterfinals.
Instead, the Eagles did the trapping — on defense — and added some hot shooting from the perimeter on their way to a 74-63 victory over Moses Lake on Thursday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome to reach the semifinals.
Federal Way plays Union — a 63-55 quarterfinal winner over Issaquah — in the semis Friday at 5:30 p.m.
The Chiefs (16-6), playing in their first 4A quarterfinal, had rallied from a nine-point deficit early in the second quarter to tie the game at 19 just 2½ minutes into the period.
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Back-to-back 3-pointers by Ferron Flavors — sandwiched around a Moses Lake turnover — put an end to that rally and sparked a 16-4 Federal Way run that led to a 35-26 halftime lead.
“We had some simple turnovers in the beginning, but we got the jitters out,” said Eagles coach Jerome Collins, who led the school to a Class 4A state title in 2009. “I thought we had some good defensive stops; we got in the passing lanes, got going and we got in a rhythm.”
The Eagles (25-2) came out of halftime and forced four turnovers during a 10-2 run capped by another 3-pointer and lay-in from Flavors that pushed the lead to an insurmountable 45-28.
“We just played team defense,” Flavors, a junior guard, said. “Everybody rotated to the right positions, we got steals, fast breaks, and everything was clicking from there.”
The Eagles, who forced as many turnovers as Moses Lake had field goals – 22, were more than just a stifling defense, though. Federal Way was 12 of 23 from 3-point range, with Flavors going 5 for 9 on his way to 21 points, and senior guard Viont’e Daniels went 4 for 8 from from beyond the arc while scoring 22.
“We passed the ball, got it up the floor, we rebounded, and when we needed stops we got stops, so that’s what pulled the game out for us,” said Daniels, who also led the team with seven assists and tied for the team lead with six rebounds.
The lead ballooned to as much as 24 points before Federal Way removed its starters in the fourth quarter.
Junior center Cesar Sandoval had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Moses Lake.