To Timberline’s credit, it gave the top-ranked Class 4A team in the state a game Friday night.
But the Blazers committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter as they watched Federal Way slip away, 77-62, in the second round of the West Central District tournament at Auburn Mountainview High School.
The undefeated Eagles clinched a state regional berth with the victory, the next step in defending their 4A state title.
“Their defense came out in the fourth quarter and kind of confused us,” Timberline sophomore Erik Stevenson said. “Their athleticism and quickness really got to us.”
Never miss a local story.
Timberline trailed by six points with 6 minutes, 26 seconds to play, but turned the ball over on four straight possessions when the Eagles switched to a zone press.
“We just rotated our presses, and I thought it confused them,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “We did a great job of getting in the passing lane and sealing the traps. And they started throwing the ball all over the place.
“I think our guys wanted it, they picked up their intensity.”
Each of those four turnovers turned into two points for Federal Way at the other end, as the Eagles went on an 8-0 run and built a 15-point lead with 4:39 to go.
Federal Way converted another string of three straight Timberline turnovers two minutes later into another four points.
Jalen McDaniels lobbed a two-footer over the rim at the shot-clock buzzer, with 1:45 left, to seal it.
McDaniels had 16 points for the Eagles, as did Ferron Flavors — who dropped in four 3-pointers — and Malcolm Cola. Marcus Stephens added another 11 points. Federal Way finished 28 of 52 (53.8 percent) from the floor.
Flavors’ 3-pointer from the corner opened a 21-point fourth quarter for Federal Way and the late 18-9 run closed things out.
“We just had to play with more intensity,” he said. “We came out real slow, and we just had to pick it up at the end. We’re not going to lose, so we have to keep pushing it. We always find a way to win, regardless of if we’re playing bad or playing good.”
Timberline hung tough — and stayed within single digits for most of the way — until Federal Way’s explosive fourth.
The Blazers shot 22 of 53 (41.5 percent) from the floor. Jarryn Bush led all scorers with 24 points, while Stevenson added 11 and Eli Morton had 10.
“It’s hard to play teams like us that have the quote-unquote nothing to lose mentality,” Timberline coach Allen Thomas said. “And they’re No. 1. They could easily take it for granted, but they made their adjustments in the second half and they got it done.”
The feeling was all too familiar for the Blazers — they lost to Federal Way in the regional round of the 4A state tournament last season. The Eagles went on to win the state championship.
The difference is, this time, the loss doesn’t end Timberline’s season.
“We played with the No. 1 team in the state for (three) quarters,” Stevenson said. “It’s not like last year, when we lost and we were done. So we can come back and just build off of this.”
Timberline (13-8) will play South Kitsap in a loser-out game at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Stadium High School. The best the Blazers can finish in the tournament is fifth. Six teams advance to regionals.
“We really want fifth place,” Thomas said. “If we have to travel, we have to travel. But our goals are still in front of us, and we’ve got to work.”
4A WEST CENTRAL DISTRICT
Kentwood 53, Olympia 42: A 23-point fourth quarter from the Conquerors will send Olympia (18-4) to a loser-out game in the 4A WCD tournament.
The Bears led all the way through until Kentwood took its first lead with 5:09 to play. Olympia scored in single digits in the final three quarters.
Brett Thompson tied for a game-high 15 points for Olympia. Rayvaughn Bolton also had 15 — 10 in the fourth quarter — for Kentwood.
The Bears will play Spanaway Lake (14-0) at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Stadium High School. The best they can finish in the tournament now is fifth.
At Mt. Tahoma
No. 6 Bellarmine Prep 63, Kentridge 55: Malachi Flynn scored a game-high 34 points as the Lions turned a one-point lead to start the quarter into an eight-point victory against the Chargers.
And in doing so, Bellarmine clinched its fourth state tournament appearance since 2012 and first since 2014.
Bellarmine (19-3) advances to the district semifinals to play second-ranked Curtis at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Auburn. Bellarmine lost to Curtis, 64-60, when they met for a nonleague game on Dec. 4 — when Flynn scored 36.
No. 3 Curtis 56, Puyallup 36: Curtis secured its 26th trip to the state tournament with its third victory of the season over rival Puyallup.
This one was the most lopsided of the three meetings, with the two others coming down to the final period in a pair of Curtis (22-2) victories.
Puyallup (18-7) heads to the consolation bracket, where it will play at Stadium at noon on Monday in a loser-out game against Yelm. It needs two wins to clinch a state berth.
2A SEAKING/WEST CENTRAL
Steilacoom 56, Lindbergh 46: LaJon Enis-Carter and Marques Hampton both posted double-doubles in a 10-point win for the Sentinels. Enis-Carter scored 12 points and recorded 13 rebounds, and Hampton scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Sentinels clinched a state berth — their second since 2010 — and will face North Kitsap next at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Foss.
North Kitsap 64, White River 58: Alex Wallen scored a game-high 22 points for the Hornets in a losing effort. The Vikings were led by Cole Rabedeaux, who had 16 points. Joshua Benson also scored 15 for the Vikings.
White River (14-8) will face Olympic (15-8) in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday at Lincoln.
Liberty of Issaquah 63, Clover Park 52: The Patriots pulled away in the fourth quarter to clinch a state berth and send the Warriors to the consolation bracket.
Semaj Booker scored a game-high 20 points for Clover Park (14-8), which dug itself in a 17-4 hole after the first quarter.
Clover Park will play Washington, which beat Highline, 60-57, in a loser-out game at 1:45 p.m. Monday at Foss. It needs to wins to clinch a state berth.
Noble Cooper scored a game-high 21 points and Stephen Hei added 19 for Liberty, which will play second-ranked River Ridge in the district semifinals at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Foss.
No. 2 River Ridge 71, Renton 62: Five Hawks reach double-digit scoring Friday night as River Ridge defeated the Indians by nine points.
Kelle Sanders scored a game-high 13 points for the Hawks and Kobe Key chipped in with 12. River Ridge moves on to face Liberty at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Foss. Renton will face Port Angeles at noon on Monday at Foss.
At Eatonville 68, Castle Rock 61: The Cruisers held on, despite being outscored 20-15 in the fourth quarter. Brooks Moeller recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in Eatonville’s win.
The Cruisers (14-7) will travel to play at King’s Way Christian (18-3) at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Ryan Chambers and TJ Cotterill contributed to this report