Ferron Flavors wasn’t so smooth to start the game.
But he was feeling it by the finish.
Flavors hit seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 31 points for the top-ranked Federal Way boys basketball team as it jumped past No. 10 Woodinville, 79-64, on Saturday at Puyallup High School to advance to the Tacoma Dome for the 4A state quarterfinals.
One of his first 3-point attempts didn’t catch the rim.
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"I called him aside," Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. "And I said, ‘Look man, you have to settle down, relax, take your shot in rhythm and shoot the ball the way you are capable of shooting,"
D’Jimon Jones added 19 points, including three 3-pointers of his own, and Jalen McDaniels scored 14. Christian Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
And Federal Way (26-0) is on its way to the Tacoma Dome. The last time it was there, it was cutting down the nets following its 4A state title victory over Davis.
The loss ends Woodinville’s season a game shy of a return trip to the Tacoma Dome. Last year was its first state tournament appearance in school history and Saturday’s state regional was its second.
It wouldn’t have done so without its scintillating 6-foot-6 forward Tony Miller, who scored 26 points. Woodinville coach Mark Folsom said that total pushed him past 2,000 points for his career at the school.
Miller, the 4A KinCo most valuable player, entered the game averaging more than 28 points and 12 rebounds.
"He’s an unbelievable kid," Folsom said. "He’s a great basketball player and a better person. He’s really changed the face of our program.
"Like I told him in (the locker room) – as tough as it is to lose him, his better days are ahead of him. He’s got a bright future. He’s changed the whole scope of Woodinville basketball."
He 21 of his 26 points in the second half, bringing Woodinville back from a 51-32 deficit in the third quarter and cutting that lead to 63-52 in the fourth.
He had a crowd-spurring dunk in that sequence over a Federal Way defender.
"That was pretty nice," Flavors said. "I’m not going to lie."
But D’Jimon Jones immediately responded with a dunk of his own on the other end.
"D’Jimon, he jumps 6-9. I know he’s got bounce," Flavors said. "So I knew he was going to come back with something. In my opinion, I liked D’Jimon’s dunk better. I’ll take D’Jimon’s dunk."
But it was Flavors who catapulted Federal Way to that big lead. He hit 3-pointers on three consecutive Federal Way possessions in the second quarter as the Eagles ended the first half on a 15-2 run to take a 43-26 lead.
"We didn’t want to give Jones any looks, but we thought we would give Flavors a look or two," Folsom said.
"Our kids battled but that’s a great team. I’d be surprised if they don’t win the state championship."
Federal Way is three more victories without a loss from doing so.
"It’s all our hard work," Collins said. "After winning the state championship we took two weeks off and then we went back to work in spring conditioning and fall and it all has culminated into what it is now. It’s the payoff.
"The kids have really worked hard. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the coaching staff for hanging in there with me. But we have unfinished business. We’ll celebrate tonight, but then we have to get ready for next week."
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677