The Federal Way Eagles still don’t like to talk about their win count. But it’s worth a mention.
Federal Way tied Ferris High School’s Class 4A state record of 59 consecutive wins and are aiming for a third 4A state title in a row.
Behind a gritty performance from Malcolm Cola, who had 15 points and seven blocks, the Eagles (16-0, 11-0 Class 4A North Puget Sound, Olympic) found a way to survive what proved to be their toughest game of the season in a 60-56 win at the Enumclaw Hornets (7-4, 11-6) Tuesday night.
“My goal is not to let anything happen in my territory,” said Cola, a 6-foot-7 senior. “Especially when the game got really close, I’m not letting in any easy baskets, and that’s where my blocked shots come from.”
Except for a brief Federal Way 10-point lead in the second quarter, the game was close — really close — the whole night.
Timely 3-pointers from freshman sharp-shooter Peter Erickson and overall scrappy play from Enumclaw kept the Hornets in the game.
Enumclaw even held a 43-40 lead after a gutsy play on the post by senior Kaden Anderson, but the Eagles asserted themselves late with good defensive play by Cola and Jaden McDaniels.
Marcus Stephens also found his rhythm in the second half, hitting several long-range jumpers at key points.
Although it started out rough for Federal Way, which made 1 of 6 shots from the field during the first few minutes of the game, the Eagles did plenty on the defensive side of the ball throughout the game to gain the edge.
“We had the opportunity to fold,” Eagles coach Jerome Collins said. “But I’m proud of the way my guys responded. We kept our composure.”
“Every win is a big win,” Cola said when asked about the significance of tying the state record. “That’s all we focus on.”
On the offensive side, McDaniels finished with 10 points, Etan Collins also had 10, and Rashon Slaughter chipped in seven.
Federal Way could break the state record with win No. 60 when it plays at Ferndale at 6 p.m. Wednesday.