First — a corner 3-pointer from Koby Huerta.
That one kept the Federal Way boys basketball team from going on one of its signature finishing runs.
Second — D’Angelo Minnis’ 3-pointer from the opposite corner to give Kentwood a three-point lead.
Then — Minnis’ NBA-range 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to deflate Federal Way and give the Conquerors their largest lead of the game at six points with a minute remaining.
“Hey, he gives the crowd what they want to see,” Kentwood’s Darius LuBom said. “The crowd wants to see crazy shots, Stephen Curry shots, and that’s what he does.”
And by the end of this, sixth-ranked Kentwood had ended No. 1 Federal Way’s 4A state record win streak — dating back to the 2014-15 season — at 63 consecutive games with a 69-59 victory for the 4A North Puget Sound League title on Saturday at Auburn Riverside High School.
It was the first loss for the Eagles (20-1) since a nonleague loss to Bellevue on Jan. 19, 2015. They had since won back-to-back 4A state titles — including over Kentwood for the state title in the Tacoma Dome last March.
Federal Way coach Jerome Collins saw the writing on the wall trailing by 10 with 6.6 seconds remaining. So he called a timeout to calm his players down.
“If it had to happen, I guess you want it now — but I don’t like to lose,” Collins said. “I just flat out don’t like to lose. But we can’t go back and do anything about it now. We need to move forward and look to improve.”
So just how did Kentwood become the first of 64 consecutive opponents to beat Federal Way?
The Conks (19-2) limited Federal Way in transition, they cleaned up rebounds and never let the Eagles go on a big run. It was one of the rare games in Federal Way’s streak — which was the second-longest streak in state history behind Brewster’s 2B streak of 82 consecutive games from 1973-77 — that it didn’t have a dunk.
It was never more than a two-possession game until the final minute.
“All season we’ve kind of been building up for games like this,” Kentwood coach Blake Solomon said. “We knew if we took care of business we’d see them here.
“That was big for our confidence to see we can play with anybody in the state. (63) in a row ... that’s one of the best teams in the state.”
Minnis was the X-factor.
The 5-foot-9 junior guard scored 14 points off the bench, including the two crucial 3-pointers late. He played JV all of last season.
“I’m just blessed,” said an ecstatic Minnis afterward. “I’ve been working. We’re just trying to get to state and win a championship.”
LuBom, the four-year starting guard for Kentwood, scored a team-high 22 points.
Marcus Stephens — who is the only player to have started on each of Federal Way’s past two state title teams — scored a game-high 23 points.
The Eagles led 51-46 after Stephens’ fast-break bucket and Palofino Jatta’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. But then Huerta, who scored 14 points, answered with his own 3-pointer.
Federal Way finished with a season-low 59 points.
“They’re good. They are physical,” Collins said. “They are certainly the most physical team we’ve played — not just on the inside. They lock down on the perimeter and that was a factor down the stretch.”
Kentwood will play the winner of Auburn Riverside-South Kitsap in the first round of the 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict playoffs on Thursday. Federal Way plays the winner of Tahoma-Puyallup.
“Looking back on it now and even before tonight, it’s a tremendous accomplishment, particularly in the game of basketball,” Collins said of the streak. “It’s a game of rhythm. Somebody can be on and you can be off and any number of things can occur, so the accomplishment to me, beginning with Viont’e (Daniels’) team and last year’s team and the back-to-back titles — it’s a great accomplishment. It’s in the history books.
“But now that part is over. And we have to move on to the next game.”
Auburn Riverside 53, Kentlake 35: Talk about a fourth quarter.
The Ravens outscored the Falcons 16-2 in the final period, Olivia Denton and McKenzi Williams each scored 17 points and Auburn Riverside clinched the 4A NPSL title — and the No. 1 seed to the 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament — with the win.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 6 KENTWOOD
NO. 1 FEDERAL WAY
K: Huerta 14, Bolton 6, Minnis 14, Roggenbach 2, Gill 5, Sheppard 6, LuBom 22
FW: Stephens 23, McDaniels 6, Collins 11, Jatta 11, Cola 5, Slaughter 3
CLASS 4A WIN STREAKS
Federal Way passed Ferris for most consecutive victories in 4A state history, winning its 60th game in a row in a 69-36 victory over Ferndale.
▪ Federal Way (4A) (2015-2017) — 63 games
▪ Ferris (2006-08) — 59 games
▪ Richland (1978-80) — 40 games
▪ Lincoln (1975-76) — 38 games
▪ Lincoln of Seattle (1955-58) — 38 games
OVERALL WIN STREAKS
▪ Brewster (2B) (1973-77) — 82 games
▪ Federal Way (4A) (2015-2017) — 63 games
▪ Morton-White Pass (2B) (2013-15) — 60 games
▪ Ferris (4A) (2006-08) — 59 games
▪ Reardan (2B) (1964-67) — 57 games
▪ Northwest Christian of Colbert (2B) (2007-09) — 57 games
▪ Grandview (1A) (1988-90) — 53
Source: David Maley, Rosalia