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.
“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.”
Timberline trailed by six points with six 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.”
Kentwood 53, Olympia 42: A 23-point fourth quarter from the Conquerors sent Olympia (18-4) to a loser-out game in the 4A WCD tournament.
The Bears led all the way 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. For Kentwood, Rayvaughn Bolton also had 15 points — 10 in the fourth quarter.
The Bears will play Spanaway Lake (14-0) at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Stadium High School. The highest they can finish in the tournament is fifth.
Yelm 66, Thomas Jefferson 60: Trent Lawton wouldn’t let the Raiders get close enough to grab a lead in a 4A WCD loser-out game at Stadium High School.
Every time Thomas Jefferson got close, he’d bury another 3-pointer — nine of his 12 points came from beyond the arc. Lawton and Christian Davis — who had a game-high 35 points — did enough to separate the Tornados from the Raiders, along with Joey Hawks, who scored 13.
The Tornados (10-12) will play Puyallup (18-8) in another loser-out game at noon Monday at Stadium.
Timberline 16 15 15 16_62
No. 1 Federal Way 18 18 20 21_77
T: Romain 7, Curry 4, Rouse 2, Stevenson 11, Morton 10, Jaelen Bush 4, Jarryn Bush 24
FW: D. Jones 7, Flavors 16, McDaniels 16, Stephens 11, Collins 1, C. Jones 10, Cola 16