West Central District 3: First Round Recap by Nic Beckman
West Central District 3 playoffs got underway with eight home games for the top seeds as 16 teams from the SPSL and Narrows leagues vie for the 6 WCD3 state tournament seeds. Home court advantage was evident as 7 of the 8 host teams came away with wins.
The top two seeds in the SPSL continued their dominance. #1 seed Federal Way had the Tornados of Yelm blow into the Eagles nest. After a close first quarter 17-12, coach Jerome Collins’s Eagle team pulled away. Behind the 19 points of Ferron Flavors and a 29-10 third quarter, Federal Way still undefeated with a comfortable win moves on. The Final Score FW 78 Yelm 41.
The #2 seed Curtis Vikings, undefeated in league play until a 63-61 loss to Federal Way at the ShoWare in the SPSL tournament championship defended their home court. Coming off a 66-63 win over Kentwood, the Vikings faced another SPSL Northeast foe in Kentlake. Aushanti Potts-Woods with 27 and Glenn Jordan with 19 combined for more than the Falcons could total as a team. The Final Score Curtis 83 Kentlake 45.
Narrows #1 seed Bellarmine matched up with SPSL South Spanaway Lake. The Lions 18-3 on the season with an unblemished 12-0 league record under the direction of head coach Bernie Salazar represented for their league with a home court opening round win over the Sentinels. The Final Score Bellarmine 75 Spanaway Lake 65.
The #2 seed out of the Narrows coach John Kiley’s Olympia Bears at 18-3 on the season and 10-2 in league play, had the Todd Beamer Titans in the house for first round action. The Bears continue on their quest to the Dome getting a 20 point win over Beamer. The Final Score Olympia 70 Todd Beamer 50.
Emerald Ridge travelled north to Kentwood to face the Conquerors. Jason Cassens and the Jags were up 12-11 after the first quarter, but coach Blake Solomon’s Conk’s were ready for the challenge. Kentwood with four players in double digits would be led by Darius Lubom with 20 and Rayvaughn Bolton with 12 as Cassens with 10, was the only Jaguar to reach double digits. The Final Score Kentwood 58 Emerald Ridge 41.
Coach John Callaghan’s Wolves of South Kitsap crossed the bridge to come play the Vikings in Puyallup. Daniel Tomkiewicz with 9 second quarter points to lead all scorers at half with 11, saw his team down 34-30. The Viks were paced by Jaden Vollmen and Tony Gutierrez each with 9. Tomkiewicz would add 8 3rd quarter points and tie the game at 42. SK down 1, 44-45 heading into the final period. Coach Scott Campbell turned up the Viking pressure and held the Wolves without a point in the quarter until 3:24 remaining. By that time Puyallup was up 54-45, Tony Gutierrez in his first game back from a quadriceps injury hit 6 of the Puyallup 13 3’s enroute to game high honors with 23. South Kitsap’s Daniel Tomkiewicz finished with 22 and Eric Wattree added 16. The Final Score Puyallup 59 South Kitsap 55.
Kent Meridian facing rival Kentridge was able to overcome an 11 point halftime deficit to tie it at 57 at the end of regulation. But Mahlik Hall with 23 and Romaine Jackson with 18 for the Royals were not enough to get their team over the hill. The Chargers held home court with a 12 -7 overtime period, Joran Ticeson led the Chargers with 19. The Final Score in OT Kentridge 69 Kent Meridian 64.
The Blazers of Timberline after finishing third behind Bellarmine and Olympia in Narrows league play, had to go to Thomas Jefferson for their first round match-up. The Raiders of the SPSL Northwest behind leading scorer Darius Anderson were unable to defend their home court. Timberline gets the only visitor win on the night. The Final Score Timberline 52 Thomas Jefferson 48.
Friday night will see winners bracket match ups Federal Way vs Timberline at 6pm, followed by Olympia vs Kentwood at 7:45pm at Auburn Mountainview HS. Bellarmine vs Kentwood at 6pm and Puyallup will face Curtis for the third time this season at 7:45pm at Mt. Tahoma HS. Winners will move on for #1 through #4 seeds.
On the loser out side of the the bracket, Yelm vs Jefferson at 6pm, then Beamer vs Emerald Ridge at 7:45pm will be played at Stadium HS. Spanaway Lake vs Kent Meridian 6pm and South Kitsap vs Kentlake at 7:45pm are playing at Auburn HS. The winners all working for the final 2 seeds from the West Central District 3 heading into the state regional round the final week of February.