West Central District 3: First Round Recap


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.

Audio Recap: West Seattle vs. Thomas Jefferson

Game Recap
West Seattle vs. Thomas Jefferson 12-23-15

West Seattle and Thomas Jefferson met for a non-league game on Wednesday night before Christmas Eve. Listen as Nic Beckman provides an audio recap of the game.

To listen to the game recap, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.


West Seattle Depth Too Much for Jefferson

West Seattle Depth Too Much for Jefferson
By Steve Dion

Friday- December 23rd 2015 Boys 4A/3A SPSL/Metro
West Seattle High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Thomas Jefferson 13 9 6 7 35
West Seattle 21 15 21 12 69

West Seattle junior Yusuf Mohamed

A light slate of games on Wednesday night before Christmas Eve included an interleague clash between Thomas Jefferson from the South Puget Sound League and host West Seattle of the Metro League. The game started with an energetic, up-tempo pace as both teams established a run-and-gun scoring approach. West Seattle gained some separation when they started to heat up from the perimeter. Tyler Lenzie drained three buckets from downtown in the first half including one at the buzzer heading into the break giving the Cats a 14 point margin after two quarters. The Raiders needed a second half rally and to close quarters strong to climb back into the game; would the home team falter?

The first few minutes of the third frame were pivotal in determining the outcome of the game as Jefferson had quality chances around the basket, but couldn’t convert. Meanwhile, the Wildcats strung together a series of successful possessions that pushed the lead out of reach of the opposition. Nate Pryor recorded 10 points in the third quarter alone as part of a game-high 15 points. Coach Fazio began to incorporate his entire roster into the game and West Seattle ended with 10 scorers in the ball game. Jefferson was gassed down the stretch and could not muster a comeback. The Raiders were led by Darius Anderson’s nine points in the game and a breakaway dunk by Tarence Taylor.

The Final Score
West Seattle 69, Thomas Jefferson 35

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 15 points

Thomas Jefferson
Darius Anderson- 9 points

Kentlake Soars Past TJ in SPSL Battle

Kentlake Soars Past TJ in SPSL Battle
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- January 13 2015 Boys 4A SPSL
Thomas Jefferson High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Kentlake 14 12 6 14 46
Thomas Jefferson 6 9 10 16 41

Kentlake Junior Dang Tran

Each of the three divisions in the South Puget Sound League feature a premier 4A team that have created separation between themselves and their opponents. Thomas Jefferson and Kentlake are currently chasing Federal Way and Kentwood respectively, so each contest is critical to keep pace with frontrunners. The Raiders from the Northwest would host the Falcons from the Northeast in this interdivision clash on Tuesday night.

The contest jumped out to a good start for the home squad when an early Raider bucket was followed up with a steal by Xavier Scott-Hollis and an emphatic dunk. However, this early burst was followed up with a scoring drought by TJ where they only scored once more the remainder of the quarter. Kentlake’s Dang Tran kicked off his big night by matching Jefferson’s first quarter scoring total with 6 points. The senior guard would notch a game-high 23 points and was the only player on either team to score in every quarter. Kentlake thrived on back-door cuts and three-quarter press on defense to build a double digit lead by halftime. The Raiders put together a rally midway through the second frame capped by a Preston Peters three-ball, but allowed the Falcons to finish the first half strong. At the break, the scoreboard read 26-15 in favor of the guests.

Thomas Jefferson returned with a renewed sense of urgency to climb back in the game. They did so by starting at the defensive end of the floor limiting KHS to six third-quarter points and forcing several turnovers. Tyson Sonnenfeld provided a boost from the bench by going 4/4 from the free throw line and grabbing some tough rebounds. Trailing by 7 heading into the fourth, did Jefferson have a comeback in store?

To start the final frame, it appeared they were on a crash course to victory as the lead was trimmed to a single point with 3:24 remaining after a Brian Kuria three-pointer. After Coach Drake called a timeout, his Falcons responded with a 6-0 run at the hands of Julion Mackey and Max Valerio. Similarly, Kyle Templeton was able to rally his Raiders to a 5-0 run in response with 28.7 seconds remaining. The Raiders had a chance to tie or take the lead, but they could not get the clinching shot to fall and some Larry Alar free throws helped Kentlake steal a road victory.

The Final Score: Kentlake 46 Thomas Jefferson 41

Top Performers:
Dang Tran-23 points

Thomas Jefferson
Will Osborn, Darius Anderson, Xavier Scott-Hollis-7 points

Stanwood Proves too much for Jefferson


Saturday Dec 21st 2013 3A-4A Boys Basketball
ShoWare Center 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Stanwood 13 16 19 11 59
Jefferson 6 16 11 12 46

See game recap below

Stanwood Proves too much for Jefferson
By Colin Caruso

In the fourth game on the day at the ShoWare Center in Kent, in a non-league matchup, the Jefferson Raiders took on the Stanwood Spartans for bragging rights. Jefferson had a tough time finding the hoop in the first quarter, falling behind 13-7 after one. They were down as many as nine in the first half twice, but continued to battle back on spread out scoring from their starters. The Raiders cut the lead to just six at the half, despite shooting below 50% from the line and allowing two more made three pointers.

The Spartans came out of the locker room early, getting a few shots up prior to starting the second half. Jefferson came out after the halftime horn blew, giving them no shots and no touches on the ball during the half. This seemed to favor Stanwood, as they put together another strong quarter, exploiting the Jefferson 2-3 zone and converting on easy layups. Stanwood led 48-34 going into the fourth.

With a comfortable lead entering the fourth, the Spartans were able to slow the game down for the final eight minutes. Four Spartans scored in double figures, led by Josh Thayer with 17 and Drew Stang with 15. Only one Raider ended up in double figures, Xavier Scott, who scored all 12 of his points in the second half. Stanwood took the non-league contest 59-46.

Top Performers:
Skout Roberson – 14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals
Josh Thayer – 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals

Xavier Scott – 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Cordae Mcafee – 8 points, 8 rebounds

Thomas Jefferson Spoils Auburn’s Homecoming


Thursday Oct. 10 2013 4A Boys Football
Auburn High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Thomas Jefferson 6 0 6 14 26
Auburn 7 9 7 0 23

See game recap below

Thomas Jefferson Spoils Auburn’s Homecoming
By Colin Caruso

Going into the fourth quarter of this contest, both the Auburn sideline and fan section were fully prepared to win this football game. The Trojans were up by eleven, dominating the line of scrimmage on offense, and had the crowd amped up on their homecoming night. In came the Thomas Jefferson Raiders, down by two scores to begin the fourth, with no answer for the Auburn offense. That is when quarterback Niko De La Cruz began to heat up. He threw an earlier touchdown on the Raiders first possession on a double reverse, a beautiful pass to James Fitch to take an early lead, but found himself trailing entering the final quarter.

On the first play in the fourth quarter, De La Cruz, in Russell Wilson type fashion, scrambled left and right and spotted Phillip Cuadron wide open on the left sideline. Cuadron then ran another twenty yards down the sideline for a beautiful 50 yard pitch and catch to cut the lead to five after the failed point after, 23-18. The Raiders gave Auburn two first downs on penalties in their ensuing drive, one on an offside, and one on a costly facemask that put the Trojans deep into Raider territory. But the Raiders held and forced a turnover on downs, getting the ball back midway through the fourth quarter. The Raiders marched right down the field and De La Cruz capped off the drive with a 1 yard TD run, followed by a scramble for the 2-point conversion, to take a 26-23 lead with just 48 seconds on the clock.

Auburn’s offense, primarily a running attack, is not equipped to make the big passing plays down the field when they have little time. They instead settled for a few shorter passes, more in line with their playing scheme. The short plays were too little too late, and Thomas Jefferson pulled off the upset on the road, 26-23.

Top Performers:
Thomas Jefferson
Niko De La Cruz – 7/8 118 yards 2TD, 1 rushing TD
Zachariah Grayson – 23 carries for 179 yards, TD

Brier Atkinson – 16 carries for 113 yards, TD
Kieo Buchanon – 10 carries for 80 yards, TD

VHL Catches up with TJ Coach Kyle Templeton- this is Jeffersons 1st Trip to State

2013 Varsity Hoops Live Interview
Thomas Jefferson – Boys Head Coach
Kyle Templeton

Brian Abker had a chance to talk with Thomas Jefferson’s Coach, Kyle Templeton, prior to their regional game match-up with high flying Curtis.  “I am a graduate of Thomas Jefferson in 1995,” said Templeton.  “This is the first year we have made the district tournament as a school since 1985 and the first time we have made the state tournament as a school ever.”

During the interview, Coach broke down his team and talked about this weekend’s game against Curtis, more importantly he talked about the Thomas Jefferson community and how well their fans travel.  “Our games are constantly filled, we’ve got the stands totally full.  Our band is just INSANE.  Our parent support and community support has just been awesome throughout the entire season.  When we travel somewhere you know where we are at.”

This is a big weekend for the Raiders.  Can they knock off the Vikings?  One thing is for sure after visiting with Coach Templeton, you’ll be hearing a lot more from the squad from TJ in the years to come.

To catch the complete interview with Coach Templeton,
simply click on the play button below.


Varsity Hoops Live

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