Federal Way spills No. 10 Beamer, 52-51 | Girls Basketball
The Eagles kept their composure after star player Raven Benton fouled out and held on to hand the Titans their first SPSL defeat.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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FEDERAL WAY — Josh DeYoe delivered a simple message to his Federal Way girls basketball players late in Friday's game against 10th-ranked Beamer.
"You can't freak out!" he told them after a series of senseless turnovers.
A few minutes later, the inexperienced Eagles had every reason to freak when leading scorer Raven Benton fouled out with 1:25 to play, her team clinging to a two-point lead.
Instead, Federal Way was unruffled, holding on for a 52-51 win. It was the Titans' first SPSL 4A South loss.
"They held their composure up even without Raven," DeYoe said. "I'm so impressed with our young players right now."
So is Benton, who struggled offensively for much of the game but still finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
"Other teams think it's only me that gets this team going, but it's the whole team," she said.
Senior Jill Honrade banked in a key free throw with 19.3 seconds remaining to give Federal Way a 52-49 advantage. Nia Alexander cut it to 52-51 on a putback with four seconds to go and Beamer (10-3, 8-1) called time out with 2.5 on the clock.
The Eagles (12-2, 8-2) had difficulty inbounding the ball on several occasions. Without Benton, their best ballhandler, there was plenty to be nervous about. But junior Audryhana Alaalatoa-Lematua made a perfect half-court pass to Kayla Smith, who was fouled with 1.3 left. She missed the free throw, but there wasn't enough time for the Titans to do anything with the rebound.
"That was huge for us," DeYoe said of the inbounds pass.
Benton, who came in averaging 27.2 points, buried her first shot of the night, then missed eight in a row before changing up her game, driving and dishing instead of putting up threes. The Eagles trailed 31-24 early in the third quarter, then went on a 13-3 run that proved to be the difference.
Beamer was looking for only its second win in school history over Federal Way and the first in eight seasons. Coach Corey Alexander said his young squad, which starts three freshmen, was simply out-hustled.
"This team (Federal Way) wanted it more than what we wanted it," he said, crediting the Eagles' composure down the stretch.
Junior Megan Huff led Beamer with 17 points and nine rebounds. Bria Rice had 14 points and 10 boards, while fellow freshman Alexander contributed 13 points and five steals.
The team teams meet again at Beamer on Feb. 1 to close out the regular season.
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