PUYALLUP — Reminiscent of a game of tug of war, the Yelm High School girls basketball team earned a hard-fought 77-70 victory over Federal Way in a 4A West Central District quarterfinal game on Friday night at Rogers High.
Befitting a playoff game, emotions ran higher than usual and tempers flared a few times – both on the court and on the benches.
Yelm traded baskets with the Eagles throughout the game – the lead for either team rarely was more than one point – before breaking through in the fourth quarter as their constant high energy wore on a foul-plagued Eagles.
The biggest victim of Federal Way’s foul trouble was Raven Benton, one of the top players in the state. The 5-foot-10 senior was limited in the second half but still managed to score 21 points.
Benton provided drama at the end as she nearly single-handedly brought the Eagles back with several big, and highly contested, 3-pointers. However, with 26 seconds left, she fouled out.
For the Tornados, sharp shooting was the biggest difference in the end, as McKenzie DeVore came up with several huge shots and free throws. She also finished with 21 points.
And with DeVore doing damage from the guard spot, post Dalia Bader packed a big punch inside with 17 points before eventually fouling out in the dwindling seconds of the game.
Yelm will return to action today at Auburn High School against the Titans of Todd Beamer at 2:30 p.m.
Union 57, Olympia 48: The Bears held a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but the Titans from Clark County outscored Olympia 21-8 in the final quarter to eliminate the Bears from the 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament Olympia’s season ends at 13-9. Alex Johnson led Olympia with 14 points and Michael Champlin had 10. Tyler Copp, Union’s point guard who also is a Saint Martin’s signee, had a game-high 20 points.