The Eagles beat Lewis and Clark 62-53 in their semifinal. Gonzaga Prep topped Richland in overtime, 53-50.
TACOMA — For a second straight day, No. 6 Federal Way started slow, but for a second straight day the Eagles won. This win, a 62-53 decision over No. 10 Lewis and Clark in the Class 4A state semifinals at the Tacoma Dome, set up a matchup with No. 1 Gonzaga Prep at 3 p.m. in Saturday’s state championship game.
Federal Way is going for its third state title in four years.
The Eagles (27-1) trailed 16-6 after the first quarter, but outscored the Tigers 23-8 in the second quarter to take a 29-24 halftime lead. Junior Jaden McDaniels, who had struggled with foul trouble in the first half in Thursday’s quarterfinal win over Curtis, scored 12 points in the half.
McDaniels went on to score a game-high 27 points. Senior Marcus Austin added nine points, seven of which came in the first half.
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“We’re good,” McDaniels said. “Running track and all that in the offseason, it’s going to pay off. That’s why we don’t get tired.”
Lewis and Clark (20-8) kept it close for much of the second half but could never make the run it needed to get over the top.
The two competitors in Saturday’s championship have a combined for one loss this season. The Bullpups (26-0) stayed unbeaten with their win over Richland on Friday, while the Eagles only loss of the season came to Enumclaw in the district championship game.
“We just have to run, get the rebound and go,” McDaniels said. “If we play good D, we’ll be good.”
Lewis and Clark was led by senior Naje Smith, who finished with 24 points.
The Tigers will play Richland (25-2) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the third/fifth-place game.
Prep wins in OT
It was the kind of shot kids dream of making while shooting in their backyard.
Gonzaga Prep junior Anton Watson drained a three-pointer as time expired in overtime of a state semifinal, giving the No. 1 Gonzaga Prep a 53-50 win over No. 4 Richland.
The Bullpups led by one when a steal and slam by junior Jamaari Jones gave them a 47-44 lead with 20 seconds remaining. Richland answered right back with a three-pointer by junior Garrett Streufert that tied the game at 47 and send the game to overtime.
In overtime, both teams had scored just two points when Watson got the opportunity to win it.
“Really, the play was successful just because Anton had the ball,” Gonzaga Prep coach Matty McIntyre said. “Pretty much the entire second half, the comeback, it was nothing special, we just got the ball in Anton’s hands — and he’s special.”
The loss was Richland’s second of the season, both of which have come to Prep.
“That was just an incredible game,” McIntyre said. “It seems like we’ve had a lot of those with those guys. That’s a heck of a good team and (we are) two evenly matched teams. It was fun to be a part of.”