TACOMA — Ferron Flavors stood under the bleachers at the Tacoma Dome and tried to find an explanation for how he maintained his confidence in a frustrating game. That’s when his teammates poured out of the locker room with yells of joy and jumped around him.
After the Federal Way squad dispersed to celebrate with fans, Flavors collected himself and nodded toward his teammates.
“I told them I wasn’t going to fold on them, man,” he said. “That’s what I told them, so I just had to go get it done.”
Flavors hit a driving runner with 3.3 seconds left to give the Eagles a 46-44 win over Gonzaga Prep and a spot in the Class 4A state title game. Federal Way (28-0) looks to defend its title Saturday at 3 p.m. against Kentwood.
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The senior had to do a little arguing to get the ball for the final play. Federal Way coach Jerome Collins initially called a play for Flavors after the ball deflected off a Gonzaga Prep (24-3) player under the Eagles hoop. But Collins had second thoughts and changed it.
A little nudging from Flavors and the play was reversed to the original call. Flavors is supposed to come off a screen for a jump shot, but he was struggling through a tough offensive game and didn’t get a clean look. So he put the ball on the ground and created a shot for himself in the lane.
“As soon as that ball went out, I said, ‘Coach, give me the ball,’ ” said Flavors, who finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Flavors’ shot gave the Eagles just their second lead in the second half. Federal Way had a woeful offensive night – it shot 38.6 percent from the field – and was down as much as eight points in the fourth. It slowly worked back into the game before a Flavors bucket cut the deficit to 42-41.
After a few defensive stops, D’Jimon Jones hit a wide-open 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 44-42 lead with 1:02 left in the game. Jones made a nearly-costly mistake, though, fouling Logan Adams on the ensuing possession as he attempted to shoot a three-pointer.
Adams made two of the three attempts to tie the game. Flavors followed with his game-winner and Gonzaga Prep’s heave from half court rimmed off at the buzzer.
“First of all, I just want to say, hats off to my players,” Federal Way coach Jerome Collins said. “It was a tough, gritty, hard-nosed fought game. We didn’t shoot well. We haven’t shot that poorly in, I don’t know, ever this season.”
Jalen McDaniels scored 14 of his team-high 24 points in the second half to help ensure Federal Way won its 42nd straight game. The streak, which dates back to last season, is the second most games won in a row by a Class 4A team. Ferris won 59 straight from 2006 to 2009.
Adams scored 14 points for Gonzaga Prep, which plays Curtis for third place Saturday at 1 p.m.