Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

Abes take round one of showdown against Foss

// Rorie and Fletcher lead the way for Lincoln

Before the start of this season, it was thought by many local observers that this could be one of the great years in Tacoma high school basketball with the infusion of talent throughout the city. One of the greatest examples of this – the matchup between Foss and Lincoln, which has been a great rivalry for the last 40 years – was on display on Jan. 4. After all was said and done, the great rivalry continues as the Abes edged the Falcons by a score of 66-57 at the Lincoln Gym in a game that saw an estimated 300 fans turned away at the gate.

“We expected them to double both Ahmaad (Rorie) and (Tre’Shaun Fletcher), but in the end, they both came through big for us,” said Lincoln head coach Aubrey Shelton, who saw his team improve to 3-0 in the Narrows 3A to take the early-season lead by themselves. Rorie would lead Lincoln with 23 points, while Fletcher finished with 20 points.

“They’re a tough team,” said Foss head coach Mike Cocke’, whose team was paced by Dezmyn Trent’s 19 points, while Olashawan Miller finished with 14 points. “We had our opportunities, but did not take advantage of them.”

Right from the get-go, Foss attacked both Fletcher and Rorie by immediately double-teaming them after they caught the ball in the front court. But after slowing the Abes’ duo down briefly, they managed to create points or kick the ball over to sharpshooter Ar’Mond Davis, who contributed 10 points on the night. The game was typically nip-and-tuck for much of the first half with the teams tied 30-30 at halftime. The second half would be just as thrilling.

“We did a good job of staying with them and got a big lift off the bench with Tamariye Nelson, but (Trent’s) second-half foul trouble really hurt us,” Cocke’ said.

Another factor was the inability of the Foss guards to score, as Noah Hunthausen, Jawan Osby and Jericho Ballard combined for just 12 points.

The aforementioned foul trouble for Trent began at the 6:45 mark of the final quarter, when he picked up his fourth foul. The Falcons then looked for a go-to-guy but he never emerged, and the Abes pounced on the opportunity to expand the lead. Trent fouled out with 2:52 left, and it allowed the Abes to close it out and look forward to their next test, which was at Wilson on Jan. 9.

“This was a hard-fought game, and Wilson will be tough with their good young talent,” Shelton said. “It will be just as tough.”

With Rorie, Fletcher and Davis combining to shoot 18-for-26 from the field, the Abes certainly have a reliable core to back up their high ranking. The Abes will host Shelton on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m., while Foss hosts Wilson on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.