Coming off a tough loss to league-leading Lincoln the Friday before, Foss wanted no part of becoming victim against a team that has had their number of late. Forcing the a young-but-talented Wilson squad into numerous mistakes in the second half, the Falcons cashed in on some easy transition buckets and pulled away for a 72-54 win at home over the Rams on Jan. 11.
“We’ve lost some tough games to them in the last couple of years,” said Foss head coach Mike Cocke’. “This senior group, they wanted to come out and beat them. In the second half, they were able to get on the glass and made a lot of big plays.”
Speedy junior guard Tamariye Nelson was the beneficiary of most of the fast-break baskets, finishing with 22 points off the bench – going 11-for-12 from the field – while senior forward Dezmyn Trent had a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Falcons.
Nelson put the Falcons up 14-11 at the end of the first quarter with two baskets in the final minute. But Wilson freshman Alphonso Anderson – who finished with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds – helped the Rams keep pace with six points early in the second quarter, including receiving a nice pass from Ivy Smith, Jr. for an easy layup to cut the deficit to 25-24 midway through the period. Jawan Osby responded by draining a three-pointer for the Falcons, and Trent added five points in the final two minutes to give Foss a 37-27 halftime lead.
Smith, Jr. and Keun Thompson drained early three-pointers in the third quarter to pull Wilson within 37-33, but Nelson and Trent then went back to work. Nelson had another fast-break layup midway through the quarter, and Trent followed by draining a three-pointer and a basket inside to make it 46-37. The Falcons held a 54-43 advantage heading into the fourth after two more baskets by Nelson.
“We had a talk (at halftime) that we’ve got to come out harder,” said Nelson, who moved to Tacoma from Georgia in the fall. “We just wanted to work harder and be better than them.”
After the Rams’ David Jenkins nailed a three to cut it to 54-47 early in the fourth, Nelson scored three baskets in two minutes to lead a 9-0 run that essentially put the game away.
“He has come in, and he’s buying in to what his role is,” said Cocke’ of Nelson. “Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he plays hard, and he had a lot of big buckets in transition tonight that I thought really pushed us over the top.”
Osby added 10 points for Foss, while Smith, Jr. had 12 points for Wilson. The Falcons will play at Mount Tahoma on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., while the Rams were to travel to Shelton for a game on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.