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4A boys: Skyview tops Federal Way, meets Davis in Thursday’s quarterfinal

Demaree Collins’ game-high 21 points — and a shoe change — paces Skyview (17-9)

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 28, 2024, 7:17pm
5 Photos
Skyview's Malakai Weimer (4) shoots against Federal Way's Amiri Holiday (5) and Candon Bible (0) during a Class 4A Hardwood Classic Round-Of-12 game on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome.
Skyview's Malakai Weimer (4) shoots against Federal Way's Amiri Holiday (5) and Candon Bible (0) during a Class 4A Hardwood Classic Round-Of-12 game on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome. (Will Denner/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

TACOMA — If you believe in superstitions — and Skyview High senior guard Demaree Collins is in that boat — then this nugget is for you. 

At halftime of the Storm’s eventual 55-47 victory over Federal Way at Wednesday’s Hardwood Classic to advance to Thursday’s Class 4A boys quarterfinal, Collins changed out of his neon Reverse Kobe shoes and into a familiar pair of black Jordan 6s. 

It wasn’t so much a fit or comfort thing, but rather, one of familiarity. In fact, Collins has changed his basketball shoes a number of times this season, so it didn’t faze teammates when he sprinted out just before halftime when Federal Way held a 27-24 lead to do it once more. 

“My teammates say when I put on my Jordan 6s, I play differently,” Collins said. 

10 Photos
Skyview's Malakai Weimer, left, draws contact against Federal Way's Jacob Hurskin on a drive during a Class 4A Hardwood Classic Round-Of-12 game on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome.
4A Boys State Round of 12: Skyview vs. Federal Way Photo Gallery

So naturally, Collins listened. And with that, Skyview is back in a place the program hasn’t been since 2018 when it placed sixth: the state quarterfinals. 

Just what kind of a player was Collins in the second half, when Skyview (17-9) took the lead for good at 34-31 with 2:21 to go in the third quarter? The one he likes to model his game after, he said. He finished with a game-high 21 points after having eight on just five attempts at halftime. 

“De’Arron Fox,” Collins said. “He’s my favorite player.”

Wednesday’s victory at the Tacoma Dome sets up a quarterfinal against a familiar opponent: Davis of Yakima. Davis topped Skyview, 66-61, in a mid-December non-league tilt in Portland, and while that game might’ve felt like forever ago at this point in the season, there’s still plenty to take away ahead of Thursday’s rematch, said senior Gavin Perdue. 

“Since January started, we’ve been playing a lot better defense,” Perdue said. “I think that’s what hurt us in the Hardwood Invite is that our defense wasn’t going like it is now. And I think that’ll be a difference maker for us to play great defense against them.”

And it was defense and clutch shots from several play-makers that helped separate the Storm after a back and forth first half that included 11 points from Malakai Weimer when Skyview trailed by three at the break. 

Then, came the 3-ball. Perdue (11 points) hit consecutive top-of-the-key 3s, then Javen Fletch had all eight of his points over the final 10 minutes of the game. That included a left-corner 3 with 5:08 to play that extended Skyview’s lead to 46-38.

And then there was Collins, who finished 8 of 21 shooting for his 21 points. 

Federal Way, in spite of out-shooting Skyview 44.4 percent to 40.8 percent, got no closer than four the rest of the way. 

For a team that’s played four loser-out playoff contests over the past two weeks, plus a winner-to-state game against league-rival Camas, the Storm are accustomed to high-stakes pressure environments. 

And they stepped it up a notch at the Tacoma Dome. Perdue called Wednesday “gut-check time.”

“We definitely feel we play well when our backs are against the wall,” he said, “and we knew we wanted to be here for the whole week. We stepped up and got big stops, big shots and it all came together.” 

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