Sumner evens series against Clover Park

Basketball: Pearson, Bruil help Spartans pull away from Warriors in second half

of the HeraldFebruary 5, 2014 

Sumner senior guard Keenen Jackson, left, drives into the lane for a layup against the Clover Park Warriors on Friday at the Sumner High School gymnasium. Sumner beat Clover Park, 69-49, in SPSL 2A play.

LEE GILES III/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Sumner Spartans didn’t forget a double-overtime loss they suffered last month against the Clover Park Warriors.

Sumner (12-6 overall, 10-2 SPSL 2A) got its revenge Friday night when it registered a 69-49 victory on senior night at Sumner High School.

Sumner post Tristan Pearson, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, was key for the Spartans in the second half.

“Tristan is a 6-foot, 2-inch kid who plays like he’s a 7-footer,” Spartans head coach Brett McDaniel said. “ He has been the rock of this team all season long. He’s an all-league player in my book. He works so hard and is going up against guys five inches taller than him every night. He’s earned all that on his own.”

Sumner junior guard Riley Bruil, who scored 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, said last month’s loss to Clover Park left a bitter taste the Spartans’ mouths.

“We wanted to prove ourselves and prove that we could beat them,” Bruil said. “That loss lit a fire under us. We came in with our lunch pail and played as hard as we could tonight.”

Guard Philip Winston scored a game-high 27 points for Clover Park (8-8, 6-6).

McDaniel said the Jan. 7 loss to the Warriors has motivated his team during the past month.

“Since that loss, we’ve recommitted ourselves,” he said. “Now we’re seeing the results. The synergy is better, and the guys are playing for each other. That is a great sign this time of year.”

Pearson was jovial following the final home game of his high school career.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “This is my last time ever playing a home game here. It was awesome. We just came out and took care of what we had to do.”

The Spartans are in first place with just two regular-season games remaining. McDaniel is confident in his team’s chances of playing well down the stretch and into the postseason.

“Right now, we’re just focused on Washington (next opponent),” he said. “We know we have the talent on this team to go far. A lot of times, it comes down to getting the breaks late in the year, and a lot of it is making your own breaks.

“We just want to make sure we are playing tough defense and rebounding,” McDaniel added. “We feel that will keep us in every game. You’ve got to hope the shots are going down, and if they do, this team can go really far.”

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