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What was lost was found - Everett heading to WIAA girls basketball championships for first time in 27 years

After suffering a devastating loss to end the 2021-22 season, the Seagulls down Peninsula, 56-51, in Class 3A regionals at Tacoma CC

TACOMA - Very few can understand the heartache the Everett Seagulls felt a year ago when their dreams of going to the WIAA Class 3A girls basketball championships were sunk on a buzzer-beater.

Well, that anguish has now been extinguished.

After losing in heartbreaking fashion in the regional round to Hermiston - the Seagulls got redemption Friday with a 56-51 same-juncture victory over Peninsula at Tacoma Community College.

With the win, Everett is headed to the WIAA championships for the first time since 1996.

Mylie Wugumgeg led the Seagulls with 23 points. Her two free throws with 14.8 seconds to go finally turned away Peninsula for good.

"That loss last year motivated us to work harder and come out stronger," Wugumgeg said.

The came was close throughout - Peninsula enjoyed an early 9-2 advantage for the game's largest lead - as the guards on both teams were in constant attack mode.

Wugumgeg gave the Seagulls the space they needed. She buried back-to-back 3-pointers late in the third quarter to give her team a 44-40 lead.

Peninsula cut it to 48-47 on Daisy Peay's basket with 6:29 to go, but the 3A SSC champions went scoreless for the next 5:30.

"I trust my defense," Everett girls coach Darrell McNeal said. "It travels all the way to Tacoma."

And now, the Seagulls will make a return trip to Tacoma on Wednesday for the opening round of the state tournament.

"We took a loss that hurt us real bad and we sued it to motivated us this year," McNeal said. "We were going to just be relentless in whatever we did."