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Sumner erases double-digit deficit to advance to WIAA 4A girls basketball semifinals

Spartans come out flat in first half, but defense, free throws help keep them in the game long enough to mount comeback in overtime, 54-52

TACOMA, Wash. — Sumner didn't take its first lead against Bothell until overtime, but two clutch free throws from ninth grader Kawehi Borden and a desperation heave from the Cougars that went wide put an official stamp on the Spartans' remarkable quarterfinal comeback.

Sumner won in overtime, 54-52, to advance in the WIAA girls basketball tournamen.

At the end of regulation, it was senior Adriana Perez who tied the game at the charity stripe with a pair of free throws of her own.

Just a week after free throw troubles nearly cost the Spartans a regional win over Davis, Sumner was clinical at the line in the game's biggest moments.

"At this point, we know it's mental," Sumner coach Katie Hyppa said of free throw shooting. "After last Saturday where we shot like 30% from the free-throw line I said we weren't going to shoot a free throw this week in practice."

After trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half, the Spartans headed to the locker room down by 10.

Sumner was held to just 18.5% shooting from the field in the first half while Bothell shot at a 31.8% clip. 

The Spartans were able to trim Bothell's lead to single digits in the third quarter powered by an 11-0 run. By quarter's end, Sumner had made it a two-possession game, down 36-32.

"It looked like the hoop finally opened up for them," Hyppa said. "The first half, it was tiny, and it finally opened up. I think they got a little bit of confidence. (Olivia Collins) had those big shots, Kewehi (Borden) was going one-on-one and just kept going back to what worked."

Sumner outscored Bothell 39-27 in the second half and overtime to earn its semifinal spot Friday.

Borden led the charge offensively for the Spartans with a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Collins added 14 points of her own and seven rebounds. Senior Lainee Houillon also scored in double figures with 10 points.

"I think this just shows their grit and their heart," Hyppa said. "To be down the entire game until overtime and you could see it in their eyes during a couple of those timeouts in overtime. You could see their confidence and I just want them to play with confidence. If they can play with confidence then we're going to be alright."

Bothell guard McKylee Hawkins was the Cougars' most dominant weapon on the floor until she fouled out with just over a minute left in overtime. Hawkins scored 19 points and brought down 17 rebounds.

Sumner moves on to Friday's 4A semifinals at 3:45 p.m. against the winner of No. 1 Camas and No. 7 Tahoma.