A trip to Yakima for the Class 2A state girls basketball tournament was on the line, and Renton Indians point guard Jordan Armstrong wasn’t about to let it slip away Friday night.
With the score tied at 40-40 and the Sumner Spartans in possession of the ball as regulation wound down, Armstrong stole it near mid-court and scored the go-ahead basket with 18.2 seconds left.
The Spartans had one more offensive possession but turned the ball over, and Renton completed its come-from-behind win, 42-40, at Kent-Meridian High School in Kent.
“I’m not good at layups, but I knew I just needed to make that layup,” Armstrong said. “We needed to win this game. I’m a senior, and I didn’t want to go out like we did last year when we lost (at state-regionals).”
Sumner (20-4) led 21-11 at halftime. Brenna Allsop nailed four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 20 points, but Renton unleashed a full-court press in the second half, wreaking havoc on Sumner’s ball-handlers by creating turnovers and turning those opportunities into easy buckets.
Renton head coach Tim White was mobbed by well-wishers following one of the biggest victories in decades for the school’s girls basketball program.
“This is a great moment,” White said. “We came out hard and played our game. This is huge for our school. We haven’t made the state playoffs since 1987.”
Sumner head coach Shane Patrick said turnovers cost the West Central District champions the game.
“We didn’t handle the ball very well this evening, especially in the second half,” he said. “I’m kind of speechless right now. I thought we were the better team.”
Yet Patrick said the sting of the loss wouldn’t put a damper on the season.
“It was a great year,” he said. “The kids played hard all season long.”
Armstrong said Renton is looking forward to the state tournament, which will be held this week at the Yakima SunDome.
“It is going to be amazing,” she said. “We’re going to ball-out. It is going to be the best weekend anybody has ever seen.”