Sumner boys earn revenge against Clover Park in SPSL 2A showdown

The Puyallup HeraldJanuary 31, 2014 

The Sumner Spartans boys basketball team never forgot a double-overtime loss they suffered against the Clover Park Warriors in early January.

Sumner (10-2 league, 12-6 overall) got its revenge Friday, registering a 69-49 victory on senior night against Clover Park (6-6, 8-8) at the Sumner High School gymnasium.

Sumner post Tristan Pearson, who finished with 16 points and a team-high 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,” Sumner 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 senior guard Riley Bruil, who scored 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, said the loss earlier in the season against Clover Park left a bitter taste in his team's mouth.

"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."

McDaniel believes the loss against Clover Park on Jan. 7 has motivated his team over 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. This is my last time ever playing a home game here," he said. "It was awesome. We just came out and took care of what we had to do."

The Spartans are in first place in the SPSL 2A Division with two games remaining. McDaniel is confident in his team's chances of playing well down the stretch and into the post-season.

Clover Park guard Philip Winston scored a game-high 27 points in the loss.

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