Behind Victor Daggs, Ryan Lacey and Tristan Miguel, the Auburn Mountainview High School boys basketball team earned a decisive victory over Sumner on Thursday night.
Daggs led the way with 18 points, Lacey scored 14 and Miguel added 11 in the Lions’ 61-45 home victory in the 3A South Puget Sound league contest, one setting up the other throughout.
“I feel confident that when the double team is coming toward me, I can kick it back out to our guards and they can make a play,” Miguel said. “They can shoot or drive the lane.”
Time and again, Miguel would kick-start the Auburn Mountainview (5-0, 4-0 3A SPSL) offense from the low post and the 6-foot-10 junior would kick it back out to Daggs or Lacey. And each time, it was a shot or a drive Sumner (3-3, 2-2) couldn’t defend.
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With the Lions leading 52-38, Miguel passed out to junior Ki’Jan Weisinger who rifled a pass through the defense to Daggs at the opposite post. Daggs made the layup through the foul and sank the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play.
“Most practices, coach has a bag where we practice finishing drills — finishing through contact,” Daggs said. “But honestly, it’s just a warrior mission. … Honestly they can’t stop me. I know I can score, and if I don’t make my shot, I can be fouled and make my free throws.”
Said Sumner guard Dawson Cutright: “We were playing as hard as we could. … We couldn’t run our sets against their press.”
Trailing 31-19 coming out of the half, the Spartans used a 6-0 run the first three minutes to climb back into the game.
Then Daggs and Lacey took over.
“I think that we just got a great group of kids,” Lions coach Thomas Ostrander said. “They’ve been playing together for a really long time — all of them are unselfish. Take away one guy, another guy’s going to step up.”
If it wasn’t Daggs driving the lane or squaring up shots from the sideline, it was Lacey icing down the jumper from the wing.
“For me, it really started this morning with an email from my dad,” Daggs said. “He was talking about getting my swag back — my confidence. I knew I had to get in the zone because (Sumner) is the toughest opponent we’ve faced.”
That confidence turned into a clutch performance as Daggs finished the game shooting 5-for-9 from the field and 7-for-7 on free throws. Lacey scored nine of his points in the second half.
Now with 11 days to refocus, third-place Sumner will have to regroup after losses to first-place Peninsula (6-0, 4-0) and second-place Auburn Mountainview.
“I think we can take them (Auburn Mountainview) in a couple of weeks (Jan. 27 at home),” Cutright said. “We just got to work hard in practice and get better than we are right now.”