Down big in the third quarter at Peninsula High on Friday night, the Sumner boys basketball team needed a spark.
Enter sophomore guard Luke Ross off the bench to bring the Spartans back to life.
“If I was open, I was going to shoot it,” Ross said.
And he did. Ross hit four 3-pointers in the span of about four minutes spanning from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth, bringing the Sumner faithful in the visiting bleachers and the Sumner bench to their feet.
If I was open, I was going to shoot it.
But it wasn’t enough, as Peninsula was able to ride Oregon State commit JaQuori McLaughlin’s 32-point outburst to a comfortable 80-63 win.
But Ross’ performance did show that the Spartans won’t go down without a fight.
“We just never give up, no matter if we’re down 40 or it’s a tie game, we’re going to play the same way,” said Ross, who finished with 12 points.
And the Spartans may have found a new offensive weapon in the process.
“My teammates have confidence in me, and I have the confidence to shoot it,” Ross said. “They happened to fall today. Our team fought well but it just didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.”
Peninsula senior forward Garrett Kingman also tallied 20 points for the Seahawks, who are one of the favorites to win the Class 3A South Puget Sound League title, along with Auburn Mountainview.
Senior forward Austin Kingman added 15 points of his own. Peninsula (3-0 overall, 2-0 SPSL 3A) gave Sumner (2-2, 0-2) matchup issues all over the floor with its overall team length. Sumner was able to keep 6-foot-9 center Jimmy Ritchie in check, holding him to nine points.
Sumner senior guard Taylor Walker led the Spartans with 14 points. Senior guard Kristian Lewis and senior Dawson Cutright each chipped in 10. The Spartans have room to improve, but will be able to take some positives from the game as well.
“We’ve got to clean up our turnovers,” Ross said. “I think we played hard, but it’s just fundamentals.”