Peterson’s career-best 33-point performance Friday helped the Warriors in a 58-48 upset victory over fourth-ranked Auburn Riverside in the 3A regional round.
PUYALLUP — Missy Peterson played as if she didn’t have a care in the world.
Like it was some pick-up game in a parking lot. Backdoor layups, 30-foot three-pointers — the Edmonds-Woodway junior had it all working.
Perhaps it’s because she cared so much about keeping the season alive, and playing more games with friends she made in the fourth grade.
Peterson’s career-best 33-point performance Friday night assured that in a 58-48 upset victory over fourth-ranked Auburn Riverside in the 3A regional round, vaulting the Warriors (16-10) into next week’s state quarterfinals.
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“This means everything to me,” Peterson said.
And it meant a stunning end of the season for the once 23-0 Ravens, who finished on a two-game skid.
“I’m really proud of where we’ve come, but without a doubt it’s disappointing,” coach Derek Pegram said.
“I think we’re one of the best eight teams in the state, it’s just we didn’t show it tonight.”
The Ravens showed flashes, building a 17-11 lead early in the second quarter.
But then Peterson keyed a 13-5 run to close the half. She had E-W’s final eight points of the period, the last bucket coming at the buzzer off a nifty feed from Maddie Tudor, giving her 16 at the break.
And the best was yet to come — a long, buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third quarter and extend the Warriors’ lead to 42-38.
“She was in a groove, and we couldn’t stop her,” Pegram said.
And AR’s engine, junior guard McKenzi Williams, took a long time to get started, clearly hampered by the slight hamstring tear she suffered in the loss to No. 7 Lincoln last Saturday.
The SPSL 3A MVP, who averages better than 16 points a game, scored all 12 of her points in the second half, eight in the final 2:38. Her two free throws pulled AR to 56-48 with 1:24 to play, but the rally ended there.
Williams was followed in the scoring column by fellow juniors Olivia Denton (11 points) and Faith Turner (10).
Maddy Burdett, one of three E-W seniors, helped pave the way to Tacoma with 15 points.
Peterson said this victory was for those seniors.
“I didn’t want their season to end,” she said.
“They didn’t want their season to end.”
The Warriors survived their fourth straight loser-out contest — and fifth in the last six games. They had to win a play-in game just to qualify for the Northwest District tournament.
Coach Rebekah Wells said her players understand their roles now.
“There’s no questioning, there’s no guessing, it’s just doing what we need to get done, and it’s working out for us,” she said.
Peterson said the Warriors aren’t satisfied with getting to the quarterfinals.
“We know we can do anything from here on out,” she said.