BONNEY LAKE – Sammi DePiano hopes to end her high-school basketball career on a high note.
She’s played with the other seniors on the Auburn Mountainview team so long, they feel like sisters.
“Almost our whole team is seniors, and our seniors all grew up together, so we all have the same goal: to play together and get as far as we can. And, of course, our ultimate goal is the Tacoma Dome,” DePiano said, referring to the site of the state tournament.
There’s another family aspect to the team, too — the head coach is Dustin DePiano, one of her three older brothers.
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“He brings out the best in me,” Sammi said.
That was apparent in the final quarter of Friday’s seesaw SPSL 3A game between Mountainview and Bonney Lake. That’s when Sammi scored six of her 11 points as the Lions (9-3, 2-0) came from behind for a 58-56 victory.
Her final points came on a pair of free throws with 15.1 seconds to play after she was fouled getting her own offensive rebound, giving Mountainview a 58-56 advantage.
“In the first half, we got killed on the offensive glass, and that was our halftime talk, just about desire,” Dustin DePiano said. “Rebounding is just desire, and in the second half we found it. That last rebound by her, she put a shot up and you could see it, she was going back and getting it right away. It was a huge play for us.”
The Lions wound up having to hold on, though, as Bonney Lake’s Jessyka Seger drove for a quick basket and DePiano — 6 for 6 at the line to that point — uncharacteristically missed a pair with 4.7 seconds on the clock. Payton Mitchell’s three-point try from midcourt skimmed off the front rim at the buzzer.
Threes were the difference in the game. Mountainview made 8 of 18 — including four by Allison Hammer, who finished with 14 points. Bonney Lake hit just 1 of 15.
Junior Kayla Seger led the Panthers (9-3, 1-1) with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
“They have nine seniors to our one,” coach Thomas Ostrander said. “Down the stretch, they played a little bit more composed than us.”