The Renton boys basketball team bounced back from Friday's loss to beat Franklin Pierce 62-50 Saturday and advance to next weekend's 2A regionals for the first time since 2010.
Renton (22-2) and Franklin Pierce traded buckets until late in the second quarter, when the Indians outscored Franklin Pierce 15-8, for a 31-24 halftime lead. Renton led by as much as 13 points in the third period.
Franklin Pierce attempted a late comeback, moving within five points with 3:53 left in the game. Franklin Pierce missed four three-point attempts in the field in the final minutes of the game--three were air balls.
Franklin Pierce then resorted to fouling, sending the Indians to the free-throw line to close out the game.
"Am done with losing," said Renton head coach Rick Comer before the game. "Losing to Kennedy was fine, but Sumner is a good team; so is every team we face from now on."
Renton was able to close the lane down, which killed them against Sumner on Friday. Franklin Pierce made several threes to keep the game close late.
The Indians were led by Lavelle Smith's 15 points, and four players had eight points: Aaron Johnson, Jonah Magat, Donavon Saario and Jordan Holland.
Renton, the No. 6 seed representing District 3, will travel Saturday, Feb. 23, to Tumwater High School to play District 4 champion River Ridge (Lacey) at 6 p.m., with the winner headed to state and the loser out.
Renton is 13-7 in regional play.
A preview of the Renton vs. River Ridge game will appear Friday on Patch.