No. 4 Perry shook off a rusty start Thursday, overcoming an 11-0 deficit early in the first period to edge No. 5 Sunnyslope in the final minute, 54-49, in the Division I boys state basketball tournament at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.
Perry advances to the state tournament semifinals for the first time in the school's brief history on Friday (Feb. 28). Perry faces fthe Corona del Sol-Mesa Mountain View winner at 7:45 p.m. at Wells Fargo. Senior forward Jake Mortensen made two free throws with 1:25 left to snap a 49-49 tie after the team's traded leads a couple times in the final two minutes. Freshman guard Markus Howard added three free throws in the final 37 seconds for the final margin. Howard netted a game-high 25 points, including nine in the fourth period.
Perry outscored Sunnyslope, 31-19, in the second half and 20-13 in the fourth period. Mortensen and Jordan Howard added nine points each for Perry (26-5). Sunnyslope got 18 points from Sammy Barnes-Thompkins — 15 in the first half. Barnes-Thompkins was the key to Sunnyslope's 11-0 getaway. Barnes-Thompkins batteld foul trouble in the second half and fouled out in the final two minutes. Sunnyslope's Stanford-bound center Michael Humphrey finished with 15 points.