Avalanche squad takes title

Local hoops players had a fine time defending their home turf at the Presidents Day basketball tournament in Port Angeles on Feb. 13-14.

The Olympic Avalanche, a select girls basketball team with players from across the peninsula, took first in the eighth-grade girls division.

Sequim's Lady Jammers took second overall in the sixth- and seventh-grade girls division, getting edged out by the Advantage squad from Edmonds.

On the boys side, Sequim Youth Basketball's own Next Level eighth-grade team went 3-1 and finished third overall while its sixth-grade squad finished fifth in the sixth-grade division.

Rough tourney for SYB

The Next Level eighth-graders topped North Perry of Bremerton by two points in the opener and clobbered Quilcene in round two. They dropped a four-point decision to the Gym Rats of Port Orchard (the eventual runner-up squad), then stung host Port Angeles by more than 20 points in the final game.

Team member Josh Cibene broke his left leg in the first game, while Joseph Landoni broke his right wrist in another game.

Avalanche soars up

To take top honors at their own tourney, Olympic Avalanche had to go through the two-time defending champions.

No problem.

The Avalanche rolled Ephrata in round-robin play by 19 points and then demolished a team from Mercer Island in the finals to claim the eighth-grade girls championship during Presidents Day weekend.

In round one, Olympic edged the Ferndale AAU squad 57-51 in what turned out to be their toughest competition of the tourney. Krista Johnson led the team with 18 points, while Breanne Knishka added a dozen. In round two, Johnson scored 24 points while Knishka and Chandler Smith each had 14 points in a 75-28 drubbing of the Snohomish Outlaws.

Needing a win against the defending champion Ephrata Heat, the Avalanche got 17 points from Merissa Murner and 16 points from Smith to win 69-50.

In the finals, Smith scored 18 points and Knishka added 15 points in a 65-32 win against the Mercer Island Islanders.

Port Angeles Recreation 16th-annual

Presidents Day Classic - final standings

5th grade girls division - 1. Ferndale, 2. Lady Gators (Bremerton), 3. Port Angeles

6th-7th grade girls division - 1. Advantage (Edmonds), 2. Sequim Lady Jammers, 3. Anacortes, 4. Ferndale, 5. Blue Ox (Gig Harbor)

8th grade girls division - 1. Olympic Avalanche, 2. Mercer Island, 3. Ephrata Heat, 4. Port Angeles Ice, 5. (tie) Ferndale and Whatcom County Heat, 7. Blue Ox (Gig Harbor), 8. Snohomish Outlaws

5th grade boys' division - 1. Ferndale, 2. B-Town Ballers (Bremerton), 3. Gig Harbor Hoopsters, 4. Anacortes Seahawks, 5. Mukilteo Silver Knights, 6. Port Angeles, 7. Mariners (Bellingham), 8. Snohomish Hurricanes

6th grade boys division - 1. Seattle Blues, 2. Anacortes Seahawks, 3. Vashon Pirates, 4. Cowboys (Chimacum), 5. SYB Next Level (Sequim), 6. Port Angeles Wildcats

7th grade boys division - 1. Anacortes Seahawks, 2. Gym Rats (Port Orchard), 3. (tie) SYB Next Level (Sequim) and North Perry (Bremerton), 5. Quilcene, 6. Port Angeles

8th grade boys division - 1. Snohomish River Dogs, 2. Celtics (Bremerton), 3. Anacortes Seahawks, 4. Port Angeles, 5. Whatcom County Magic, 6. P.T. Cruisers, 7. Riverside (Lake Tapps), 8. Bremerton Wildcats

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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