Peninsula falls short in upset bid

Sequim Gazette

Something had to give.

Turns out it wasn’t much, but one point was enough to help Skagit Valley remain perfect in conference play with a 63-62 win against Peninsula on Saturday night.

The Pirates (6-3 in NWAACC play, 12-7 overall) came into the game having beaten Skagit early in the season and falling to the Cardinals at home by nine on Jan. 7.

This time, the No. 7-ranked Cardinals needed a last-second free throw from Jessica Denmon to fend off the Pirates.

“Both teams could have won that game,” Peninsula coach Ali Crumb said. “The fact that the game was determined by a free throw in the last seconds shows that both teams deserved to feel proud about how they played. I’m really impressed with the fight in our team.”

Taylor Larson kept Peninsula close with an 18-point evening that saw her hit nine-of-10 from the field and grab eight rebounds. Jasmine Yarde hit five 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 19 points while Jesse Ellis added 17 points.

Skagit led by four at halftime and extended that lead to 11 late in the second half, but Peninsula trimmed the Cardinal advantage thanks to a trio of Yarde threes.

The Pirates went up by two with 90 seconds, then saw Skagit tie the game and get the ball back with nine seconds remaining, when Denmon got fouled. She made the first attempt and missed the second. Peninsula nabbed the rebound but couldn’t get a bucket.

“We never gave up and were always giving us opportunities to win,” Crumb said. “Skagit is an excellent team with great players who are well-coached, so our girls have nothing to be ashamed about.”

Former Kingston High standout Sophia Baetz led the Cardinals with 25 points while former Bainbridge prep standout Brittany Gray added 10 points and 15 rebounds.

“Skagit is a tough place to play at, and it sure stings, but we will be ready to go for next week,” Crumb said.

Peninsula is back in action on the road against Whatcom, a team the Pirates trail for third place in the NWAACC North. The Pirates then host winless Edmonds on Feb. 11.
Ellis ties assist record in win

While guard Jesse Ellis felt quite charitable last week, her teammates did not.

Peninsula’s Pirates jumped out to a 16-point lead by halftime and hardly let up in a 93-57 demolishing of conference foe Seattle on Feb. 1.

Ellis tied the Peninsula assist record with 11, five players scored in double figures and each Pirate scored in one of the highest scoring wins in Peninsula women’s basketball history.

Ellis, a freshman from Skagway, Alaska, tied the school record held by teammate Karli Brakes, Peninsula coach Alison Crumb (2004) and former Alaska standout Trista White (2004).

Starter Larson poured in 22, Abby Jones had 12 points and a season-high seven steals, and Ellis and Yarde each chipped in with 11.

Leisl Brown came off the bench to score 13 points, including 3-for-4 from the 3-point stripe.

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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