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Men's basketball: Pirates top Tritons for Crossover championship
So much for that No. 2 ranking.
Peninsula showed little ill effects from a long road trip with a three-game sweep of foes at the South Region Crossover Tournament in Roseburg, Ore., last weekend, culminating with a 84-62 pounding of No. 2-ranked Edmonds on Sunday.
Djuan Smith collected the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament and led all scorers with 27 points and 11 rebounds against the Titans.
"ÂWe are finally coming together as a team and we are reaching our potential," Smith said. "Everyone on the team had a good game. ÂThe difference in the game was our defense. We did a terrific job moving to help and contesting every shot.Â"
Peninsula (6-4) held Edmonds 19 points below its 81-point per game average as the Tritons struggled to make shots, connecting on a little better than 30 percent from the field (21 of 69).
P.C.'s Salim Gloyd earned all-tournament team honors, contributing 21 points and four rebounds in the final.
"ÂWe felt like it was a statement win against the No. 2-ranked team, especially since we didn't receive any votes in the poll," Gloyd said. "ÂIt was a solid win that will put our team on the map.Â"
Pirate reserves aided the team by scoring exactly half of P.C.'s point output in the three-game set.
"ÂThe superstar on our team is the team,Â" Peninsula head coach Lance Von Vogt said. "ÂWe have 10 starter-level players and our depth overwhelms other teams at times."
The Pirates opened the tourney with an 81-56 blowout win against Highline, with all 11 players who dressed for the contest scoring in the game.
In the semifinals Saturday evening, Peninsula ousted Walla Walla 91-82, jumping out to a nine-point lead by halftime and extending that lead to 18 points early in the second half. Xavier Bazile led the Pirates with 22 points, while Smith (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Arnold Anderson (10 points, 10 rebounds) contributed on both ends of the floor.
Daniel Sims came off the bench to contribute 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, helping the Pirates into the championship game.
Peninsula has now won four of the past five tournaments its team has entered dating back to the 2010-2011 season; the only loss came last season in the NWAACC tourney Final Four.
Peninsula takes the court again after Christmas to defend the title from last year at the Clackamas Holiday Tournament, set for Dec. 28-30.
The Pirates begin conference play Jan. 5 at home against Whatcom.