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Women's Basketball: Peninsula looks to newcomers for spark
Peninsula coach Ali Crumb will find out soon just how quickly her 2013-2014 Pirate players can adjust to new roles.
With all five starters graduated from last season’s NWAACC tourney-qualifying squad, the Pirates are looking for their few returning sophomores to lead and their recruiting class to catch on quickly.
“The learning curve is high,” Crumb said.
Gone from last season’s 14-12 squad are record-setting sophomores Taylor Larson and Karli Brakes, plus Jasmine Yarde, Jesse Ellis, Abby Jones and role player Jonica Durbin.
Four sophomores are back, most notably Alison Knowles and Pherrari Brumbaugh. Knowles played in 21 games, averaging five points and 1.3 rebounds in about 19 minutes of play per game. Brumbaugh saw action in 26 games, averaging about 2.4 points, 1.4 assists and a steal per contest.
Also back are Brandi Hale and Cassandra Roland, both of whom averaged less than seven minutes per game in 14 contests.
“They were role players last year (and) it’s going to be a challenge for them to be in a leading role,” Crumb said.
Key recruits for Crumb’s Pirates include Madison Pilster of Snake River High School (Blackfoot, Idaho) and Gabrielle Fenumiai of Juneau, Alaska.
Pilster is a 5-foot 9-inch guard/forward who was a four-year varsity letter winner for the Panthers where she was a standout in basketball, soccer and track.
“We expect big things from Madison,” Crumb said. “She is an extremely hard worker and gifted athlete, so we plan on using her in a variety of different ways. Her speed, athleticism and competitiveness is going to make her a very capable player to come in as a freshman and potentially do some great things.”
Fenumiai is the fifth Juneau-Douglas graduate to wear a Pirate uniform, following in the steps of Brakes and Larson.
A 6-foot post, Fenumiai was a two-year All-Conference standout at Juneau-Douglas High and twice named to Alaska’s All-State Team. She averaged 14 points and eight boards per game as a senior and she led her team to the state tournament. She also was selected to the Alaska Senior All-Star team.
“Gabi is yet another great player out of Alaska who is going to help us,” Crumb said. “Not only is she a very talented post, but also because she is just a great kid. She works hard, she cares about her teammates, she enjoys school and she will be a good person to be around.”
Other key additions include Savanna James of Alaska, a 6-foot 2-inch post, and Marissa Schwimmer of California, a 5-foot 7-inch point guard.
Last season, the Pirates went 9-5 in the North Region, good for fourth place and the final berth to the NWAACC tourney. They went 0-2 at the tournament, losing a heartbreaker to Yakima Valley in overtime in the second game.
Crumb, now coaching into her fifth season at Peninsula, said she has one word for her expectations for this year’s Pirate team: “High.”
Pirates open with win
Peninsula tipped off the 2013-2014 season on a winning note, knocking off Wenatchee Valley 64-56 on Nov. 15.
The Pirates jumped out to a 28-28 lead by halftime and held off the surging Lady Knights.
Knowles and Miranda Schmillen led P.C. with 15 points each while Fenumiai had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Peninsula held Wenatchee Valley to just 33.9 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded the Lady Knights 49-27.
2013-14 PIRATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ROSTER
NO. NAME HT YR POS Hometown
3 Olivia Henderson 5’3 SO PG Juneau, AK
4 Brandi Hale 5’4 SO G Hooper Bay, AK
5 Savanna James 6’2 SO F/P Big Lake, AK
11 Marissa Schwimmer 5’7 FR PG Santa Clarita, CA
12 Madison Pilster 5’8 FR G/F Blackfoot, ID
14 Jonelle Staveland 5’8 FR G/F Juneau, AK
15 Gabi Fenumiai 6’0 FR P Juneau, AK
20 Ione Fischer 5’6 FR G Anchorage, AK
21 Alison Knowles 5’7 SO G Port Angeles, WA
22 Cassandra Roland 5’4 SO G Wendover, NV
23 Miranda Schmillen 5’4 FR PG Honolulu, HI
24 Pherrari Brumbaugh 5’7 SO G Wasilla, AK
44 Emily Flinn 5’9 FR F Hillsboro, OR
Head Coach: Alison Crumb. Assistant Coaches: Mike Knowles, Danika Johnso