The Peninsula College women’s basketball team fell behind early and never kept pace with the Bellevue Bulldogs, losing 83-46 on Feb. 5.
The Bulldogs are tied for the lead in the NWAACC North Division with the Skagit Valley Cardinals (9-1 in division, 16-4 overall), Peninsula’s next challenge.
Peninsula (2-8 in division, 5-14 overall) out-rebounded Bellevue 35-33, but Peninsula’s undoing was their inability to protect the basketball.
The Pirates committed 30 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Bulldogs (9-1 in division, 16-4 overall).
Peninsula shot just 37 percent from the field during the game while Bellevue drained more than half of their attempts, including a 67-percent success rate in the opening period.
Callie Monfrey paced Peninsula with 13 points. Megan Smith added eight points and three steals.
Kelsey Sparks and A.C. DenHartog were the only Bulldogs to score in double digits. Sparks drained 19 points and DenHartog garnered 17 points and four steals.
Bellevue’s reserve players contributed 25 points.
The Pirates next face the Cardinals at 5 p.m. today, Feb. 9, in Port Angeles.
When the Pirates most needed to execute a patient offensive possession, their hurry produced a familiar, yet painful, result.
The Peninsula women’s basketball team let a prime opportunity to gain ground in division standings slip away, losing to the Olympic Rangers, 60-51, on Feb. 2.
The Pirates had an opportunity to earn an NWAACC North Division victory, pulling within three points of the Rangers late in the second half, but a familiar foe caused their chance to be squandered.
“I think we were too comfortable,” Peninsula coach Alison Crumb said. “We always felt like there was going to be a turning point, but there was never a surge.”
The Pirates did stage a second half attempt to overtake the Rangers, but it was not enough.
Trailing 37-30, Danika Goodwin found Smith on an in-bounds pass and Smith drilled a three-point bucket with 14:14 to play in the second half. The basket pulled Peninsula to within four, 37-33, and began the Pirates’ comeback try.
Over the next nine minutes, Peninsula matched Olympic basket-for-basket and shaved a point off the lead when Smith netted another three-point attempt with 5:18 remaining, cutting the advantage to 45-42.
After the teams exchanged turnovers on ill-advised passing and Olympic’s Danielle Stewart sank two free throws, the Pirates refused to let the Rangers pull away.
Fouled after trying to translate an offensive rebound into points, Peninsula’s Monfrey drained a pair of free throws, sending the Pirates to within three, 47-44, with nearly four minutes to play.
Chants of “de-fense” rattled the Olympic Rangers on their following possession as they had another pass fly out-of-bounds, one of 16 turnovers.
Peninsula pushed the ball into the front court with the chance to further cut Olympic’s lead, but the Pirates’ season-long Achilles heel struck again.
The Rangers scooped up an errant Peninsula pass and Cassie Fawcett outraced the retreating defense for an uncontested lay-up and a 49-44 Olympic lead.
“We couldn’t convert. We panicked a little bit,” Crumb said. “In that situation, every little thing counts.”
Olympic pulled away in the closing minutes, due largely to their six-of-eight success from the free-throw line in the final minute of action.
The Rangers capitalized on 21 Peninsula personal fouls by shooting 81 percent from the free throw line on 27 attempts.
“We bailed them out. We use our body, we try to reach. We’re not fundamental enough with our footwork,” Crumb said. “We’ve had a problem with this all year long.”
Ardis Pullen paced the Pirates with 15 points. Smith followed closely with 14. Taylor Helwig led Olympic with 22 tallies and seven rebounds while Fawcett scored 16.
Reach Ryan Hueter at firstname.lastname@example.org.