Peninsula’s Abby Jones, right, and Bellevue’s Sanda Milovic jockey for rebound position in a Feb. 25 game. Jones and her Pirate teammates dropped a pair of games at the NWAACC tournament last weekend. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
• March 3 — NWAACC Tournament, Kennewick (first round)
Lane 88, Peninsula 71
Peninsula 29 42 — 71
Lane 45 43 — 88
Pirates — Jesse Ellis 15, Abigail Jones 15, Jasmine Yarde 13, Taylor Larson 12, Tia Mason 10, Callie Monfrey 4, Raquel Young 2, Karli Brakes, Leisl Brown, Megan Smith
Lane Titans — Kersey Wilcox 23, Jordan Wilcox 18, Reed Levings 12, Danielle Schmidt 11, Courtney Walchi 9, Megan Shields 8, Joleen Chanco 7, Brandy Blackburn, Madison Moore, Felicia Rodriguez, Seqoyia Tillman
• March 4 — NWAACC Tournament, Kennewick (consolation quarterfinals)
Clark 78, Peninsula 46
Peninsula 21 25 — 46
Clark 40 38 — 78
Pirates — Larson 15, Ellis 8, Jones 8, Smith 6, Brakes 4, Yarde 2, Young 2, Mason 1, Brown, Durbin, Manker, Monfrey
Clark Penguins — Chelsea Dyson 17, Clara Russell 17, Deborah Simmers 17, Janae Davis 8, Lauren Heller 7, Farrine Scott 6, Chelsea Karvia 4, Andrea Hammond 2, Macy Mukensnabl, Breanna Sorensen
Peninsula College’s team, one loaded with freshmen and coming into Saturday’s NWAACC tournament as the underdog, will have to settle for a playoff appearance.
A relatively brief one, anyway.
The Pirates dropped a 17-point decision to South Region champ Lane on Saturday afternoon before getting knocked out by a scorching-hot shooting Clark squad Sunday morning.
“I think nerves played a big part; we kind of psyched ourselves out,” Peninsula coach Ali Crumb said. “We started out both games pretty slow.”
Making their first NWAACC tourney appearance in four years, the Pirates looked to be off to a good start against Lane. Despite a 15-2 Lane run just before half, Peninsula kept Lane’s lead under double digits with about 16 minutes to play.
“They (Lane) shot amazing and we left their shooters open,” Crumb said. “We kept it close but ... a couple of calls didn’t go our way. We just sort of never rebounded.”
That was before the Titans’ twin sisters — Jordan and Kersey Wilcox — put the game away with 3-pointers and free throws.
Kersey Wilcox finished 14-of-16 from the free-throw line and led Lane with 23 points; Jordan Wilcox added 18 points.
Jesse Ellis and Abigail Jones led the Peninsula attack with 15 points each. Jasmine Yarde had 13 points, Taylor Larson nearly had a double-double (12 points, nine rebounds) and Tia Mason chipped in with 10 points.
A day later, the Pirates had little energy to keep up with the Clark Penguins. Clark ran off a 23-3 streak to start the game and cruised to a 78-46 win to eliminate P.C.
Peninsula shot just 21 percent from the field; Yarde, one of the Pirates’ top scorers, had a particularly tough game, missing all 17 shots from the field.
“We were all just cold; it wasn’t our night,” Crumb said. “Clark always had a hand in their face. They were just on fire.”
Clark, led by a trio of scorers, led 31-7 before Peninsula closed the gap slightly by halftime, trailing 40-21.
Chelsea Dyson, Clara Russell and Deborah Simmers scored 17 points each to lead the Penguins.
Larson led Peninsula with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Karli Brakes had six assists.
Crumb said she expects this experience will benefit next year’s Pirate squad in the long run.
“They are kind of hurt right now,” she said, adding, “They are getting a taste of (the tournament). I think they’re getting hungry.”
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.