The Peninsula women started off slow in league this year, but they’ve picked a perfect time to get red-hot.
After starting North Region play 1-3, the Pirates responded by going on a 10-game win streak, capped off with a dominant 82-57 win at Bellevue on March 2 that locked up a North title and a No. 1 seed going into the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament.
The Bellevue win was typical for the Pirates’ latest streak — a lot of balance with four players in double figures , seven different players with multiple assists and yes, true to form, shooting 62.5 percent in a big fourth quarter (27-17) that helped ice the game.
The Pirates have been particularly deadly in the fourth quarter during their win streak, consistently either blowing open close games or coming from behind to win in the final 10 minutes.
“The cool thing is they’ve grown so much,” said coach Alison Crumb. “I’m proud of how far they’ve come.”
The Pirates finished league play at 11-3 (18-8 overall), one game ahead of Olympic (10-4).
Crumb said that after that 1-3 start in league play, there were a lot of doubters about the team, even from the team’s own coaches, who let the players know they were disappointing the coaching staff.
“(We told them) it would be a disappointment not to win the region. Down the stretch, they saw how good they could be,” Crumb said.
Crumb said the women committed to the process and listened to the coaches, responding to the high expectations being put on them. “These are good kids and they need to have high expectations put on them,” Crumb said.
Going back to Saturday’s game, the women got off to a bit of a slow start, entering the second quarter behind 14-12. But the Pirates scored 70 points over the final three quarters, shooting 51.9 percent (27 for 52) over the final 30 minutes.
Ashlynn Sharp and Casandra White each hit four 3-pointers, combining to shoot 8 for 14 from beyond the arc. Leilani Padilla led the team with 18 points, while Sharp had 16 points and nine rebounds. White had 14 points, while Kuutuuq Danner had 13 points and eight rebounds and Sunshine Vicente had seven points and seven assists.
The women take on Highline (12-13) in the NWAC Tournament beginning Saturday, March 9. The Pirates knocked off the Thunderbirds 69-59 on Nov. 17, getting 15 points from Vicente and 12 apiece from Sharp and Padilla.
Peninsula 82, Bellevue 57
Peninsula 12 22 21 27 — 82
Bellevue 14 10 16 17 — 57
Peninsula (82) — Padilla 18, Sharp 16, White 14, Danner 13, Vicente 7, Bowen 5, Williams 4, Luke 3, Fitzgerald 2.
Bellevue (57) — Amos 17, Anderson 16, Lambert 7, Luckett 7, Sykora 6, Laut 4.