Peninsula College men’s and women’s basketball teams celebrated a season unlike any other with a sweep of their final contests of the season at home on June 2.
The Pirate men surged past Bellevue in the second half and were clutch down the stretch in an 81-74 win over the first-place Bulldogs.
In the women’s contest, Peninsula downed Whatcom 76-58 with Sequim’s Hope Glasser hitting for a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Pirate women roll
Keeli-Jade Smith had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists off the bench and Ariyanna Camacho-Villafuerte added 16 points and four steals to help Peninsula finish the campaign on a winning note and improve to 9-7.
Danielle Tyler had 15 points for Whatcom but the Orcas shot just 34 percent from the field.
PC coach Alison Crumb said her Pirates turned the final game of the season into a celebration.
“Let’s celebrate having a season and getting through it,” Crumb said. “We had a pretty successful season considering the youth and the amount of freshmen we had. So it was about going out and enjoying your teammates. We really didn’t talk about Whatcom, and they are a really good team.”
Crumb was proud of her team, with nine out of 11 players coming from out of state, for how they handled the situation.
“They moved out of state on their own for the first time in the middle of a pandemic to come play basketball at a two-year school in a season that doesn’t count,” Crumb said.
“They had to quarantine twice, and then again with COVID tracking, and they were resilient.”
And with a strong influx of area talent plus some Alaskan recruits set to join a solid team, prospects are strong for a deep postseason run next year.
“The girls have the sense that we can do something special next year, and so does our staff,” Crumb said. “We’ve won a title together and can see that we have that potential.”
PC men overcome Bulldogs
Peninsula men’s coach Donald Rollman said Bellevue proved a tough test all season.
“Really tough for us to guard matchup-wise; they play fast, play guard heavy, switch (screens) on players one to five at times, so they are tricky defensively and have had our number,” Rollman said.
A strong second-half edge in rebounding — PC finished with a plus-15 — and Ty Artis looking for his shot helped the Pirates (10-7) get the lead, and Jaylin Reed finished the game out by hitting all six free throw attempts in the final 22 seconds to seal the win.
Artis had 20 points and 10 assists.
“Ty stepped up and knocked down shots. Our second-half rebounding was huge and being able to muster up enough energy, pride and passion and get over the hump one last time was really important for us,” Rollman said.
Rollman said he and his team reflected on a school year that required a great deal of maturity.
“One word, and it’s a little cliche, but family,” Rollman said of what his team relied upon. “We’ve all had to make a ton of sacrifices to be away from friends and family and be isolated for so long.
“There wasn’t hooting and hollering, but there was a recognition that this was a grind, this was hard. We haven’t been in class in person, nobody’s around to support us and to finish on a high note was great.”