The Peninsula Pirate women are headed to the NWAACC tourney but they may or may not have their all-time leading scorer and they’ll go as the North Division’s fourth and final seed.
A shorthanded Pirate team gave Bellevue a game but conceded a 76-61 decision to the North Division champions Saturday night in Port Angeles, the Pirates’ regular season finale and final home game for seven sophomores.
Peninsula (9-5 in conference play, 14-10 overall) takes on West Division champion Centralia at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the first round of the 2013 NWAACC Basketball Championship Tournament at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Against Bellevue, the Pirates showed how much they miss star post player Taylor Larson in the 15-point loss. After gaining a seven-point lead early, the Pirates fell behind by six by halftime and never caught up.
Jesse Ellis led the Pirates with 22 points and eight rebounds, Jasmine Yarde finished with 12 points, eight boards and nine assists, Abigail Jones had 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Alison Knowles hit for eight points and three assists. Jonica Durbin chipped in seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Chanel Cambronero led Bellevue with 19 points.
Larson, who is sixth in the NWAACC in scoring and also has broken a number of Pirate records, including the all-time scoring record, is sidelined with a partial ACL tear and may not return for the tournament.
It’s P.C. coach Alison Crumb’s second consecutive appearance at the NWAACC tourney.
“This season has been the most enjoyable season of my coaching and playing career and in large part due to the talent, devotion and character of these sophomores,” Crumb said.
Downing the Dolphins
Playing without their all-time leading scorer Wednesday night, Peninsula’s women still needed a win in one of their final two games to secure a playoff berth.
The Pirates killed the suspense with a big win at Shoreline on Feb. 20.
Ellis scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Jones had 18 points and Yarde hit five 3-pointers as Peninsula routed the host Shoreline Dolphins, 85-61.
The Pirates were without Taylor Larson but managed to build a 45-25 lead by halftime.
Peninsula hit nine of 18 from 3-point range and sank 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Deja Davis, Chelsea Padgett and Emily Wilbur had 11 points each to lead Shoreline (3-10, 10-14).