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EVERETT - The Pirates won back-to-back games at the 2018 Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Championships last weekend to punch their ticket to the Final Four where they tip off at 2 p.m. March 17 against Linn-Benton in the first of two Saturday semifinals.

The Final Four trip is the second for Peninsula under head coach Mitch Freeman, who took his team there in 2014-15 in his second year at the helm of the Pirates. That team placed third, but this year's PC men have their sites set on the NWAC championship. Standing in the way are the Linn-Benton Road Runners.

The two teams have a lot in common. Peninsula is ranked No. 8 in the latest NWAC Under Armour Coaches' Poll, just behind seventh-ranked Linn-Benton. The Pirates finished second in the North Region with a 9-5 record, 21-10 overall. The Road Runners placed second in the South Region at 10-6 and 22-9.

In their only meeting of the year, back on Dec. 30, the Pirates defeated the Albany, Oregon men 77-72 at the Clackamas Holiday Tournament.

The Pirates advanced to the Final Four with an 87-74 opening round victory over Clackamas and then a 69-59 win over fifth-ranked South Puget Sound in the Elite 8. The Road Runners, meanwhile, knocked off a strong Edmonds team, 81-72, and followed that up with an 84-75 Elite 8 victory over the defending NWAC champion and third-ranked Walla Walla Warriors.

The winner of Saturday's 2 p.m. semifinal match will take on the winner of the 4 p.m. semi, pitting second-ranked Portland against North Idaho, ranked in a tie for fifth in the latest poll, in the 2018 NWAC Championship, set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday. All games are at Everett Community College.

EVERETT – The Pirates open Northwest Athletic Conference post season play this week, the women tipping off at 10 a.m. Thursday against the NWAC’s top-ranked Umpqua and the men opening at 8 a.m. Saturday against Clackamas.

This year marks the seventh straight year head coach Alison Crumb has qualified for the NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament. Her Pirates placed fourth in the North Region with a 6-6 conference record and an 8-16 overall mark. They will tackle Umpqua (15-1, 28-1) in the second game of the tournament Thursday at the Everett Community College gym.

The Pirate men qualified for the fourth straight year under head coach Mitch Freeman, who is wrapping up his fifth year at Peninsula. The PC men (9-5, 19-10) placed second in the North Region and will play the first game of the men’s opening round at 8 a.m. Saturday against the South Region’s third-place finisher Clackamas (9-7, 17-12).

See the complete tournament bracket on the NWAC web site.

All games will be live streamed on NWAC Sports Network.

Jan. 4 PC vs. Highline men

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College Pirates wrap up non-conference play this week with home games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The PC men boast a 9-5 record and are coming off strong showings at the Clackamas Holiday Tournament and the West Region Crossover Tournament. They host Highline (5-7) at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Pirate gym in a game that will feature the Hamilton Elementary Hot Wheels unicycle club at halftime.

The Pirates are led by sophomore Colby Jackson, who is averaging 16 points and five assists per game, Kaelin Crane, who is scoring 14 points per game, and Trent Warren, who is averaging 12.5 ppg and leading the team in rebounds at 6.5 per game. Also coming up big in the preseason has been Forks’ freshman Marky Adams, who is averaging nine points and five rebounds per game.

The Peninsula women, meanwhile, have yet to find their stride. Beset by injuries, the Pirates are looking for two new winter quarter recruits to help them right a ship that has taken on a bit of water, going 1-9 in non-conference play with two games remaining. The PC women host Lower Columbia and Port Angeles graduate Nizhoni Wheeler at 4 p.m. Friday, and then finish out their preseason against South Puget Sound College and Neah Bay graduate Tristin Johnson at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Pirate women are led by Ashlynn Sharp’s 15 points per game, 14 from Jamellia Clark, and 10 from Tiffani Smith. They have been playing with a seven and eight-player rotation, partly due to injuries, but will have some relief when Mikayla Kirby and Payton Caci, both of Las Vegas, join them on the floor this week.

The Peninsula women and men open North Region play during Pirate Pete’s Week, the College’s annual spirit week, next week. The PC men will host Shoreline at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 and then the women and men host Everett at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 13. Shoreline recently suspended its’ women’s team for the season due to a late coaching change and a small roster.