DES MOINES – The freshmen-dominated Peninsula Pirates got an eye-opening introduction to the Northwest Athletic Conference Friday, falling to the Thunderbirds at Highline 81-54.
The hosts built a seven-point halftime lead, 32-25, as both teams struggled offensively in the first half, but the Pirates could not stay with the T-birds in the second half, as Highline outscored Peninsula 49-29 in the final 20 minutes to win going away.
Ryley Callaghan, a 6-1 freshman guard from South Kitsap, led the Pirates with 17 points and six rebounds, Jonah Cook, Peninsula’s 6-9 red-shirt freshman post from Mount Vernon, added 11 points and a team-high eight boards, and Jeremiah Hobbs, a 6-4 freshman forward from Seattle, hit for 10 off the bench, adding six rebounds and four assists. Chris Reis, of Spokane, and Alex Ironside, of Pu’unui, Hawaii, both freshmen, each hit for seven.
PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College launched its Athletics Hall of Fame last year and celebrated the 1970 State Champion basketball team.
The North Olympic Peninsula has had a love affair with the Pirates ever since – and second year head coach Mitch Freeman says his 2014-15 team is one this community will embrace.
“We have a team that the community would love to support,” Freeman said. “I hope you can come out and watch Pirate Basketball.”
The Peninsula men went 12-11 and narrowly missed the playoffs in Freeman’s first season at the Pirate helm. This year’s team has more height, more depth and strong chemistry.
“We are young team with only five guys who have played in a college game, but we have size and depth at each position that will allow us to be a competitive basketball team,” Freeman said. “We are very excited and anxious to get the season started.”
The Pirates open their non-conference schedule Friday, Nov. 21, at Highline, a team that went 23-8 last year, good for third place in the West Division.