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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.

PORT ANGELES – The annual First Federal Pirate Classic brings five colleges to the Pirate gym for three days of basketball this weekend.

Peninsula Pirate fans will see their home teams each play a pair of games. The Peninsula women host Centralia at 7 p.m. Friday and Yakima at 1 p.m. Sunday, while the Pirate men entertain Green River at 7 p.m. Saturday and Tacoma at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The other games feature Yakima vs. Centralia in a women’s game at 3 p.m. Saturday, Skagit Valley vs. Tacoma in a men’s game at 5 p.m. Saturday, and Skagit Valley vs. Green River in a men’s game at 11 a.m. Sunday.

“Coach Freeman and Coach Crumb put together a great event,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “Fans will get to see some outstanding college basketball all weekend, and special thanks to First Federal for coming through every year to make this happen. The five college basketball teams will be staying in our community, dining in local restaurants and shopping in our stores. It’s a fun weekend.”

PORT ANGELES – Head coach Mitch Freeman enters his fifth year with a Peninsula College men’s basketball team that has talent, shooters, height – and some local faces. The Pirates tip off their 2017-18 season at 4 p.m. Saturday at home against Mt. Hood.

“This team has a little bit of everything with size and strength inside, quality shooters at the guard and wing positions, and a point guard in Colby Jackson who knows how to bring everyone together,” Freeman said. “We should be a fun team to watch when we are able to put everything together.”

Peninsula went 19-9 last year and 9-5 in North Region play, good for second place behind Shoreline. The Pirates qualified for the 2017 NWAC Basketball Tournament where they beat Portland 70-62 in the first round and then bowed out in a 75-64 loss to Tacoma.

Mt. Hood went 16-12 and 9-7 last year, tying for third place in the South Region. The Saints also went two rounds, upsetting Shoreline 74-71 in the first round and then falling to Lower Columbia 85-78 in the quarterfinals.

In last year’s season opener at Gresham, Oregon, Peninsula outscored Mt. Hood 83-76, but both teams will look very different this year.

“We return five players from last year’s team, and of those five, two of them red-shirted,” Freeman said. “We recruited nine new players to this year’s team, including five freshmen and four transfers.”

Returning from last year’s team are Trent Warren, a 6-6 guard from Melbourne, Australia; Zach Day, a 6-4 wing from Las Vegas; and Blake Cosgrove, a 6-5 wing from Portland. All three saw playing time last year.

The Pirates also return red-shirts Colby Jackson, a 5-10 point guard from Las Vegas who transferred to Peninsula from the University of Alberta; and Elijah Williams, a 6-2 guard from Seattle.

Transferring to Peninsula this year are Cole Huish, a 6-3 wing from Salt Lake City, who played his freshman year at Western Wyoming Community College; Kaelin Crane, a 6-6 wing from Las Vegas who played for Green River last year; Cameron Burton, a 6-2 guard from Las Vegas who played at Central Washington University last year; and Emanuele Maneffa, a 6-1 guard from Milan, Italy, who red-shirted at Marshalltown College last year.

Joining the Pirates fresh out of high school are Marky Adams, a 6-10 post from Forks; Luke Angevine, a 6-4 wing from Port Angeles; Parker Browning, a 6-3 guard from Forks; Eli’sha Sheppard, a 6-5 wing from Kent; James Buckley, a 6-2 guard from Port Orchard; and Andrew Thomas a 5-6 guard from Dallas, Texas.

“This year’s roster has more local players than we’ve had in the last four years,” Freeman said. “We are very excited to have been able to have three quality individuals, and players, in Parker, Luke and Marky to be part of our PC Basketball family.”

Coach Freeman isn’t making predictions about how the Pirates will do.