Men's Basketball News | Page 6 | Peninsula College Athletics

Men's Basketball News

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College women and men traveled different roads this season, but both roads inevitably will lead to Kennewick – the site of the 2015 Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Championships, coming up March 7-10 at the Toyota Center.

The Pirate women crushed a short-handed Shoreline team 87-20 in front of a packed-house in the Peninsula College gym Saturday to clinch their first North Division championship since 2005, and only the second in PC women’s basketball history. The Pirates (19-5, 13-1) will play the No. 4 seed from the South Division, Portland or Clackamas, at 8 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the 16-team tournament.

The Peninsula men, meanwhile, needed a win over the Dolphins to clinch their spot in the tournament, but they fell 83-69 leaving them at 7-7 in conference play and 14-12 overall and facing a possible tie with Skagit Valley for the fourth berth to the NWAC Tournament. Skagit, however, fell to Edmonds 79-75 Saturday, dropping into a fifth place tie with Shoreline and leaving the Pirates in sole possession of fourth place – and a spot in the tournament. The PC men will play Mt. Hood (9-5, 12-13) in the opening round at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Both the women and men will board the Black Pearl on Thursday en route to the 2015 NWAC Championships. It will be the third straight trip for fifth-year head coach Alison Crumb, who led Peninsula to the tournament in 2005 as a player, and the first trip to the “Show” for second-year head coach Mitch Freeman.

While the playoff picture was the main attraction, it was also Sophomore Night, where fans from all over the West Coast jammed into the Pirate gym to see the final home games for Gabi Fenumiai, Whitney Nemelka, Madison Pilster, Miranda Schmillen and Jonelle Staveland from the women’s team, as well as Jal Deng and Domach Domach from the men’s team.

The Pirate fans also paid respect to Art Ruud, a player from the 1970 men’s championship team, who passed away recently from cancer at the age of 64. A large contingent of his family and friends were on hand to honor the long-time Port Angeles resident who was a big part of Peninsula College basketball history and who’s name is part of that Pirate team that was inducted into the NWAC Hall of Fame and the Peninsula College Hall of Fame.

PORT ANGELES – The number 68 turned out to be magical for the Pirates Wednesday night.

The Pirate women pulled away in the final minutes to beat Skagit Valley 68-58 to set themselves up for a chance to win the North Division championship on Saturday, and two hours later, Ryley Callaghan hit a running three-point bomb at the buzzer to lift the Pirate men to a 68-67 victory over the Cardinals, setting them up for a chance to secure third place and a trip to the playoffs Saturday.

The Pirate women’s victory, combined with a Bellevue loss to Whatcom, puts Peninsula (18-5, 12-1) in a position to win the North title outright in Saturday’s final home game of the regular season against winless Shoreline.

The PC men’s victory leaves the Pirates (7-6, 14-11) in third place. A win in Saturday’s regular season finale against Shoreline (5-8, 10-16) would propel Peninsula to the 2015 NWAC Basketball Championships, set for March 7-10 in Kennewick.

“This is a night Pirate fans are going to be talking about for a while,” Athletic Director Rick Ross said. “Neither game was how we would have scripted it, but we somehow came away with two huge wins against two very talented Skagit Valley teams.”

Saturday night is Sophomore Night for the Pirates, who will say goodbye to five women and three men, all playing their last regular season game in the Pirate gym. A ceremony to honor the eight players will take place prior to the start of the men’s game at approximately 6:45 p.m.

SHORELINE – The sixth-ranked Pirate women breezed to a 70-42 win and the men eked out a 58-56 nod over the Dolphins for another NWAC North Division sweep Saturday.

The PC women improved to 6-1 in conference play, 12-5 overall, and remained a game behind Bellevue in the chase for the North championship.

The Pirate men improved to 3-4 in conference, 10-9 overall, moving into a three-way tie with Shoreline and Skagit Valley for fourth place in the North. The top four teams advance to the playoffs with one more round of league play remaining.

The Pirate women and men are idle Wednesday and travel to Edmonds on Saturday.

MOUNT VERNON – The Skagit Valley College gym is not an easy place to get a road win and the Pirates managed to escape with one in a North Division basketball doubleheader Wednesday.

The Peninsula women improved to 5-1 in conference play, 11-5 overall, and moved into sole possession of second place in the North with a thrilling 63-59 win over the Cardinals, while the Pirate men slipped to 2-4 and 9-9 following a 63-56 loss to the hosts. That setback leaves the Pirates in fifth place in the North with eight games remaining.

The PC women and men travel to Shoreline for a matinee doubleheader starting at 2:00 on Saturday. The Dolphin women currently sit in the North Division cellar at 0-6 and 0-14, while the men are tied for fourth place at 3-3 and 8-11.

PORT ANGELES – Basketball fans filled the Peninsula College gymnasium Saturday night to cheer on their Pirates in a match-up against Bellevue that saw the PC women and men play their hearts out in a pair of NWAC North Division setbacks.

The sixth-ranked Pirate women fell to the eighth-ranked Bulldogs 67-62, while the PC men, unranked in 2014-15, struggled against the NWAC’s top-ranked Bellevue men, falling 75-62.

The PC women fell to 4-1 in conference play and 10-5 overall. They travel to Skagit Valley Wednesday to tackle the 4-1 and 14-7 Cardinals.

The PC men dropped to 2-3 in league and 9-8 overall. They will take on the 2-3, 10-7 Cards in the nightcap Wednesday.

PORT ANGELES – It was Blackout Night at Peninsula College Wednesday where the Pirates rallied in front of a big home crowd to secure a pair of wins over Olympic in Round 1 of Pirate Pete’s Week, the College’s annual spirit week celebration.

Round 2 begins Saturday night where the 4-0 Pirate women are braced for a showdown against the 4-0 Bellevue women at 5:00, while the 2-2 PC men tackle the 4-0 BC men at 7:00.

EVERETT – The Pirates split a road trip to Everett Sunday, the women winning 69-62 and the men falling in a thriller 72-69.

Next up for Peninsula are two home games during the College’s annual spirit week celebration, Pirate Pete’s Week. The Pirates host Olympic Wednesday and Bellevue Saturday. Game times on both nights are 5:00 for the women and 7:00 for the men.

BELLINGHAM – Peninsula College has not swept Whatcom since 2009, but the Pirates made the long trip to Whatcom County Wednesday night and returned with a pair of North Division victories.

The Peninsula women improved to 2-0 in conference play with a 77-68 win over the Orcas, while the men evened their record at 1-1 with a 62-56 nod.

The games were played at Meridian High School while Whatcom’s new gymnasium is being constructed.

PORT ANGELES – The Pirates, who defeated Edmonds 66-56 in the championship game of the West Region Crossover Tournament back on Dec. 21, were unable to repeat that performance in their conference opener Saturday, falling to the NWAC’s second-ranked Tritons 64-54.

Edmonds opened the game with a tenacious defensive presence that caught the Peninsula men off guard.

The Tritons also employed a defender who was tasked with not allowing Pirate sharp-shooter Ryley Callaghan any open looks at the basket – and it worked. The freshman guard who put up 21 on the Tritons a few weeks ago, was held to just four points, all of them coming from the free throw line.

The Pirate men fell behind early, trailing 35-21 at halftime, but coach Mitch Freeman and his staff rallied their team in the second half to get back in the game, eventually pulling to within one at 53-52 with 2:41 to play, fueling a big Pirate crowd, but the Tritons fought off that comeback with leading scorer Deonte Dixon fouling out to win by 10.

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College women and men open North Division play Saturday on “Seahawks Family Day” at the Pirate gym.

Fans will enjoy a special matinee performance against Edmonds with the women tipping off at 1 p.m. and the men following at 3 p.m. Barring overtime, fans will be home in time for the 5:15 NFL kickoff. Parents are encouraged to bring their children and admission will be waived for those 17-under. All fans are encouraged to wear Seahawks gear and to participate in football-related halftime contests.

“This promises to be a great day for sports fans,” said Director of Athletics Rick Ross. “Our teams are playing very well and we’re hoping the community will come out to support them in their conference opener – and still be able to join the rest of the Northwest around their TVs to cheer on the Hawks on Saturday evening.”