First Federal Pirate Classic tips off this weekend

MOUNT VERNON – With four road games now under their belt, the Pirates are ready to make their home debut this weekend at the Pirate Classic, sponsored by First Federal.

“This will be a great opportunity for the home fans to come see this great college basketball team,” Director of Athletics Rick Ross said. “Coach Mitch Freeman and his staff have put together a team that this community will really enjoy watching.”

The Pirates (1-3) will open the annual four-team event at 7 p.m. Saturday against Centralia (1-2), following a 5 p.m. game between Skagit Valley (2-1) and South Puget Sound (0-2). Sunday’s schedule has Centralia vs. Skagit at 1:00 and Peninsula vs. South Puget Sound at 3:00.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors (55), veterans and college students. Youth 17-under will be admitted free.

The Pirates are coming off four straight games on the road, including a 1-2 showing at the Skagit Valley Turkey Invitational over the weekend.

Peninsula opened the holiday tournament with a 66-60 win over Tacoma, getting an impressive showing out of freshman guard Ryley Callaghan. The South Kitsap High grad hit on 11 of 19 from the field, including seven for 11 from three point range, and added four of five from the free throw stripe to lead all scorers with 33 points. Jeremiah Hobbs, a 6-4 freshman from Seattle Academy, added seven points and 11 rebounds, and Domach Domach, a sophomore guard from Kennewick, chipped in eight.

Next up was a match-up with the eventual tournament champion Blue Angels, the only non-college entry in the field. Coach Doug Hockenbury’s men were too much for the young Pirates, who fell 86-70. Peninsula again was led by Callaghan, who went 10/19 from the field and 5/6 from three-point range to pour in 28 points. Hobbs added 12 points and six rebounds and Chris Reis added 11 points and five rebounds from his guard position.

In Sunday’s consolation round, the defending Northwest Athletic Conference champion Portland Panthers bolted out to a 43-26 halftime lead en route to an 80-69 win over the Pirates. Callaghan had another big night, hitting 8/16 from the floor, 5/5 from the free throw line and 4/10 from beyond the arc to finish with 25. He also dished out an impressive 10 assists. Domach hit for 16 points, the highest of his collegiate career, and added six rebounds to that effort. Freshman Malik Mayeux also had a strong performance with nine points and 11 rebounds, and Alex Ironside also had his best game as a new Pirate with eight points.

As a team, the Pirates are scoring 65 points per game and allowing 74. Callaghan leads the NWAC in scoring with 103 points in four games. Look for the Pirates to improve on what has been a very respectable defensive effort and also to improve on their 37 percent shooting percentage as they continue through their non-conference schedule.