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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.

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.

Ten Peninsula College soccer players signed letters of intent Wednesday on National Signing Day.

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.

PORT ANGELES – Art Ruud, who helped Peninsula College win the Washington Athletic Association of Community Colleges state basketball championship in 1970, passed away Saturday with his family at his side. He was 64.

Art and his teammates from that 1970 Pirate team, were inducted into the Northwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Peninsula College Hall of Fame in January of 2014.

“I’m so thrilled for Art and his family that we were able to induct them into both Halls of Fame last year,” said Peninsula College Athletic Director Rick Ross. “He played such a big role in that team’s success and consequently played a big role in Peninsula College sports history.

“Art was not a fan of the spotlight, but he was a great athlete, a great family man, a great coach, and a great member of this community,” Ross said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Art’s accomplishments will be recognized during halftime of the Peninsula College men’s game on Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m.

His Pirate head coach Jack Estes said he was shocked to hear the news.

“Art Ruud had that solid jump shot from the corner, that soaring long ball into right field, and the driest sense of humor of anyone I’ve known,” Estes said. “His humor was the definition of dry. His athletic ability impressed me and his humor absolutely cracked me up.”

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 – 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.

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.

Women: Peninsula 87, Olympic 63

The Pirates bolted out to a 42-33 halftime lead, then held off a Ranger rally midway through the second half, before putting the game away down the stretch to win by 24.

Madison Pilster led four players in double figures with 19 points, Imani Smith added 17 points and 7 rebounds, Miranda Schmillen scored 12 and Gabi Fenumiai contributed 11 points and 7 boards.

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.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed today by representatives of Peninsula College, the Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA), and the City of Port Townsend will allow the college to move forward with submitting the long-anticipated renovation project for Building 202 to bid.

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.

On Saturday, January 24 and 31, Peninsula College will host College Goal Washington, a free event for students and parents interested in learning more about federal financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

PORT ANGELES – The Pirates, who fell out of the Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll following the West Region Crossover Tournament, responded with a resounding victory in their North Division opener Saturday, sinking the Edmonds Tritons 108-45 in one of the most lopsided games in Peninsula College women’s basketball history.

In a game that saw all 13 players share time on the floor, the Peninsula women overwhelmed the visitors from the opening tip, when Miranda Schmillen floated a pass to Zhara Laster, who, for the first time in PC women’s history, opened the game with a crowd-pleasing alley-oop.

The Pirates bolted out to a 17-2 lead and never looked back, leading 32-5 just minutes later en route to a 54-22 halftime advantage.

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