Women's Basketball News

EVERETT – The Pirates open Northwest Athletic Conference post season play this week, the women tipping off at 10 a.m. Thursday against the NWAC’s top-ranked Umpqua and the men opening at 8 a.m. Saturday against Clackamas.

This year marks the seventh straight year head coach Alison Crumb has qualified for the NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament. Her Pirates placed fourth in the North Region with a 6-6 conference record and an 8-16 overall mark. They will tackle Umpqua (15-1, 28-1) in the second game of the tournament Thursday at the Everett Community College gym.

The Pirate men qualified for the fourth straight year under head coach Mitch Freeman, who is wrapping up his fifth year at Peninsula. The PC men (9-5, 19-10) placed second in the North Region and will play the first game of the men’s opening round at 8 a.m. Saturday against the South Region’s third-place finisher Clackamas (9-7, 17-12).

See the complete tournament bracket on the NWAC web site.

All games will be live streamed on NWAC Sports Network.

Jan. 5 PC vs LCC women

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.

Ali Crumb coaching

PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College head coach Alison Crumb and her staff will open their 2017-18 women’s basketball season Friday night with a small but talented roster.

The Pirates, who placed second in the North last year and qualified for the Northwest Athletic Conference championship tournament for the sixth straight year, open at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Centralia in the first game of the annual First Federal Pirate Classic.

Coach Crumb’s 2017-18 team features four returners from last year, a red-shirt sophomore who practiced with the team last year, a transfer sophomore from Bremerton, and six freshmen. Only seven players off that 12-player roster, however, will be on the floor this weekend.

“We have been bludgeoned with injuries, and have therefore done some extra recruiting to get two new faces here in December once they finish their current quarters,” coach Crumb said.

Back from last year are Kayla Alvarez, a 5-2 guard from Salt Lake City, Utah; Hannah Geberyesus, a 5-4 guard from Las Vegas, Nevada; Yamilei Rodriguez, a 5-9 guard from Las Vegas; and Tiffani Smith, a 5-6 guard, also from Las Vegas. Also returning is red-shirt sophomore Jamellia Clark, a 5-11 post from Las Vegas.

Joining the Pirates this year are Olivia Williams, a 5-9 sophomore transfer from Umpqua Community College who played her high school basketball at Olympic in Silverdale; Ashly Fernandez, a 5-7 freshman from Las Vegas; Jocelyn Moore, a 5-10 post from Coulee Dam, Washington; Ashlynn Sharp, a 5-8 guard from Las Vegas; and Cassandra White, a 5-9 guard from Modesto, California.

“The returners have stepped in a done a wonderful job leading this group of new faces,” Crumb said. “They really care about one another and are committed to this program and their new teammates. I’m very fortunate to be able to lean on this group moving forward.”

Coach Crumb is also pretty excited about her freshman class.

“I’m excited about the new faces that we have,” she said. “They have come in and created a big presence on the court and we hope to develop and push those players to be the best they can possibly be.”

The Pirates will have two other players joining them winter quarter in Caci Payton, a 5-7 guard, and Kirby Mikayla, also a 5-7 guard. Both are from Las Vegas.

Injuries have created some early challenges for the Pirates. Moore is sidelined with a concussion, White injured her knee earlier this fall and will miss the 2017-18 season, and a few other players are banged up.

“Because of our injuries, I did some extra recruiting to get two new faces here in December, once they finish their current quarters,” Crumb said. “Mikayla Kirby and Payton Caci will be an added boost to our backcourt, where we desperately need depth after losing our star recruit, Casandra White, to a season ending knee injury. We hope to get them ready to go as fast as possible for league play.

“Injuries are an unfortunate thing, and something we have been quite lucky with over the years, but when it rains it pours,” she added. “We just need to stay focused with the group that we have and hope that our incoming December players can help with our depth. It hasn’t been pretty this off-season, but we need to be resilient. There is no excuses around here, so we will compete to the best of our ability.”

It all starts Friday night against Centralia, and the Pirates return to their home court Sunday against Yakima at 1 p.m. in Game 6 of the First Federal Pirate Classic.

Sephora Yayouss

PORT ANGELES – The Peninsula College women’s basketball program rose to superpower status with a Northwest Athletic Conference championship in 2015 and a second-place finish in 2016, but slipped to just being good in 2017 with a second-place finish in the North Region and top-eight finish in the NWAC.

The 2016-17 Pirates suffered some injuries down the stretch that may have cost them a third-straight North championship - and the opportunity to advance further into the NWAC Tournament.

The Pirates finished 19-10 overall and 10-4 in North Region play under head coach Alison Crumb, in her seventh year with the Pirates. It was the sixth straight trip to the post-season for the Port Angeles-born head coach, who now has 114 wins and 79 losses as a Pirate.

“We had a great season, with really great kids, who are going to do amazing things in the future,” Coach Crumb said. “Unfortunately, most seasons end in a loss, but that does not define the success that we have had on and off the floor. We ran into a really tough Umpqua team and just didn’t have enough to get past them, but that is how it goes sometimes. I’m proud of the players and their dedication to the program and the community. They will truly be missed."

The PC women were led by sophomores this year and will graduate their entire starting five, in Alicia Dugan, Jenise McKnight, Anaya Rodisha, Sephora Yayouss and Tai Thomas, as well as Cami Butler, Milan Barnes and red-shirt freshman Jackie Schaubel.

Waiting in the wings to get Peninsula back to the NWAC championship in 2017-18 are red-shirt sophomore Jamellia Clark, and freshmen Kayla Alvarez, Hannah Geberyesus, Yamilei Rodriguez, and Tiffani Smith, who will join Coach Crumb’s recruiting class next fall.

“Moving forward, we want to continue to recruit kids that will bring positive contributions to our campus and local community,” Crumb said. “Athletically, we are losing eight players, so we are going to need to go out and get competitive kids at every position. We have a good group that we are talking to now, but we will see how the off season goes. Looking forward to the future.”

2017 Womens All-Region

PORT ANGELES – Pirates Jenise McKnight, Alicia Dugan, and Tai Thomas received Northwest Athletic Conference All Region women’s honors, Darrion Daniels and Jalon McCullough earned All Region recognition for the men, and four Pirates, Dugan, Thomas, Cami Butler and Alex Baham, were named to the NWAC’s All-Academic Team, as announced Monday.

McKnight, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada, who averaged 12.93 points and 8.04 rebounds per game, was named to the North Region’s First Team. Dugan, a sophomore from Renton who led the Pirates in scoring with 13.96 points per game and in steals with 2.33 per game, was named to the North Second Team. Tai Thomas, a sophomore from Honolulu, Hawaii, was named to the North Region All-Defensive Team.

Dugan, Thomas and Cami Butler, a sophomore from Sandy, Utah, all earned NWAC All-Academic honors.

“Jenise, Alicia, and Tai have worked hard all year and have been our team captains throughout the season as well,” Crumb said. “Alicia has really come alive offensively in the second half of the season and is such a motor player. She just goes, goes, goes, and eventually she will get something for us, whether it be a three, a steal and a lay-up, or a couple shots at the free throw line. “Jenise is probably the most versatile and athletic forward/post in the league. She moves well and can beat people from beyond the arc, in the paint, or in the open floor. She has a great jumper and a very quick first step. There have been very few teams that have a defender that can handle the workload of Jenise. Tai is our most consistent player. She takes shots when she is open, and is always a factor on the boards. She moves well defensively for her size, and is usually tasked with guarding the best player on the other team. She has been very stable for our team and we hope she continues to be that constant force at the NWAC tournament.”

Coach Crumb also praised their work in the classroom.

“Our team works hard in the classroom and Alicia, Tai, and Cami are a prime example of what a student first athlete should be,” she said. “I can’t wait to see where their academic futures take them.”

For the men, Jalon McCullough, a red-shirt freshman from Fairbanks, Alaska, was named NWAC North Region Freshman of the Year and also a spot on the First Team. He was the second leading scorer for the Pirates, averaging 11.85 points per game, and also second in assists with 3.69 per game.

Darrion Daniels, a sophomore from Las Vegas, was also named to the North Region First Team. He led Peninsula in scoring with 16.84 points per game, assists with 3.88 and was second in rebounds with 5.32.

“Both Darrion and Jalon are big reason that our team has been able win 18+ games for the past 2 years,” Freeman said. “They have bright futures at the next level and we are excited they have been a part of the PC Family.”

Freeman went on to say that Daniels made an immediate impact on the program.

NWAC Playoffs 2017 women

EVERETT - The Pirates were unlucky to draw an 8 a.m. game in Saturday's 2017 NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament opener, but you can bet they'll still be packing their A Game.

The Pirates (18-9, 10-4), the No. 2 seed from the North Region, take on Tacoma (9-5, 20-7), the No. 3 seed from the West, in the breakfast bracket of the 16-team, single-elimination tournament. A win on Saturday would propel Peninsula into a 2 p.m. Sunday game against the winner of a game matching Umpqua against either Yakima or Treasure Valley.

All games will be live streamed on NWAC Sports Network (YouTube).

The Pirates are led by Alicia Dugan's 14 points per game, 13 from Anaya Rodisha and 12 points and eight rebounds from Jenise McKnight. Rodisha is recovering from an ankle injury and is questionable to see action.

Tacoma's player to watch is Bobbi Westendorf, who's hitting 20 points per game and 12 rebounds for the Titans. Aubre Mitchell is TCC's second leading scorer with a 13-point average.

NWAC championships

BELLINGHAM – The Peninsula College men and women will both go into the 2017 NWAC Basketball Championships as the second-place seed from the North Region following the final night of league play Wednesday where the Pirates fell to the Orcas at Whatcom.

The tournament bracket will be announced Sunday at a first-ever NWAC Basketball Tournament Selection Show, streamed from the NWAC Sports YouTube channel.  The women’s show begins at 2 p.m. and the men’s will follow at 3 p.m.

The Pirate women finished in a three-way tie for second place with Bellevue and Everett, all at 10-4 in league play, but will go as the No. 2 seed by virtue of North Region tiebreaker rules. Bellevue will be the No. 3 seed and Everett No. 4. The first round of the 16-team, single-elimination women’s tournament is March 11 at Everett Community College.

The PC men finished all alone in second place with a 9-5 record, one game behind 10-4 Shoreline. The Pirates open play in the 16-team single-elimination men’s tournament March 9 at Everett.

EDMONDS – The Pirates swept the Tritons at Edmonds Saturday and in doing so, the men clinched a spot in the 2017 NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament. The PC women had already punched their return ticket to the 16-team tournament.

Both the women and men wrap up North Division play Wednesday at Whatcom. The men (9-4, 18-7) still have an outside chance of tying for the league championship, but they would need to defeat the Orcas and they would also need Everett to upset Shoreline. The Pirate women (10-3, 18-8) need a win Wednesday to sew up second place and avoid a possible three-way tie with Bellevue and Everett for second, third and fourth places.

The top four teams from each of the NWAC’s four divisions qualify for the championship tournament. This year’s event is a single elimination format and all games will be played at the Everett Community College gym. The men will narrow the field from 16 to eight with eight games slated for March 9, and then from eight to four with four games on March 10. The Final Four is set for March 18-19 at Everett. The women’s opening round is March 11 and the second round is March 12. The women’s Final Four will also be played March 18-19 at Everett.

PORT ANGELES – Sophomore Night didn’t play out the way the Pirates and their fans were hoping, but both teams are still in position to advance to the 2017 NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament.

It will be the sixth straight year that head coach Ali Crumb will see post season action and, should the Pirate men win one of their final two games, it will be the third straight year for men’s head coach Mitch Freeman. The tournament gets under way March 9 in Everett and runs through March 19. The bracket will be announced on March 5.

After sweeping the Cardinals at Skagit Valley back on Jan. 25, the Cards turned the tables on Peninsula Wednesday, winning 66-59 in the women’s game and 89-87 in the men’s game.

The Pirate women (9-3, 17-8) slipped into a tie with Everett for second place with two games remaining. They could still claim a share of the North Division championship if they win out and if Everett or Edmonds were to defeat Skagit Valley (10-2, 20-6).

The PC men (8-4, 17-7) also dropped into second place and also would need to win out and then get some help from Olympic or Everett against first-place Shoreline (9-3, 16-7).

The Pirates travel to Edmonds Saturday for games at 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) and then finish out league play Wednesday at Whatcom.

PORT ANGELES – The Pirate women and men split with Everett Saturday night, but both teams remained in first place in a hotly-contested NWAC North Division with five games remaining in the regular season.

The women fell to Everett 77-71, but the men managed to outscore the Trojans 88-79 in the nightcap before a nice crowd on Pepsi Throwback Night.

The women now share first place with Bellevue and Skagit Valley, all at 7-2 in conference play. Everett is at 6-3, Shoreline 4-5 and Wednesday’s opponent, Olympic, is 3-6 in league play. The Pirates take on the Rangers at Bremerton at 5 p.m.

The Pirate men improved to 7-2, one game ahead of Bellevue and Shoreline, both at 6-3. The men play Olympic (2-7) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Rangers’ gym.

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