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Women's Basketball News

OLYMPIA - The Pirates picked up their first win of the 2016-17 season Tuesday evening at South Puget Sound where the defending North Division champions shut down the Clippers 55-44.

The Peninsula women bolted out to a 23-7 first-quarter lead and then held on to win by 11.

Tai Thomas led the Pirates with 14 points and 7 rebounds, Yamilei Rodriguez added 13 points and 6 boards, and Alicia Dugan also had a strong night, chasing down 11 rebounds from her guard position and leading the team in assists with 5.

The road wasn’t kind to the Pirates, who tipped off their 2016-17 season with a pair of non-conference losses at Mt. Hood and Lower Columbia over the weekend.

The defending North Region champions fell to the Saints in a nail-biter on Saturday, 62-61. The Pirates went up 21-10 in the first quarter and led 36-29 at halftime, but gave up a 23-6 run by Mt. Hood in the third and couldn’t quite recover.

Alicia Dugan led the Pirates with 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals, Jenise McKnight added 16 points and seven boards and Tai Thomas contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

PORT ANGELES - Head coach Alison Crumb, who took her Peninsula College women's basketball team all the way to the NWAC championship game in 2016 and 2015, makes her first home appearance of the 2016-17 season at the Pirate Tipoff Friday, Nov. 4.

The Pirates will participate in a 3-point contest and may also play a short scrimmage, although coach Crumb says her team is pretty banged up after scrimmaging at Evergreen State College Sunday. The Pirate Tipoff event starts at 6 p.m. and also features the men's team. Admission is free.

After winning the first women's basketball NWAC championship in Peninsula College history in 2015, the Pirates won the North Division for the second straight year and made it all the way back to the final in 2016 where they fell to Lane. Peninsula went 25-6 overall and 13-1 in conference play in 2015-16.

The 2016-17 Pirates have big shoes to fill, but they're looking strong on the practice court and will complete their "road testing" with a scrimmage at Bellevue on Nov. 11. The PC women open non-conference play Nov. 19 at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. They will make their home debut at the First Federal Pirate Classic on Dec. 2. Pirate fans can check out the season schedule at www.gopcpirates.com.

Ali Crumb

PORT ANGELES – In just six years, head coach Alison Crumb has established Pirate basketball as the top community college women’s basketball program in Washington State.

Her Peninsula College team made back-to-back appearances in the Northwest Athletic Conference championship, winning the title in 2015 and placing second in 2016.

The sophomore-dominated 2015-16 Pirates finished 25-6 overall, and 13-1 in North Region play, winning their second straight North title. The 25 wins is the most in the 19-year history of women’s basketball at Peninsula College.

Coach Crumb was named North Region Coach of the Year, Cierra Moss, Imani Smith and Zhara Laster were named to the NWAC Basketball Championships All-Tournament Team, the same three players were named All-North Region, and the Pirates also placed Nika Criddle, Savanna Gonzales, Amanda Hutchins, Cierra Moss, Cherish Moss and Imani Smith on the NWAC All-Academic Team.

“It was sad to see their season end,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean for Athletics and Student Life. “Not just because they fell short of back-to-back NWAC titles, but also because it was the last time we got to see these outstanding young women play together. It was a special group. It will be exciting to see where they all move on to.”

“Congratulations to coach Crumb and her staff bringing those high-character athletes to Peninsula College and for leading them back to the NWAC finals,” Ross added. “We had a great crowd that braved the weather to be there in Everett to support them Sunday. We have the best fans in the NWAC!”

The road to the post season saw the PC women win the North Region again with a 13-1 record and then dismantle the South Region’s fourth-seed, Treasure Valley, 71-55 in the first round of the NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament.

That propelled Peninsula into the Final Eight at Everett where the Pirates, ranked third in the NWAC Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll, opened with a 70-67 win over second-ranked Umpqua on Thursday morning in the quarterfinal round.

Imani Smith

PORT ANGELES – The defending NWAC champion Pirates, ranked third in the latest Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll, overwhelmed Treasure Valley Saturday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016 NWAC Basketball Championship Tournament.

Peninsula College, 23-5, will take on Umpqua, 25-6, at 10 a.m. Thursday at Everett Community College. It will be a rematch of last year’s NWAC Semifinal, won by the Pirates, and the first meeting of the two teams in 2015-16.

The North Region champion Pirates advanced with a 71-55 win over the Chukars. The Riverhawks, who placed second in the South Region, advanced with a 93-75 romp over Grays Harbor.

Peninsula bolted out to a shocking 25-5 lead at the end of the first quarter as the Treasure Valley team showed signs of having just made a 571-mile bus trip. It was 38-13 at the half and, to the delight of a huge home crowd, the game was essentially over.

The PC women hit 46 percent from the floor and were 8/17 for 47 percent from three-point range, while the swarming Pirate defense held the Chukars to 31 percent from the floor and only 16 percent from beyond the arc.

Peninsula College All-Region

PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College’s Cierra Moss, Imani Smith and Zhara Laster were named All-North Region, the Pirates placed six on the NWAC All-Academic Team, and Alison Crumb was named Coach of the Year, as announced by the Northwest Athletic Conference this week.

Moss, a sophomore guard from Neah Bay, and Smith, a sophomore guard from Ontario, California, were both named First Team All-Region. Moss leads the Pirates in scoring at 15.58 points per game and Smith, the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.26 points per game, is second in assists with 72, second in rebounding with 106 and second in steals with 74. She was also named to the All-Defensive Team.

Laster, a sophomore who now calls Port Angeles home, was named North Region Defensive Player of the Year, and was also Second Team All-Region. She broke the school record in steals, currently with 86, she leads the team in assists with 77 and she leads the team in rebounds with 274, a 10.15 per game average.

Coach Crumb won the North Region Coach of the Year Award for the second straight year. She was also named NWAC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 2015.

SHORELINE – The stage is set for the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference’s 2016 Basketball Championship Tournament – and for the Peninsula College men and women, it starts at home.

The Pirates host two first round playoff games Saturday.

The two-time defending North Region champion PC women (13-1, 22-5), ranked fifth in the latest Alaska Airlines NWAC Coaches Poll, take on the East Region’s fourth-place Treasure Valley (9-5, 18-10), an unranked team from Ontario, Oregon, at 3 p.m.

Following that game, the fifth-ranked Pirate men (11-3, 18-10), who captured their first North Region men’s basketball title since 2008, will host unranked Chemeketa (9-7, 18-11), the fourth-place team from the South Region out of Salem, Oregon, at 5 p.m.

The first round of the new format for the NWAC tournament is single elimination. The eight women’s and men’s winners then will advance to a modified double-elimination tournament that starts on March 10 for the women and March 11 for the men at Everett Community College. The trophy round is set for March 13 for women and men. Women’s bracket. Men’s bracket.

The NWAC established ticket prices for the playoffs as follows: $10 for adults; $7 for youth 7-17, for seniors (60-over) and for active military, and free admission to current college students and children 6-under. Peninsula College is not allowed to accept Pirate season passes. NWAC Tournament programs will be sold for $6.

MOUNT VERNON – For the first time in history, the four sports teams at Peninsula College all won region championships.

The Peninsula College women’s basketball team completed the sweep Wednesday night in a hard-fought 80-68 win at Skagit Valley, and by doing so clinched the No. 1 seed from the Northwest Athletic Conference’s North Region, a first-round home playoff game, and no less than a share of the region championship.

The Pirate men, who claimed the North Region championship on Saturday, also prevailed Wednesday, outscoring the Cardinals 78-73.

Following the Pirate soccer teams’ North Region titles in the fall, Peninsula College made it a sweep for the first time in the College’s 54-year sports history.

The NWAC First Round Playoff picture is now coming into focus with one game remaining on the regular season schedule. It will feature a women’s and men’s doubleheader on March 5 in the Pirate gym. The PC women will host the fourth-place finisher from the East Region, most likely Treasure Valley, at 3 p.m., followed by a second playoff game matching the Pirate men against the fourth-place finisher from the South Region, which appears to be Chemeketa, at 5 p.m.

Pirate womens basketball celebration

PORT ANGELES – Sophomore Night 2016 will long be remembered by Pirate basketball fans.

A standing-room-only crowd not only enjoyed the recognition ceremony for 16 sophomores for their outstanding contribution to Pirate basketball, but they got to see those same sophs contribute that very night to two thrilling wins over Bellevue – one of those resulting in a North Division championship.

The Pirate women overcame a 20-point deficit to edge the Bulldogs 62-60, while the men also went down to the wire, coming back in the final minutes to defeat Bellevue 68-64 and securing their first North Division championship since 2008.

With their eighth-straight win, the PC men improved to 10-2 in conference play and 17-9 overall, while Whatcom and Everett are tied for second at 7-5 with just two games remaining. The Pirates, who previously won division titles in 2007-08 and 1999-2000, will host a first-round Northwest Athletic Conference Regional Playoff at 5 p.m. on March 5 against the fourth-place team from the South Division, most likely Chemeketa or Umpqua.

The PC women, who extended their win streak to seven games

Imani Smith

PORT ANGELES – The Pirate men avenged one of only two North Division losses by beating Olympic 72-58 to push their win streak to seven games, while the PC women overcame a sloppy first half to stop the Rangers 81-59, pushing their win streak to six.

Both Peninsula teams have clinched playoff spots and both control their destiny on the path toward a conference championship.

The men are 9-2, 16-9 overall, and now three games ahead of Edmonds, Whatcom and Everett, all tied for second place in the North standings at 6-5. The Pirates host a red-hot Bellevue team (5-6, 14-12) at 6 p.m. Saturday for Peninsula’s “Sophomore Night.”

The women are 10-1 in conference and 19-5 overall and tied for first with Bellevue (10-1, 20-4). Saturday’s “Sophomore Night” showdown against Bellevue will have a lot to say about who might win the North. Skagit Valley is 9-2, 19-8, and currently in second place. The Pirates close out their regular season schedule at Skagit Valley next Wednesday and then at Shoreline on Feb. 27.

The “Sophomore Night” celebration for Peninsula’s women and men is scheduled to start following the women’s game at approximately 5:40 p.m. Saturday.