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Women's Basketball News

KENNEWICK – The Peninsula Pirates rode a wave of determination, talent, and unselfish team play through four rounds of a heavyweight fight at the Toyota Center, knocking out all four opponents by double figures, to win the first Northwest Athletic Conference championship in Peninsula College women’s basketball history.

Head coach Alison Crumb quietly wept as her players celebrated near center court Tuesday following their 85-75 win over heavily-favored Lane.

“The girls played tough the entire season,” Crumb said. “I think our toughness and depth showed during the end of games when we needed it. We hung around until we could find an opportunity to take over – and that is a winning quality.”

The NWAC North Division Coach of the Year also talked about the chemistry this team has.

“The girls believe in each other and will be connected forever,” she said. “I’m so proud of this team and the coaching staff. We may have been the only ones back in September who knew we would be in that moment, but that’s all that matters.”

Peninsula College will celebrate “that moment” at 2 p.m. Friday in the Pirate Union Building where President Dr. Luke Robins will host a ceremony that will feature both the NWAC champion women’s team and the third-place men’s team.

The championship victory was the 17th straight for the Pirates, who became the first North Division women’s team to win the NWAC championship since it came to the Toyota Center in Kennewick 14 years ago.

Sophomore Madison Pilster was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, freshman Zhara Laster made the All-Tournament First Team and Gabi Fenumiai was All-Tournament Second Team.

Peninsula finished 23-5 overall and 13-1 in North Division play, and became the seventh Pirate team in five years to win an NWAC championship. Since the 2010-11 year, the College has captured three men’s soccer titles, two women’s soccer titles, a men’s basketball title, and now its first women’s basketball championship award to add to the trophy case. The NWAC is comprised of 35 community colleges from Washington and Oregon.

PORT ANGELES – Head coach Alison Crumb has come full circle.

Her Pirates captured the 2015 North Division championship last week, marking the first time a Peninsula College women’s basketball team has done that since she donned a Pirate jersey herself back in 2005.

This year’s team, however, won the title with a 13-1 conference record, the best ever in the 17-year history of the program. The Pirates also rose to No. 4 in the final Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll, the highest ranking ever for a PC women’s basketball team.

“To win the North as a player and coach just shows how much of an impact Peninsula College has had on my collegiate, and now coaching, career,” Crumb said. “I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to play here and extremely thankful to begin my coaching career here. It’s very humbling to look back and think of all the memories that I have been a part of at Peninsula College. It’s had a profound impact on my life and I’m just very grateful.”

Her players too are grateful.

They take a 19-5 overall record into the NWAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed from the North, meeting first-time NWAC Tournament-qualifier Portland (6-6, 13-13) at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

PORT ANGELES – Peninsula College’s Alison Crumb was named North Division Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, Madison Pilster was named Most Valuable Player and eight other Pirates were honored as All-Conference selections were announced Monday by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.

Crumb, in her fifth year as head coach for Peninsula, was named North Division Coach of the Year following her teams’ first conference championship since Crumb was a Pirate herself in 2005.

“In just five years, Ali has established herself as one of the top women’s basketball coaches in the NWAC,” said Athletic Director Rick Ross. “She has worked very hard and she didn’t cut any corners. She is a tremendous coach, her players love and respect her, and we couldn’t be more proud of her achievement.”

The Port Angeles product admitted that the award is special to her.

“This award means a lot,” Crumb said, “because it shows growth in a program that I care a lot about.”

Following her graduation from Western Oregon University, she spent one year as an assistant coach and then was promoted to head coach in 2009.

“I had no idea what I was doing, and over the years, and with a lot of help, the program has become a championship contending program and that is important to me,” she said. “What is most important to me, however, is the ability to achieve this award with this group of women. We all care a lot for each other and they are as happy for me as I am for them.”

Come join the Peninsula College Pirates for our annual spring basketball camp! Friday we will be focusing on the fundamentals, and we will improve our skills through a variety of drills and competitive games. After we work hard and improve on Friday, we will make teams based on skill levels and come back Saturday for our camp tournament! Saturday will consist of live 5-on-5 games that will be both coached and officiated by our college athletes, and they are open to spectators so that everyone can come see you play! So if you want to have fun playing hoops, and improve your skills in the process, then sign up for our spring basketball camp today! Go Pirates!

Click "Read More" for all the details & how to sign up!

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 – 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.

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