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Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College’s record-setting duo was at it again Wednesday night.
Karli Brakes dished out a school-record 15 assists and Taylor Larson scored a school record 41 points to lead the Pirates over the Everett Trojans 87-73 in a key NWAACC North Division matchup.
Brakes and Larson broke their own records, which were set last season. Brakes had 14 assists against Edmonds in Feb. 2012, and Larson scored 35 points against Olympic a few weeks earlier.
Brakes was also honored after the game for breaking Peninsula’s career assist mark.
Last week, she surpassed the mark of 254 assists set by Vanika Dickerson, who played from 1999-2001. Brakes now has 280 assists.
Larson broke Peninsula’s all-time scoring record last week.
Brakes and Larson have been playing basketball together since the where sixth graders in Juneau, Alaska.
“Taylor breaks the scoring record, Karli breaks the assist record . . . it’s not a coincidence,” Peninsula coach Alison Crumb said.
“Those two play very, very well together.”
Crumb previously owned the single-game assists record with 11, which she set in 2004.
“Karli, when I first recruited her, I didn’t even say anything about my record, but she’s like, ‘Coach, I’m coming after your assist record,’” Crumb said.
“I said, ‘OK. If anybody’s going to beat it, you’ve got to beat it.’
“She’s a far better passer than I ever was, so I’m glad she’s on my team.
“Karli is one of the best ball-handlers and the quickest, most unselfish point guards I’ve ever coached. It has been an absolute dream to coach her. She is the heart and soul of our team.”
Larson and Brakes admitted they had their own records in their crosshairs Wednesday night.
“At halftime, we told each other that we were going to break our records, so she was mainly just trying to get me the ball,” Larson said.
“We knew we were close.”
Brakes’ and Larson’s statistics belie the team effort that went into the Pirates win over the Trojans.
Abby Jones and Jasmine Yarde each had five assists and Jesse Ellis had four. In all, Peninsula assisted on 34 of its 40 field goals and shot 53 percent from the field.
Obviously, there were many Brakes-to-Larson scoring hookups, but there were other connections as well, such as Yarde-to-Pherrari Brumbaugh-to-Ellis-to-Jones and Brakes-to-Ellis-to-Jones-to-Larson, as the ball ping-pong’d until a good shot was available.
And it wasn’t as if Larson was forcing shots. She made 18 of 21 shots from the field (and went 5 for 5 from the free-throw line), and rarely took a shot outside of her comfort zone in the left post.
“We have a very, very unselfish team, even though one of our players scored almost half our points,” Crumb said.
“We know what’s a high-percentage shot. They’ll make that extra pass to get it there.
“It’s not that Taylor wants to score so much, she just gets the ball in the position to make baskets.”
Brakes, like Larson, credits their teammates for their school records.
“It’s great, but I couldn’t have done it unless my teammates had made their shots,” Brakes said.
Yarde finished with 14 points Wednesday, along six steals and five rebounds, and Jones came close to her second career double-double with 10 points and nine boards.
Jonica Durbin contributed eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Brakes scored two points, making the only field goal she attempted in the game.
She doesn’t necessarily like racking up assists more than points, but said her teammates are just better at scoring.
“I do have a little bit of a confidence issue when it comes to shooting the ball; I feel like there are higher percentage shooters on the team,” Brakes said.
“I like to think of myself as a true point guard.
“My main goal just not to lose the ball and be able to give my teammates the opportunity to put the ball in the hoop, and being able to control the tempo of the game when people are frantic, and just leading the team to a victory.”
Historically speaking, Wednesday’s game will be significant because of what Larson and Brakes accomplished.
But for the 2012-13 season, the game was more important because the Pirates beat the Trojans.
The teams came into the game tied for the North Division’s fourth playoff spot.
Now Peninsula (7-4, 12-9) has the upper hand with three games to play.
They host Olympic (0-11) on Saturday, play at Shoreline (3-8) on Wednesday and finish the season at home against Bellevue (9-2), which is tied with Skagit Valley and Whatcom at the top of the division.
The Pirates have gone 3-0 in their remaining opponents.
Larson and Brakes are both on the verge of break their own single-season records.
Larson needs 61 points to surpass the 470 she scored last season, while Brakes is 24 assists from the 152 dished out in 2011-12. Brakes shares this record with Dickerson.
Everett (6-5), meanwhile, concludes with a tougher road, with home games against Skagit Valley and Edmonds (1-10) and a road contest at Whatcom.
Everett 105 OT
PORT ANGELES — The men’s team earned a victory that was critical on a few different levels.
Not only did the Pirates beat team that was a game ahead of them in the standings, but they halted a four-game losing streak.
Now, Peninsula (6-5, 15-9) and Everett (6-5, 13-10) are tied for third in the NWAACC North Division standings at 6-5.
Neither team wanted to concede this game.
Peninsula overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to make the second half a back-and-forth slugfest.
Everett led 95-89 with less than a minute to play, and the Pirates appeared headed for their fifth straight loss.
But Xavier Bazile swished a contested 3-pointer to cut Everett’s lead in half with 43 second remaining.
After Peninsula’s defense made a stop, TreShawn King Dunbar passed the ball to Bazile, who again drilled a 3 with a defender in his face.
In overtime, the Pirates used a pair of King Dunbar free throws, a field goal free throw by Bazile, a huge 3-pointer from Matt Visser and a field goal and three free throws by Donald Gaddy to build a three-point lead.
A swarm of Peninsula defenders prevented Everett from attempting a game-tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Bazile finished with a career-high 32 points, including 4 for 7 from 3-point range.
Djuan Smith scored 20 points and hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds.
Gaddy went 10 for 14 at the free-throw line and finished with 18 points and seven boards, and Gatpan Panaom scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots.
King Dunbar dished out nine assists and contributed six points.
The Pirates will look for another win Saturday when they host North Division cellar-dweller Olympic (0-11, 1-19).