SPORTS: Peninsula College women’s basketball team makes playoffs; men one win away

Peninsula Daily News

SHORELINE — The Peninsula College women clinched a berth in the 2013 NWAACC Basketball Championship Tournament with a win at Shoreline on Wednesday while the men, who fell to the Dolphins in overtime, will try to do the same when they host Bellevue for their final regular season home game Saturday.

Saturday is “Sophomore Night” at Peninsula, when the Pirates women and men will honor players making their final regular season home appearance.

It also will be a big night for the Peninsula men, who need a win over Bellevue to clinch one of four North Division berths in the NWAACC Tournament.

The Pirates are 7-6 in North Division play and are sitting alone in fourth place, one game ahead of Bellevue and Shoreline, each at 6-7.

A Bellevue win Saturday forces a two- or possibly three-way tie for fourth place, and would set up a playoff game Monday or Tuesday at Bellevue.

The Pirate women, meanwhile, are going to the tournament as the No. 4 seed from the North, and will play West Division champion Centralia at
2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick in the first round of the 16-team tournament.

Women’s Basketball
Peninsula 85, Shoreline 61

SHORELINE — The Pirates needed a win to punch their ticket to Kennewick, but they were without all-time scoring leader Taylor Larson, who suffered a partial tear to her anterior cruciate ligament in Saturday’s win over Olympic.

Their back-up post, Jonica Durbin, who on Saturday broke Peninsula’s all-time single season blocked shots record, broke her thumb in a warm-up drill.

The rest of the team stepped up, however, bolting out to a 45-25 halftime lead en route to a 24-point win.

Jesse Ellis led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds from her guard position while Abby Jones, who played post for most of the game, also hit for 18.

Jasmine Yarde also had a big night with 17 while Alison Knowles sank four 3-pointers to finish with 12 and Durbin, who played with the injury, added eight.

Saturday’s regular season finale, which tips off at 5 p.m., matches conference-leading Bellevue (11-2) against the Pirates (9-4) and could affect the seeding for both teams.

Saturday’s result otherwise will have no bearing on the playoff picture.

Men’s Basketball
Shoreline 112, Peninsula 98 OT

SHORELINE — The Pirates, who overcame a 14-point deficit with just over 12 minutes remaining to tie the game at 87-87 with 43 seconds remaining, had the ball and a chance to win the game, but Donald Gaddy’s shot in the paint fell short and the Dolphins then missed a close-range shot of their own in the final seconds to send the game into overtime.

In the extra five-minute period, the Dolphins went out in front 5-0 on two perimeter shots and simply could not miss, hitting all nine of their attempts to bury the Pirates 25-11, en route to the 14-point victory.

The Pirates, who suffered from some chilly free throw shooting (8 of 17 for 47 percent), played a brilliant second half, holding the NWAACC’s highest scoring team to just 37 points — but it wasn’t enough.

Djuan Smith led the Pirates with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Gaddy had a good game attacking the basket for 21 points.

Xavier Bazile hit for 18 points and also posted a double-double with 14 boards, while Aaron Clark added 15 points and nine rebounds and TreShawn King Dunbar chipped in eight points in limited minutes.

Last modified: February 21. 2013 5:37PM
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