By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Peninsula sophomore guard Alison Knowles looked capable of defeating the Tritons single-handedly in the early going of Wednesday's contest, the first home game of the season for the Pirate women.
Knowles connected on her first four field-goal attempts, the first three baskets coming from behind the 3-point line, as the Pirates (1-1, 4-8) raced out to an 11-0 lead with 16 minutes left in the half.
She pushed the Peninsula lead to 21-7 on her fourth straight trey with 10:30 to play before halftime.
Knowles ended up with 16 first-half points and 25 on the game to lead all scorers.
The hot-shooting Knowles wasn't the only strong offensive presence in the first half for the Pirates, who shot 56-percent as a team on 14 of 25 shooting, including a blistering 7 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Point guard Olivia Henderson hit two 3-pointers and had eight points and three assists in the first half, while guard Marissa Schwimmer came off the bench to total seven points on 3 of 4 shooting from the floor, including a 3-pointer.
Henderson finished with 14 points and seven assists, and Schwimmer ended up with nine points.
“We attacked much better and got better ball movement. The more you make a defense move and react, the harder it is for the defense to cover for the full 30 seconds [of the shot clock],” Peninsula coach Alison Crumb said.
“Tonight, I think we possessed our defenders very well and did a good job of getting into the lane and finding the open player.”
Peninsula had a decided advantage on the glass in the first half, outrebounding the Tritons 25-16 overall.
The Pirates lead ballooned to 39-15, before a 7-0 Edmonds run closed out the half, with Peninsula on top 39-22.
Edmonds inched closer, pushing the run to 10-0 as Jasmine McEachin was fouled while hitting a basket and knocked down her free throw try to open the second half.
Peninsula countered, with Knowles draining her fifth 3-pointer of the game and following it up with a layup for the Pirates' largest lead of the night, 50-25 with 15:28 to play.
The Tritons went on a 22-9 run to trim the lead to 59-47 with just more than six minutes to go but could come no closer down the stretch.
“Our goal with the big lead at half was to let the team know that we haven't played a complete, 40-minute game yet,” Crumb said.
“I've seen 20 minutes before, and I want 40.
“I don't think we got that tonight, I think we were around 30 minutes, but we're building to it and I'm excited to feel that we are getting closer and playing with more composure, effort and intensity.”
Peninsula travels to face Skagit Valley (1-1, 9-5) at 5 p.m. Saturday in Mount Vernon.
Peninsula 71, Edmonds 57
Edmonds 22 35— 57
Peninsula 39 32— 71
McEachin 18, Smythe 15, Greene 12, Miyagi .
Knowles 25, Henderson 14, Fenumiai 13, Schwimmer 9, Pilster 6, Brumbaugh 4.
Edmonds 75, Peninsula 66
Peninsula's inability to defend the post, specifically Edmonds' 6-foot-5 center Zach Pederson, coupled with a cold shooting stroke, led to the Pirate's fourth straight loss.
Pederson was unstoppable offensively in both halves for the Tritons, pouring in 14 by halftime on his way to a game-high 32 points, along with eight rebounds.
“He's a good player [Pederson], but we lack some interior presence right now,” Pirates coach Mitch Freeman said.
“We are trying to make up for it in other ways, with more pressure defense and more help-side defense, and bring some more help to [offset] our lack of inside players, but we didn't have enough tonight.”
The Pirates (0-2, 6-5) managed to hit just 25 of 76 of their field-goal attempts as a team or 32.9 percent, and were outrebounded 52-37 for the game.
Xavier Bazile led Peninsula with 23 points, shooting 7 of 22 from the field and hitting 8 of 8 from the free throw line.
Bazile was hounded all night long by Edmonds' designated defensive stopper Mitchl Pohrman.
“I thought Edmonds took some stuff away from us in our man-to-man offensive scheme, and their pressure defense led us to make some mistakes,” Freeman said.
The Tritons took their largest lead in the first half, 36-26 on a 3-point basket by Ramsey Rosales with 2:03 to go, before buckets by Peninsula's Daren Hechanova and Bazile trimmed the margin to 36-30 at half.
Edmonds pushed the lead to 44-34 before Peninsula's Tyler McKinney heated up from outside.
McKinney knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Pirates within four at 44-40 with 15:34, and hit a third trey with 13:06 to play to make it 48-45.
McKinney had 20 points for the Pirates.
After an Edmonds timeout, the Tritons went back down low on offense to feed a 14-4 run in just under five minutes of play.
The run included eight straight points in the paint by Pederson as Edmonds went up 62-49 with 8:11 remaining.
“They went right into Pederson [after the timeout], they were determined to go inside and he got some good looks,” Freeman said of the Edmonds run.
“We were trying to keep him from getting touches in the paint because he is so effective around the basket, but we just didn't stop him.”
Peninsula College got back within 10 points with 2:24 to play, but the Tritons hit 8 of 8 free throws in the final minutes to close the game out.
The Pirates face a surging Skagit Valley (2-0, 8-6), winners of three straight games, on the road at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Edmonds 75, Peninsula 66
Edmonds 36 39— 75
Peninsula 30 36— 66
Pederson 32, Omondi 12, Maxie 10, Pohrman 7, Rosales 3, Margasa 2.
Bazile 23, McKinney 20, Horsley 8, Hechanova 6, Rawls 4, Shamlin 3, Flowers 2.