By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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The third-ranked Cardinals beat the Pirates 78-73, sending Peninsula to a 4-5 division record and two games back of Edmonds for the North's fourth and final berth into next month's NWAACC Championships.
In the women's game that opened the doubleheader, the Pirates lost a 17-point halftime lead to fall 70-67.
Bazile's 3-bank gave him 43 points, which surpassed the previous Peninsula record of 41 scored by former Sequim High School standout Ryan Rutherford in Jan. 2010.
Bazile also passed Taylor Larson, who scored 41 for the Pirate women against Everett on Feb. 13, 2013.
“It feels good,” Bazile said after Saturday's game. “We lost, but it feels good.
“It was a close one. They just executed down the stretch and they did what they needed to as a team to get the victory.”
Peninsula played Skagit Valley tight throughout the second half, using a 17-4 run to flip a 11-point deficit into a two-point lead midway through the second session.
Bazile penetrated and dished to Terrell Penney for a 3-pointer that gave the Pirates their first lead of the game, 53-51, with 10:54 left.
Peninsula stayed close for the next six minutes before Skagit Valley pulled away with a 10-2 run over four minutes that gave them a 73-66 lead with 34 seconds to play.
“Skagit's a good basketball team. I thought our guys played hard,” Peninsula coach Mitch Freeman said.
“We tried to execute on the offense end, which I thought we did, and we played well defensively.
“We just gave up a few too many rebounds and turned the ball over a few too many times.
“When it comes down to a possession or two, those possessions are so important, and when they have extra rebounds or an extra possession off of turnovers, it's hard.”
Skagit Valley controlled the first half, jumping out to an 18-9 lead after seven minutes and keeping the Pirates at a similar distance for most of the half.
But the Cardinals struggled to contain Bazile, who scored the last eight points of the half to cut a 12-point deficit to 36-32 at halftime.
Bazile had 21 points in the first half, making 9 of 13 from the field.
He made 5 of 13 shots in the second half, doing most of his damage at the foul line where he shot 11 for 13 after halftime.
“He can score. It's pretty evident. He's able to get where he wants when he wants. He got to the free-throw line, he's able to knock down shots from the outside,” Freeman said.
“He was really aggressive tonight. He's a heck of an offensive player.”
Bazile finished 14 of 26 from the field (his 26 field-goal attempts breaks the school record set by current USC player JT Terrell, who hoisted 23 shots for Peninsula in Nov. 2011), 3 of 8 on 3-pointers and 12 for 16 at the foul line.
The rest of the Pirates struggled to find their shooting touch, making only 10 of 37 shots.
Markus Rawls scored seven points and Juwan Flowers had six.
Flower led Peninsula with seven rebounds.
The loss to Skagit Valley (8-2, 15-8) was a big blow to the Pirates' postseason hopes.
With four games to play, Peninsula (4-6, 10-9) need a total collapse by either Edmonds (6-4, 14-9) or Bellevue (7-3, 13-9).
The Pirates also need Everett, their next opponent, to drop a few games.
The Trojans (5-5, 14-10) are currently in fifth place in the North, one game ahead of Peninsula.
The Pirates travel to face Everett on Wednesday before playing at last-place Olympic (1-9, 1-19) on Saturday.
“We just got to win out,” Bazile said.
“There's no other option. If we want to get to the postseason, we just got to win both games.”
NOTES: With only four games left in the season, Peninsula's modern records for season and career scoring should be safe.
Bazile would need to average 41.3 points per game to beat Brad Oleson's single-season mark of 595 points (2001-02).
He would need to average 48 points to surpass Garrett Abbott's career scoring record of 993 points (1997-99). Bazile scored 430 points last season and has 371 so far this year.
However, Bazile is on pace to top Oleson's 21.3 points per game single-season scoring average (2001-02) and the 18.3 career scoring average of Tony Burke (1997-99).
■ Speaking of the 1997-99 Peninsula Pirates, Skagit Valley is coached by Brock Veltri, who played at Peninsula during those two seasons.
■ Dustin Watts, who scored 12 points off the bench for the Cardinals, committed to play at Peninsula College in April 2013 before former coach Lance Von Vogt left for William Jessup University.
Skagit Valley 78, Peninsula 73
Skagit Valley 36 42— 78
Peninsula 32 41— 73
Skagit Valley (78)
Smith 11, Payne 2, Watts 12, Garcia 3, Cox 8, Diggs 13, Billingsly 10, Barnes 17, Ladines 2.
Bazile 43, Shamlin 2, Horsley 5, McKinney 5, Flowers 6, Rawls 7, Penney 3, Hechanova 2.
Skagit Valley 70, Peninsula 67
Though not as detrimental to their postseason hopes as the men's setback, the Pirate women's loss was no less devastating.
Peninsula led most of the first half before really turning it on with a 20-3 run over the last 7:36 to take a 43-26 lead into intermission.
In the second half, the Pirates struggled to make shots, going only 7 of 21 in the final 20 minutes.
Peninsula used a lot of the shot clock on most possessions and made 9 of 12 free throws, which slowed Skagit Valley's comeback.
But the Cardinals cut the lead to 58-57 with 5:48 to play.
The Pirates made a short charge, with Alison Knowles setting up Madison Pilster for a 3-pointer and Pherrari Brumbaugh passing into the post where Gabi Fenumiai scored two of her game-high 24 points.
That made it 63-57, but Skagit Valley went on a 10-2 run to take a 67-65 lead.
Knowles then scored on a drive that rolled around before dropping through the net, tying the game at 67 with 32 seconds left.
After a timeout, the Cardinals set up Taylor Graham, who was fouled on a 3-pointer by Olivia Henderson with four seconds to play.
Graham hit all three free throws, and Knowles' desperation 3 was aimed well but fell short at the buzzer.
Pilster scored 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates and Knowles scored eight points.
Peninsula (5-5, 8-12) would have moved into a tie for third with Skagit Valley (7-3, 16-7) in the NWAACC North Division with a win, but still sits in fourth place, tied with Everett (5-5, 8-15), which the Pirates play Wednesday on the road.
Peninsula beat Everett 92-69 in Port Angeles last month.
Skagit Valley 70, Peninsula 67
Skagit Valley 26 44— 70
Peninsula 43 24— 67
Skagit Valley (70)
Turrieta 1, Wood 2, Duncan 3, Brown 19, Kelleigh 13, Graham 13, Poradun 4, Wilson 10, Stadt 5.
Henderson 7, Pilster 18, Fenumiai 24, Knowles 8, Schmillen 6, Brumbaugh 4.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.