COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Five Peninsula Pirates earn NWAACC all-region honors
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Peninsula’s Gabi Fenumiai, center, is surrounded by Whatcom’s Nikki Gilbert, front, and Kayla Tiemersma while going for a shot earlier this month.
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Gabi Fenumiai
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Madison Pilster
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Alison Knowles
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Xavier Bazile
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Daren Hechanova

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Five Peninsula College basketball players received NWAACC all-region recognition Tuesday.

The women's team, which opens the postseason against Columbia Basin on Saturday, had three players honored.

Gabi Fenumiai, a freshman post, was named to the All-North Region first team, and freshman wing Madison Pilster was selected for the second team as well as the All-Defensive team.

Guard Alison Knowles, a former Port Angeles High School standout, was picked to play in the NWAACC Sophomore All-Star Game.

Fenumiai, of Juneau, Alaska, leads the Pirates in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.4 and 11.9 boards per game.

She is tied for second in the NWAACC in rebounding and is 17th in scoring. She also has set a new school record for rebounds in a season, pulling down 287 in 24 games.

“Gabi has incredible balance and strength around the rim, with a knack for picking the ball up on rebounds,” women's head coach Alison Crumb said.

“She is a tough competitor and a force out on the floor.”

Pilster is Peninsula's second-leading scorer (14.5 ppg) and rebounder (8 rpg), and led the team with 1.9 steals per game.

“Madi is very competitive and aggressive,” Crumb said of the freshman from Blackfoot, Idaho.

“It's hard to match her enthusiasm and grit as a basketball player. Add to that her athleticism and she is tough defensively and offensively.”

Knowles broke the school record for 3-pointers made in a season (65 treys so far) and is third on the team with 13.8 points per game.

“Alison knows the game and is very smart,” Crumb said. “She is one of the rare pure shooters in the league and a great floor leader.”

The Sophomore All-Star game will be played next month at Pierce College.

Whatcom's Kortney Grattic was named the North Region MVP and Bellevue's Jori Hall is the Defensive MVP.

Jeremy Eggers of Bellevue was chosen as the Coach of the Year.

Bazile on first team

For the Peninsula men, Xavier Bazile was named to the North Region First Team and Daren Hechanova was chosen for the All-Defensive team.

Bazile, a sophomore from Tacoma, earned first team honors for the second straight year.

“Xavier had a tremendous career here at Peninsula,” men's head coach Mitch Freeman said.

“For the past two years, he's been one of the best scoring guards in the NWAACC. He has a bright future at the next level.”

Bazile ranked fifth in the NWAACC with a 23.8 points per-game scoring average.

Against Skagit Valley earlier this month, he set a new modern school record for points in game with 43. He also finishes his career with the highest two-year scoring average in modern school history, 21 points per game.

Along with scoring, Bazile led Peninsula in rebounding (7.8 per game) and steals (1.6).

Hechanova, a sophomore transfer from Gardena, Calif., was counted on heavily as a defender in his only season with the Pirates.

He often was utilized as an undersized post player, but also went man-to-man with some of the region's top players.

whether he was used as an undersized post player or a defensive stopper.

“Daren made a huge impact on the defensive end all year for us,” Freeman said.

“When we needed to stop the opposing team's best scorer, we went to Daren.”

Against Whatcom last month, Hechanova played a big role in slowing down Kyle Impero, the NWAACC's second-leading scorer and North Region MVP, in the Pirates' upset win over the North Region co-champion Orcas.

Everett's David Ware was chosen as the region's Defensive MVP and Whatcom's David Dunham was honored as the Coach of the Year.

Last modified: February 25. 2014 6:28PM
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