Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Taylor Larson closed in on the Peninsula College women’s basketball record books when she scored 34 points in the Pirates’ 84-68 win over Shoreline on Wednesday.
Larson, a sophomore post from Juneau, Alaska, came within one point of her own single-game school record of 35 points, but also positioned herself just 40 points away from the school’s career scoring mark, held by Courtney Bridges.
Bridges, who played from 1998-2000, scored 794 points. With 470 points as a freshman — which itself is a single-season school record — and 284 points so far this season, Larson has 754 points in her career.
On Wednesday, she made 16 of 22 field goals.
“Her footwork is so good offensively, and she’s so strong with the ball,” Peninsula coach Alison Crumb said.
“She works so good on her position early that by the time she gets the ball, they can’t do anything to stop her.
“[An opposing] team has to do something about that defensively in order for them to have a chance at winning. And when they do, then we have other people that can step up.”
Larson isn’t the only one about to rewrite Pirates history.
Sophomore point guard Karli Brakes, who played with Larson at Juneau-Douglas High School, dished out 13 assists against the Dolphins to move her within 17 dimes of Vanika Dickerson’s school record of 254.
Brakes and Dickerson (1999-2001) already share the Peninsula College mark for assists in a season with 152.
Brakes’ 13 assists were one short of the single-game record she set in Feb. 2012.
“Karli’s one of the best point guards in the league,” Crumb said.
“She’s not an incredibly aggressive scorer, but she gets other people the ball because she’s attacking the gaps.
“Those two players played together in high school, so there’s a reason why when Karli has 13 assists, Taylor has 34 points.
“I know, and everybody can kind of figure out, that when Karli has the ball and she’s attacking, there’s one person she’s going for, and it’s Taylor. She just knows where she’s at.”
Brakes also had six steals in the game.
The Pirates as a whole played an unselfish game against Shoreline, racking up 31 assists.
Pherrari Brumbaugh handed out seven assists and Jesse Ellis had five.
“I like how we distributed the ball,” Crumb said.
“On a matchup level, I think we could have played [one-on-one] more, and we chose not to, we chose to get more people involved and move the ball well.
“That will benefit us in the future if we have that mentality of more touches, looking for better shots.”
Peninsula improves to 9-7 on the season and 4-2 in the NWAACC North Division, which ties them for second place with Skagit Valley.
Whatcom and Bellevue are atop the standings at 5-1 in division play.
Although the Pirates have a lot going for them right now, how they finish out the season will probably depend on their health.
Starting guard and second-leading scorer Jasmine Yarde missed Wednesday’s game with a knee injury.
Yarde could be back in time for Saturday’s road tilt against league-leading Bellevue.
“I expect her to play Saturday, mainly because she said, ‘Coach, I’m not missing another game,” Crumb said.
“Ultimately, I have the final say in that, but my kids want to play. They’re gamers.”
One of those gamers is Ellis, who recently returned from stress fracture in her foot. The fracture has healed, but now the sophomore is dealing with ankle weakness.
She limped through much of the game after rolling her ankle, but still put up 16 points on 7 for 11 shooting, with five assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Even playing limited minutes, Ellis is crucial to the Pirates’ success.
“Jesse sees the floor better than anyone I’ve ever seen. She doesn’t play off emotion, the doesn’t play off big plays,” Crumb said.
“She plays the game very, very smart, and when she’s on the floor she makes everybody else better.
“If we can keep her healthy, we’re going to be a really good team.”
Of course, the silver lining to injuries is it offers valuable playing experience to other players, such as Brumbaugh, who started in place of Yarde, and former Port Angeles High School standout Alison Knowles.
“This has been a hard year. We’ve had one game where we had our traditional five starters [in the] starting [lineup],” Crumb said.
“What that has done for us on a positive note is I’ve had players come off the bench who have gained some confidence and built some leadership, like Pherrari, like Alison Knowles, coming and giving us great minutes.
“We’re banged up in all aspects. But if we can get there at the end of the season where we have everybody able to play, we’ll be better for it.”
Knowles finished with 11 points, including 3 for 8 3-point shooting, and Brumbaugh had four steals to go along with her seven assists.
Abigail Jones also scored in double figures for the Peninsula with 11 points.
PORT ANGELES — The Pirates outscored the Dolphins 69-56 in the second half to earn the NWAACC North Division victory.
The teams were tied 52-52 at halftime, and the scored remained close for most of the second half until Peninsula slowly pulled away in the last seven minutes.
Pirates coach Lance Von Vogt credited his team’s depth and improved defense with overcoming Shoreline’s up-tempo style.
“We haven’t played at that pace before, so we were getting a feel for that in the first half,” Von Vogt said.
“I thought we did a great job adjusting in the second half.”
The fast pace tends to fill up a box score.
Peninsula had seven players score in double figures with four of those notching double-doubles.
Salim Gloyd topped the Pirates with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Leading scorer Xavier Bazile overcame a slow start to score 18 points and pull down 10 boards. He also tallied six assists.
“In the second half, he did a terrific job of making the right decisions and getting rebounds,” Von Vogt said of Bazile.
Djuan Smith tied Gloyd for the team-high in rebounds with 12 to go along with his 14 points.
Point guard TreShawn King Dunbar dished out 12 assists and scored 16 points.
“Tre made the right decisions with the ball,” Von Vogt said.
Other double-figure scorers were Gatpan Panoam and Matt Visser with 14 points apiece, Donald Gaddy with 11 and Aaron Clark with 10 points.
Gaddy was a catalyst in one of the game’s most exciting stretches when he followed a Smith-to-Panoam alley-oop in the first half with two consecutive dunks of his own.
The Pirates (5-1, 14-5) travel to face Bellevue (3-3, 11-7) on Saturday.
Gloyd, a freshman from Seattle, was named the NWAACC Player of the Week for the second time season after a 30-point and 11-rebound game against Everett and a 20-point, 20-rebound performance against Olympic last week.
The Peninsula men are still No. 1 in the latest NWAACC RPI rankings. To see the full men’s and women’s RPI, visit http://tinyurl.com/NWAACRPI.