PORT ANGELES — Upset with what she viewed as an aimless performance from her team in an 88-55 NWAC North Region loss to Everett, Peninsula head coach Alison Crumb had an hour-long postgame discussion with her charges.
The Pirates (0-1, 2-11) struggled in their North opener Saturday, outgunned, outdefended and outworked by a bigger, deeper and more talented group of Trojans (2-0, 13-3).
Crumb could understand the defeat, but wouldn’t accept the manner in which it came.
Peninsula allowed Everett to connect on 36 of 67 shots from the floor, including hitting 21 of 30 attempts after halftime, while only knocking down 19 of 69 shots in the game.
“We weren’t close,” she said.
“I just don’t think we are being very smart defensively. We are doing things like sending three players to the ball and leaving a player wide open, not getting back in transition, just not making the offense uncomfortable. When the offense isn’t thinking about you they can pretty much do whatever they want. I just don’t think we created a presence on defense at all. We played really soft.
“They are a good team, they’ve only lost three games so you’ve got to play really, really hard, play above yourself if you expect to be in the game and we didn’t.”
Despite the previously mentioned shooting woes, Peninsula hung around in the early going, trailing 16-12 at one point in the second quarter.
But three back-to-back turnovers, a couple coming in back-court as Everett applied pressure defense, led to six straight Trojan points.
Everett closed the first half out on a 10-3 run and opened the third quarter with a 14-4 spurt for a commanding 48-27 advantage.
“They came on strong,” Crumb said of Everett. “They are just winners. They know when they aren’t playing well, they figure out a way to get back on track. Everett has a great coaching staff, a deep team, they are just a better team.”
On a rough night for the team, Peninsula did have one bright spot — the play of post Jamellia Clark. She scored 18 points on a relatively solid 7 of 16 shooting night. Clark also grabbed 12 rebounds.
“She’s always playing hard, she’s a great ball player,” Crumb said. “She could have made some more layups, but she saved us at times. She needs to get better at not flattening out her shot, but she’s doing well for herself.”
Crumb came away with a strong conclusion from the game.
“To be perfectly honest, I don’t think everyone on this team’s No. 1 priority is basketball,” she said. “We have a hard time getting our players to compete in practice. They’ll turn it on in games, but we have a lot of people with bad habits that aren’t working to correct those habits with hard work in practice and it’s frustrating.
“I know I will need to improve my recruiting going forward.”
Everett 88, Peninsula 55
Everett 13 24 27 24 — 88
Peninsula 6 17 16 16 — 55
Everett (55) — Biggerstaff 14, Chibuogwu 12, Edwards 12, Lopez 11, Taggart 11, Jackson 10, Bierer 9, Salem 7, Inthatirath 2.
Peninsula (88) — Clark 18, Sharp 12, Caci 9, Smith 8, Rodriguez 5, Alvarez 3, Moore.