Peninsula’s Jamellia Clark, center, is defended by Umpqua’s Merrily Jones, left, and Dajanay Powell, during the Pirates’ 83-62 loss to Umpqua at the NWAC Women’s Basketball Championships at Everett Community College on Thursday. Jay Cline

Peninsula’s Jamellia Clark, center, is defended by Umpqua’s Merrily Jones, left, and Dajanay Powell, during the Pirates’ 83-62 loss to Umpqua at the NWAC Women’s Basketball Championships at Everett Community College on Thursday. Jay Cline

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Peninsula stay scrappy in NWAC Tournament loss to top-ranked Umpqua

EVERETT — The Peninsula College women’s basketball season came to a close with an 83-62 loss to No. 1 Umpqua in the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Championships at Everett Community College on Thursday.

Peninsula (8-17) took on a superior opponent in the Riverhawks (28-1), absorbed Umpqua’s best shot in the early going and after halftime, but stayed with it and left Pirates head coach Alison Crumb proud of her team’s efforts.

“I think we played really scrappy,” Crumb said. “We were outmatched for sure, they are big at multiple positions, and we couldn’t get over the hump against them. “They’ve been the No. 1 ranked team all year and we expected to have our work cut out for us, and I’m proud of our girls for hanging tight and playing the whole 40 minutes.”

Umpqua’s 6-foot-3 post Dajanay Powell made things difficult on the inside from the opening tip, scoring 26 points on 13 of 21 shooting with 14 rebounds in just 21 minutes of play. The Riverhawks’ tallest player, 6-4 shooter Jordan Stotler, hurt the Pirates from the outside, knocking down 3 of 5 3-point attempts on her way to 21 points.

“Those are two [NCAA] Division 1-[caliber] players on the same team,” Crumb said. “And our tallest players are about the size of their guards. We lost to a better team and that happens sometimes.”

Freshman Ashlynn Sharp led Peninsula with 16 points. Sharp, also added eight rebounds and six assists.

Sophomore Jamellia Clark scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Reserves Payton Caci and Jocelyn Moore each scored 10 points for the Pirates.

“We got 20 points off the bench which was awesome,” Crumb said. “Payton shot the ball well and did some good things and Jocelyn did some good things inside and that’s good for us confidence-wise because they are both freshman.”

Just making the postseason was an accomplishment for a Peninsula team that suffered a rash of injuries in preseason, and lost its first eight games and 13 of its opening 15 games.

The Pirates rallied to make the tournament, winning their final three division games to finish fourth in the Northern Region.

“We were kind of hopeless at some stages of this season,” Crumb said.

“We fought through it, the girls bought in, and I’m proud of them. It could have been easy to rollover and quit but they didn’t and they finished the season really strong.”

Crumb said she will hit the recruiting trail almost immediately in a bid to get back to Peninsula’s winning ways.

“I’m flying out to Salt Lake City on Saturday and probably going to be gone [recruiting] all April,” Crumb said. “We have to get more players, more talent. We are losing a lot of people, which is good and bad. But we will start fresh and focus on next year.”

Umpqua 83, Peninsula 62

PC 13 20 7 22— 62

Umpqua 28 26 19 10— 83

Peninsula (62) — Sharp 16, Clark 14, Caci 10, Moore 10, Alvarez 9, Rodriguez 3, Smith, Fernandez, Geberyesus.

Umpqua (83) — Powell 26, Stotler 21, Stricklin 11, Jones 7, Grenfell 6, Frieze 5, Thames 4, Eckert 2, Parnell 1.

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Compiled from team reports. Email scores to [email protected] or phone 360-417-3525.

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