PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College men rode a 14-5 run late in the second half to pull away from Skagit Valley for a 78-67 victory, improving the Pirates’ outstanding record to 16-1 on the season.
Coach Donald Rollman didn’t think his squad played great and said they got away from what they do best.
Still, the Pirates showed that, even on a ragged night with tons of fouls, they can win by double digits.
It was also an important North Division win to keep Peninsula’s North Region record a perfect 3-0.
“I don’t think we played very smart. We were making mistakes that we haven’t been making all year long,” Rollman said.
Peninsula found itself locked in a tight game with the Cardinals almost all night long with the Pirates holding a single-digit lead most of the game.
Up 40-37 at half, Peninsula was still clinging to a 56-50 lead with more than 12 minutes left, as both teams entered a long scoring drought. Neither team could buy a bucket or a free throw for more than 6 minutes as the score remained frozen that entire time.
Finally, Peninsula broke open the logjam with D’Ante Dean scoring on a layup and Mikey Medlock Jr. hitting a huge 3-pointer, his second trey of the half, to quickly open up a 61-50 lead with 6:01 left in the game.
The game turned into a free-throw shooting contest down the stretch as the Cardinals began to hack at the Pirates with more than 4 minutes left. Skagit committed 18 fouls in the second half, including 14 in the final 4:30 of the game, and the teams combined for 37 free-throw attempts in the second half.
Peninsula didn’t shoot great from the free-throw line but made enough to keep Skagit Valley at arm’s length. The Cardinals never got closer than nine points after Medlock’s big 3-point shot.
Medlock added a third second-half 3-point dagger in the final 14 seconds.
The Pirates didn’t shoot well, going 9-of-32 from 3-point range and 13-for-25 from the free-throw line, but they dominated the boards, outrebounding the Cardinals 51 to 31. They also held Skagit to 32 percent shooting from the floor.
Roosevelt Williams Jr. led the Pirates with 24 points, shooting 9-for-15 from the floor and hitting some clutch shots in the second half. He did struggle from the line as he was the main target of Skagit’s fouling, hitting just 5-for-16 from the charity stripe. He also had 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Medlock hit four 3-pointers, shot 4-for-4 from the free-throw line and scored 13. Malik Jackson added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
“Malik played well. He played in rhythm. Mikey stepped up and made some big shots for us,” Rollman said.
Ese Onakpoma scored 12. Aiden Olmstead didn’t score, but contributed six rebounds in the second half. Port Angeles’ Gary Johnson hit a 3-pointer for the Pirates.
Peninsula (3-0, 16-1) next hosts Olympic (1-2, 5-9) at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Peninsula 78, Skagit Valley 67
Skagit 9 6 10 24 — 67
Peninsula 18 6 16 17 — 78
Skagit Valley (67) — Flemming 23, Bilodeau 10, Miller 10, Quarles 9, Maulana 5, Kalala 4, Cain 3.