Peninsula College.

Peninsula College.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: (Updated) Peninsula men come from way down to beat Clark

MOUNT VERNON — The Peninsula College men’s basketball team capped off a successful Turkey Tournament at Skagit Valley College with a huge come-from-behind 80-79 victory Sunday over Clark College.

The Pirates won two out of three over the weekend and with a bit of luck could have won all three games.

On Sunday, Peninsula was down 72-56 with only 8:44 left in the game. The Pirates went on a 19-2 run to take a 75-74 lead with 1:22 left. After a Clark bucket, the Pirates’ Beni Njoma hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to give Peninsula a 78-76 lead.

Clark answered with a quick 3-pointer of its own for a 79-78 lead. It seemed the game might be lost when Peninsula was called for a charge with 18.5 seconds left, but Clark missed the front end of a one-and-one. After another miss and foul, Clark again missed the front end, giving Peninsula one last chance with 8.6 seconds left.

A shot by Ese Onakpoma rimmed out, but Onakpoma was right there for the rebound and tipped it in with 0.6 seconds left for the game-winning basket.

“Ese is an elite-level athlete,” said coach Bryce Jacobson. Onakpoma filled up the stat book in all three games this weekend.

“There’s no such thing as a 20-point basket. We just had to put our heads down and get to work,” Jacobson said.

Interestingly, before the victory, Jacobsen said rebounding was going to be a challenge for the Pirates because they are not a big team compared to other NWAC teams.

“We’re going to have to battle for our rebounds. It’s going to be all hands on deck on the boards this year,” he said.

Peninsula also beat Grays Harbor 80-71 on Saturday for the Pirates’ first win of the year. Big Bend beat Peninsula 71-68 on Friday.

Onakpoma led the team with 24 points and seven rebounds, all on the offensive side. Javon Ervin had 15 points, while Port Angeles’ Wyatt Dunning hit a pair of 3-pointers for 10 points. Antonio Odum had 13.

Peninsula ended up outscoring Clark 24-7 over the last 8:44.

Jacobson said it was the kind of victory that the team can build on for the rest of the season.

“A lot of teams get down by 20, they’ll just quit. We gave up 29 points int he second half to a good team.”

Peninsula (2-3) will play a pair of home games this weekend in the Pirate Classic. The Pirates will face Grays Harbor again at 7 p.m. Saturday, then face South Puget Sound at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Peninsula 80, Clark 79

PC 36 44 — 79

Clark 50 29 — 79

Peninsula (80) — Onakpoma 24, Ervin 15, Odum 13, Dunning 10, Njoma 8, Odingo 7, Meza 3.

Clark (79) — Phillips 20, Beier 7, Igbonagwam 7, Foust 7, Coleman 6, Moorer 2, Swarthout 2.

Saturday’s game

The Peninsula men hit 10 3-pointers in beating Grays Harbor.

“It’s good to finally be on the winning end,” said Jacobsen, who won his first game as the Pirates’ new head coach. “We’ve been improving and were a couple possessions from winning Friday. We’re still not we’re we want to be yet.”

The Pirates were down early at 20-15 but outscored the Chokers 17-8 to close out the second half. The Pirates maintained their lead throughout the second half as Grays Harbor never got closer than five points after the 19:46 mark. Peninsula shot 56 percent (14-for-25) from the floor in a 48-point second half.

Beni Njomo led the Pirates with 24 points, shooting 11 for 18 from the floor. Onakpoma shot 11-for-15 from the free-throw line to score 15 to go along with 12 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Aiden Olmstead also contributed a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Ervin scored 10. Olmstead, Ervin, Dunning and Dareal Doughty all hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Pirates showed plenty of balance.

Peninsula 80, Grays Harbor 71

GH 28 43 — 71

PC 32 48 — 80

Grays Harbor (71) — Dewalt 18, Adamsel 15, Garrett 15, Garza 7, Campbell 6, Laff 6, Lawrence 2, Fenz 2.

Peninsula (80) — Njomo 24, Onakpoma 15, Omstead 11, Ervin 10, Doughty 7, Dunning 6, Odingo 5, Odum 2.

Friday’s game

In the opening game of the Turkey Tournament, the Pirates found themselves locked in a close battle throughout with neither team getting more than a six-point lead. But a three-point shot by Tuhker Mulford with 1:44 left in the game was the difference in a 71-68 Big Bend victory.

Mulford’s big three gave Big Bend (Moses Lake) a 69-66 lead. After the Pirates and the Vikings exchanged layups, which included a beautiful spinning drive in the key by Odum, Peninsula had chances to get a final bucket.

A shot by Onakpoma with 46 seconds left was blocked by Big Bend’s Gil Gonzalez. The Pirates had a chance in one last possession but a shot by Ervin rimmed halfway down and came out and a contested desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer by Dunning came up short.

Dunning hit three of four 3-pointers for 11 points, while Onakpoma had a good all-around game with 11 points, five assists, four steals and two blocks.

Odum led the team with 15 points and Ervin had 10. Njomo had seven points and led the team with six rebounds.

Big Bend 71, Peninsula 68

BB 36 35 — 71

PC 36 32 — 68

Big Bend (71) — Beauford 23, Baba 11, Mulford 8, Harris 8, Barnwall 8, Sambonetti 7, Gonzalez 4, Carrera 2.

Peninsula (68) — Odum 15, Dunning 11, Onakpoma 11, Ervin 10, Odingo 8, Njomo 7, Olmstead 6.

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