PORT ANGELES —The Peninsula men’s basketball team got off to a torrid start against Everett, but they had to hit some clutch free throws in the final seconds to fend off the Trojans on Saturday.
The 77-68 win was the Pirates’ sixth victory in their past seven games. They won without Ty Artis, one of their top players, who was out with an ankle injury.
Peninsula got off to a hot start, getting out to a lead of 21-8 early and later building that lead up to 38-17 late in the first half. The Trojans finished the half on a 13-5 run to cut the lead to 43-30.
“Basketball tends to balance out. Very rarely does a lead that big stick,” said coach Donald Rollman. “When we got up 21, I think we got a little too excited and took some ill-advised shots at the end of the first half.
“For a four-minute stretch, we lost some focus, but for the other 36 minutes of the game, we played really well,” Rollman said.
Rollman said Artis was injured in Peninsula’s previous game with ligament issues in his heel and ankle.
“We had to change our game plan a little. That’s 12 points, six rebounds and six assists out the window,” he said.
Neal and Isaac Garcia (not related) didn’t score a ton of points for the game, but they were clutch in the final minute.
Everett actually got to within four points a couple of times late in the game. A Trojans’ free throw with 3:02 left made the score 68-64. The Pirates responded by making seven straight free throws down the stretch. Isaac Garcia had a basket and sank three out of four free throws in the three minutes, while Keith Seldon and Neal Garcia each made a pair of free throws. Neal Garcia added a defensive rebound on an Everett miss with 28 seconds left.
For the game, the Pirates shot 22-of-28 (78.6 percent) from the line.
The Pirates won despite making just three 3-pointers. They held the Trojans to 2-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.
Jaylin Reed led Peninsula with 17 points, which included a pair of 3-pointers. Isaiah Sampson had 15 points and eight rebounds. Vince McFarland had 11 points.
With the win, Peninsula (7-4) is tied for second place in the North Region. The Pirates will next play at Edmonds (2-8) on Wednesday.
Peninsula 77, Everett 68
Everett 30 38 — 68
PC 43 34 — 77
Everett (68) — Howe 22, Smith 18, Dillworth 12, William 6, Redford 4, Brown 2, Swenson 2, Hayes 1, Quantrille 1.