COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Peninsula women beat Bellevue, clinch playoff berth

BELLEVUE — The Peninsula women got some measure of revenge against Bellevue for an early-season loss, but more importantly, clinched a postseason berth with a road win over the Bulldogs 79-60.

Sunday’s win sets up a critical home game Wednesday night at home against Skagit Valley.

Peninsula and Skagit Valley are both tied for first place in the Northwest Athletic Conference’s North Division with 9-2 records (Peninsula is 16-7 overall).

The Peninsula men also beat Bellevue 69-65 Sunday to remain tied for first place.

“I think we came out with a lot of purpose. We came out strong on each possession and didn’t get ahead of ourselves,” said coach Alison Crumb.

“When you play each possession on it’s own, you play much more loose,” she said.

As an example of their loose play, the Pirates had just 11 turnovers for the entire game.

The Pirates were led by the trio of Anaya Rodisha, Jenise McKnight and Alicia Dugan, who scored 67 of the Pirates’ 79 points.

Rodisha shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range and scored 26, Dugan shot 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and scored 23, while McKnight scored 18 on 5-for-9 shooting. The trio also shot an outstanding 19-for-21 from the free-throw line (90.5 percent).

“Our top three scorers showed up, but really it was the energy of the whole team,” Crumb said.

Crumb said the postseason berth is “awesome,” but that the team wants the North Division title, too. Wednesday’s crucial game will begin at 5 p.m. Peninsula beat Skagit Valley 69-66 earlier in the season , but since then Skagit has won six games in a row.

Peninsula 79, Bellevue 60

Peninsula 22 21 17 19 — 79

Bellevue 16 14 13 17 — 60

Peninsula (79) — Rodisha 26, Dugan 23, McKnight 18, Thomas 6 Yayouss 4, Smith 2.

Bellevue (60) — Hamilton 14, Dixon 12, Akota 9, Cole 8, Akoto 8, Mason 4, Wheeler 3, Perry 2.

Men’s basketball Peninsula 69, Bellevue 65

BELLEVUE — Jalon McCullough, who has been red-hot for the Pirates of late, his five 3-pointers and scored 19 points as Peninsula came from behind with a huge second have to beat Bellevue 69-65.

Peninsula entered the half down 32-27, having shot just 29 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. But, the Pirates scored 42 points in the second half and shot 13-for-14 on their free throws to pull out a clutch win.

“It was a really good defensive effort,” said coach Mitch Freeman.

Freeman also said the Pirates played particularly well in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

“We were moving the basketball well … rotating quickly,” he said.

In addition to Peninsula’s solid free-throw shooting, Freeman also said turnovers were key. The Pirates made just nine turnovers for the whole game.

“We played a little more mature than we have been,” Freeman said.

Darrion Daniels scored 16 points, while Alex Baham scored 11 and Cole Rabedeaux scored 10 with eight rebounds.

The team won despite not shooting well. Not counting McCullough, the Pirates only shot 29.4 percent from the floor for the game. However, they hit nine 3-pointers (Baham and Rabedeaux each had two treys) and shot 16-for-18 from the free-throw line.

With the win, the Pirates avenged an earlier season 81-79 loss to Bellevue, also knocking the Bulldogs out of a first-place tie in the process.

Peninsula remains tied for first in the NWAC’s North Division at 8-3 (17-6 overall) with Shoreline. Freeman said the Pirates aren’t thinking about a division title or postseason at this point. He preaches to his players not to get caught up in the future or the past and to concentrate on the goal right in front of them.

“Honestly, all of our focus right now is Skagit Valley,” he said. The Pirates play Skagit Valley at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Peninsula 69, Bellevue 65

Peninsula 27 42 — 69

Bellevue 32 33 — 65

Peninsula (69) — McCullough 19, Daniels 16, Baham 11, Rabedeaux 10, Velez 6, Lo 4, Baker 3.

Bellevue (65) — Vollmen 12, Tilden 12, Muir-Keung 11, Babayan 11, Freeman 10, Shaddle 3, Nelson 2, Ticeson 2, Granath 2.

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