WENATCHEE — The Peninsula College women’s basketball team has already shown this young season that it knows how to close out close games.
The women won two knuckle-biters this weekend, using some clutch shooting in the final seconds and lockdown defense to beat Spokane 62-58 on Sunday and Wenatchee Valley 61-57 on Saturday at the Wenatchee Valley Tip-Off Tournament.
The women are off to a 3-0 start on the season. Both of the weekend games had similar patterns. The Pirates lost big leads late, but then rallied in the final minute to pull out wins both times.
In Sunday’s game, the Pirates held a 46-36 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Sasquatch rallied with 20 points over the next eight minutes to tie the game at 56-56 with 39 seconds left.
Tasiah Little then hit a clutch 3-pointer for the Pirates with 29 seconds left and the Pirates created two turnovers over the last half-minute, including a steal by Adam Kaganak in the final seconds, and made three out of four free throws to hang on for the win.
Kelli-Jade Smith led the Pirates with 14 points, going 2-for-2 on her 3-pointers. Ituau Tuisaula scored 13 with nine rebounds and Tayvia Cabatbat scored nine. Kaganak finished with three steals.
Peninsula 62, Spokane 58
PC 12 13 19 18 — 62
Spokane 13 13 10 22 — 58
Peninsula (62) — Smith 14, Tuisaula 13, Cabatbat 9, Little 6, Kaganak 6, Glasser 4, Camacho-Villafuerte 4, Moss 3, Cooke 2.
Spokane (58) — Main 16, Wilson 10, Perry 8, Goodwin 8, Stowell 8, Neal 4, Osborne 2, Crum 1.
Peninsula 61, Wenatchee Valley 57
The Pirates built up a 16-point lead late in the third quarter, then completely lost the lead in the fourth after a 24-8 Wenatchee Valley run tied the game at 57-57 with 2:44 left.
But Peninsula played great defense down the stretch. The Knights’ last field goal was with 5 minutes left in the game and they didn’t score a single point in the final 2:44. Wenatchee Valley only got off one shot in the last 2:44 as the Pirates’ defense forced three turnovers.
Tuisaula had an offensive rebound and putback layup with 39 seconds left in the game to give the Pirates a lead. Ariyanna Camacho-Villafurte added a layup with 23 seconds left for the final score.
Peninsula won despite poor outside shooting and being heavily outshot at the free-throw line. The Pirates only shot 3-for-24 from 3-point range (12.5 percent). But they ended up with 70 total shots to Wenatchee Valley’s 54 as Peninsula had 43 rebounds and 16 offensive rebounds to Wenatchee’s 32 boards and 10 offensive rebounds. The Knights also only ended up finished with 16 field goals, shooting 29.6 percent for the game.
At the line, Peninsula only shot 4-for-7, while Wenatchee shot 18-for-26.
Cabatbat led the Pirates with 13 points, while Tatiana Kamae and Camacho-Villafuerte each had 11. Tuisaula finished with 13 rebounds and eight points and Hope Glasser had nine rebounds.
The women are off until Dec. 3 when they play in Port Angeles in the Pirate Classic, beginning with a game against Grays Harbor.
Peninsula 61, Wenatchee 57
WV 11 16 16 14 — 57
PC 14 23 14 10 — 61
Wenatchee Valley (57) — Godwin 16, Waid 12, Murdoch 9, Fleming 8, Barnufsky 6, Miller 4, Corona-White 2.
Peninsula (61) — Cabatbat 13, Kamae 11, Camacho-Villafuerte 11, Tuisaula 8, Brown 7, Moss 5, Smith 2, Glasser 2, Little 2.