PORT ANGELES — After a painfully rough start to the season, the Peninsula women have won three out of their past four games and are in position to qualify for a playoff spot after Saturday’s win over Edmonds 56-33.
The Pirates got off to a terrible start this season, going 2-14 over their first 16 games. Since then, they have won five out of their past eight and sit at 5-6 in North Division play. If the women can win their final regular-season game Wednesday against Whatcom, they would finish league play at .500 and at worst would have a playoff play-in game with Olympic. So, Wednesday’s game is in effect, the beginning of the playoffs for the women.
“It took a long time for this group to come together. Slowly, but surely, they have come together,” said coach Allison Crumb.
Crumb said that early this season, it was a case of “anything that could happen did happen … and we weren’t playing very well. That’s why watching how they’re playing now is so much fun. We’ve witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly.
“I’m proud of them. Proud of them sticking through it and finding a way to believe,” she said.
The Pirates beat Whatcom 60-49 earlier this season (in fact, that was when the team’s fortunes started to change). But Crumb said Whatcom is playing much better. (In fact, the Orcas just beat Edmonds by 50 points last week). If the Pirates can win, they can earn a tie for fourth in the North Division with Olympic.
Against Edmonds, Tiffani Smith led the Pirates with 14 points and six steals.She also shot 2 for 4 from beyond 3-point range. Meanwhile, Jamellia Clark scored 13 with seven rebounds and five steals. Ashlynn Sharp scored 11 and Jocelyn Moore added eight points.
The Tritons’ Zaria Smith shot 8 for 15 for 16 points. However, the Pirates held the rest of the Tritons to 8 for 33 shooting and just 17 points.
The game was actually tied after one quarter, at 11-11, but the Pirates began the second quarter on an 8-0 run and Edmonds never got closer than six points the rest of the game.
Peninsula (5-6, 7-16) plays its crucial game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Peninsula 56, Edmonds 33
Edmonds 11 6 8 8 — 33
Peninsula 11 13 16 16 — 56
Edmonds (33) — Smith 16, Wilds 8, Rojas 5, Carlson 2, Tadytin 2.
Peninsula (56) — Smith 14, Clark 13, Sharp 11, Moore 8, Rodriguez 5, Alvarez 2, Caci 2, Fernandez 1.
Edmonds 65, Peninsula 53
PORT ANGELES — Peninsula got 23 points from Cameron Burton and 14 rebounds from Marky Adams, but it wasn’t enough to knock off a 20-win Edmonds team that went on to win 65-53.
Peninsula’s Colby Jackson and Trent Warren, who between them average 27.4 points a game, were held to just eight points combined in the loss.
Burton added eight boards to go along with his points, while Cole Huish scored nine points.
The game was closer than the final score showed. The Pirates went into the half down 12 points at 36-24. They got down 15 points in the second half, but rallied to cut it to four points with just over 3 minutes left. Burton had a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of buckets, while Huish hit a 3-pointer during the rally as the Pirates shaved a 45-30 lead down to 53-49 with 3:16 left to play.
After a Warren bucket made it 57-53 with 1:47 left, the Tritons’ Loren Lacasse burned the Pirates with a 3-point dagger with 1:15 left in the game to open the lead back up to seven points.
The Pirates couldn’t hit a bucket in the final minute and were forced to foul. The Tritons scored their final five points from the free-throw line.
Peninsula remains in second place in the North Division (8-5, 18-10) and the Pirates have qualified for postseason. Peninsula has a final home game at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Whatcom.
Edmonds 65, Peninsula 53
Edmonds 36 29 — 65
Peninsula 24 29 — 53
Edmonds (65) — Walton 21, Mattu 15, Morris 11, LaCasse 6, Frzier 5, Hutt 3, Price 2, Higgins 2.
Peninsula (53) — Burton 23, Huish 9, Jackson 6, Adams 6, Crane 4, Buckley 3 Warren 2.