Port Angeles’ Dru Clark breaks free for an uncontested layup in his team’s 72-55 win over Olympic in the district tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Port Angeles’ Dru Clark breaks free for an uncontested layup in his team’s 72-55 win over Olympic in the district tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

DISTRICT BASKETBALL: Port Angeles boys stay alive; Roughrider girls advance to district championship game

UNIVERSITY PLACE — Facing elimination, Port Angeles bounced back from a district defeat to oust Olympic League foe Olympic 72-55 in the Class 2A West Central District Boys Basketball Tournament at Curtis High School on Wednesday.

The No. 7 Roughriders (17-6) advance to a loser-out, winner-to-state regionals contest tonight against No. 16 Renton (16-8) tonight at 6 p.m. back at Curtis High School.

Port Angeles was able to pick up its third win of the season over the Trojans (9-14) on Wednesday.

“The guys responded really well,” Rider coach Kasey Ulin said. “We were really sharp defensively. Our ball movement was great and we attacked gaps and our guys were flashing and sealing and that showed by 21 points in the first quarter.”

Olympic fought back to close within 35-27 at halftime, but the Riders had answers, many of them coming down low.

“We didn’t settle for bad shots,” Ulin said. “We attacked the hoop and shared the basketball. We had 19 assists on 27 made field goals. “When we we hit the open guy, get the ball moving and play inside-out we are at our best.

“It was good to see that sense of urgency as the second half started and have us put them away in the third quarter.”

Damen Ringgold had 26 points to lead the way for a Port Angeles squad that scored 46 points in the paint.

Starting guards Gary Johnson and Dru Clark combined for 20 points 10 assists and three turnovers.

“When we get that type of production from those guys we are difficult to beat,” Ulin said. “They are able to get the inside guys going and make good decisions and get us good looks.”

Port Angeles’s Gary Johnson evades the defense of Olympic’s Malcolm Dewalt as he drives to the hoop. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Port Angeles’s Gary Johnson evades the defense of Olympic’s Malcolm Dewalt as he drives to the hoop. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

And Ulin said the team limited its turnovers and maybe more importantly, the impact of those giveways.

“You can have turnovers, but they can’t lead to uncontested layups,” Ulin said.

“We took care of the ball and did not allow any transition points and that’s a big part of the game. We caused 19 turnovers and were able to get out and get some easy ones.”

Ulin said the team’s bench came through with 21 combined points.

“Our bench was huge with 21 points off the bench,” Ulin said. “Xander [Maestas] had nine points and five assists and pressured the ball defensively. Derek [Bowechop] came on and had six points and seven rebounds and John Vaara had four points and five rebounds.”

Ulin also said Brady Nickerson did a lot of things that won’t show up in the box score.

“Brady got a couple of steals, made some great outlet passes, won some balls and added to our game,” Ulin said.

Now the Riders face another high-intensity, loser-out contest, this time with a state regional round berth on the line. If Port Angeles wins and finishes in the top eight of the state’s RPI, that regional round berth also yields a seed-protected trip to the state tournament in Yakima.

“Renton was third in state last year and return a lot of guys,” Ulin said. “This is probably the most athletic team we will have seen all year with a great point guard, maybe the best in 2A. It will be a great challenge for us, but when we defend, rebound and take care of the ball I think we can beat any team in the state.”

Port Angeles 72, Olympic 55

Olympic 8 19 7 XX— 55

Port Angeles 21 14 16 — 72

Olympic (55) — DeWalt 16, Hollins 9, Troutman 2, Bailey 7, McInnes 2, Lindal 13, Erickson 6.

Port Angeles (72) — Johnson 11, Nickerson 1, Hughes 1, Clark 9, Maestas 9, Ringgold 26, Kathol 5, Bowechop 6, Vaara 4

Girls Basketball

Port Angeles 62, Franklin Pierce 38

PUYALLUP — The Roughriders crushed the Cardinals Wednesday night to advance to the Class 2A West Central District Championship for the third consecutive season.

No. 8 Port Angeles (18-4) will attempt to repeat as district champs and lock in a top eight RPI ranking against No. 13 Fife (21-3) Saturday at 4 p.m. at Wilson High School in Tacoma.

Against Franklin Pierce, the Riders got it going from beyond the arc and in transition in the early going to go up big — 43-17 at halftime.

“We had a strong shooting first half, scoring both inside and out,” Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said. We were 8 of 18 from the 3-point line in the first half, led by Jaida Wood, Mikkiah Brady, and Millie Long’s seven combined 3s. Defensively, our full-court press resulted in some baskets off of early Cardinal turnovers.”

Poindexter said the team corraled the Cardinal’s leading scorer for much of the contest.

“We did a nice job defensively of containing Paradise Dorrough through three quarters,” Poindexter said. “She had just four points until the fourth quarter, when she scored 13 of her 17 points, mostly on drives inside.”

The Riders were whistled for 19 fouls, sending Franklin Pierce to the free-throw line for 22 attempts, but the Cardinals only converted eight freebies.

“We didn’t adjust very well to the officiating,” Poindexter said.

Eve Burke was a bright spot offensively for the Riders in a sluggish second half offensively, scoring eight of her 14 points, including hitting 6 of 6 free free throws after halftime.

Burke added nine rebounds.

Long led the Riders with 15 points and six rebounds.

“Several players performed well off the bench: Camille Stensgard, Myra Walker, Jayde Gedelman and Catie Brown combined for 14 points on the night,” Poindexter said.

Port Angeles 62, Franklin Pierce 38

Franklin Pierce 7 10 6 15— 38

Port Angeles 21 22 8 11— 62

Franklin Pierce (38) — Paradise Dorrough 17, Katy Cook 7, Jaiyla Gore 5, Dylynne Howser 4, Iasia Paulino 3. Bailee Disney 2.

Port Angeles (62) — Millie Long 15, Eve Burke 14, Jaida Wood 11, Mikkiah Brady 6, Camille Stensgard 5, Myra Walker 4, Jayde Gedelman 3, Bailee Larson 2, Catie Brown 2, Ava Brenkman, Jenna McGoff, Anna Petty.

________

Compiled from team reports. Email scores to [email protected] or phone 360-417-3525.

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