Neah Bay’s Allie Greene shoots a floater over the Mossyrock defense Saturday night in Spokane. Greene finished with 19 points, leading all scorers, in the 56-54 Neah Bay win. (Bridget Mayfield/for Peninsula Daily News)

Neah Bay’s Allie Greene shoots a floater over the Mossyrock defense Saturday night in Spokane. Greene finished with 19 points, leading all scorers, in the 56-54 Neah Bay win. (Bridget Mayfield/for Peninsula Daily News)

PIERRE LaBOSSIERE COLUMN: It was a remarkable season of hoops on the Peninsula

While Gonzaga and the NCAA tournaments are still going, we’re out of the gymnasiums for a while and back outdoors on the Olympic Peninsula.

Well, as soon as the typical Pacific Northwest spring starts morphing into early summer, we’ll be back outdoors consistently. For now, we have to put together these convoluted “contingency plans,” anticipating that outdoor games are going to get rained out. Thank goodness that soccer always seems to come to the rescue when that happens.

What a basketball season it was though, with the Olympic Peninsula’s first state champion in several years and several other teams making regionals and state.

First and foremost, what an amazing girls’ team in Neah Bay. If you never got a chance to see them play, they’re remarkable. They beat two pretty good 2A teams in Sequim and Port Angeles and mowed through the state 1B tournament until they finally met a pretty good team in Mossyrock that gave the Red Devils all they could handle. Ultimately, Neah Bay outlasted Mossyrock for the state championship.

Two remarkable things about Neah Bay. Their tallest player was 5-foot-10 … maybe. And yet the Red Devils dominated the boards against bigger teams time and again.

The second remarkable thing? This remains a very young team. The Red Devils return everyone from the state championship team except starter Allie Greene and bench player Koren Cumming. Greene was an amazing shooter who should have a good college career, but the Red Devils should challenge for more state championships over the next couple of years.

The other special team this year was the Sequim girls basketball squad. They went 14-0 in Olympic League play and incredibly won their first solo league championship since 1987. They won 18 games in a row and won three games at state, one in the final couple of seconds on a shot from senior Hannah Bates in her last varsity game. They ended up a very respectable fourth in the state, the highest-ever finish for Sequim girls basketball.

Bates and her teammate Jelissa Julmist are staying in the area for a couple more years to play for Peninsula College.

Speaking of Peninsula College, it was a wild ride for the Peninsula women that came to a close this weekend. In one of the most brutal basketball games I’ve ever witnessed not involving the Detroit Pistons, the women battled a horrific rash of injuries against a 31-1 Lane College team in the NWAC semifinals. Their premier post ItuauTuisaula went down with an ankle injury and was still in a wheelchair the following day. Millie Long played on one ankle much of the game. Adam Kaganak had a dislocated or jammed finger and Chasity Selden went down with a leg injury and could barely get back on her feet. It was almost surreal.

Despite all of that, the Pirates took Lane, which is so good that the team has one of its players going to NCAA Div. I powerhouse Oregon next year, to overtime. And came within two seconds of double overtime as Lane got a game-winning shot in the final couple of seconds. It was the second straight year the women had their hearts broken in overtime at the NWAC Final Four.

The following day, Lane easily won the NWAC championship by 20 points over Green River. Peninsula women’s coach Alison Crumb said without being facetious that she wasn’t sure how the Pirates could have survived the championship game with so many injuries. What a courageous performance by that team.

The Peninsula men also had a remarkable year, winning the North Region championship. Unfortunately, the Pirates also got hit with the injury bug, losing Malik Jackson for the year to a dislocated ankle. Without Jackson, they lost in the NWAC tournament opener.

But, how tough did the North turn out to be? The two teams that the Pirates beat for the region championship ended up playing for the NWAC championship, with Bellevue beating Everett for the title. Peninsula went 3-1 against those two teams in region play.

The Port Angeles Roughriders finished second in the Olympic League in both boys and girls basketball. It’s going to be very fun next year watching both teams as the boys return Parker Nickerson and Isaiah Shamp while the girls return virtually their entire team other than Anna Petty. The girls team really struggled offensively early in the year and grew by leaps and bounds during the season, making it to regionals. It will be fun to see how much it grows next year.


Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at

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