By Pierre LaBossiere
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles basketball boys team dominated on defense and on the boards to come roaring back from behind to beat Bremerton in an Olympic League 2A Division contest 53-44.
The Knights jumped all over the Roughriders early, and after a 3-pointer at the beginning of the second quarter had built up a 19-10 lead. But, by pounding the boards and forcing Bremerton into repeated “one and dones,” Port Angeles went on a 33-14 run over the next 18-plus minutes to seize a 43-33 advantage midway through the fourth quarter.
Bremerton went on a run late in the game to make the Riders’ fans nervous, but Port Angeles responded with some clutch plays and buckets down the stretch.
Noah McGoff had a big game for the Riders, scoring 18 points, 14 of them coming in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers. He scored seven straight points to start the third period as Port Angeles took control of the game.
McGoff said the team “got our butts chewed” at the half from head coach Kasey Ulin about first-half turnovers. The Riders had nine turnovers at intermission and only four in the second half.
“In the second half, we slowed down and took care of the ball,” McGoff said.
McGoff also gave credit to his teammates for his scoring eruption.
“I was just trying to find open spots. If I’m in an open spot, I know my teammates will get me the ball,” he said.
Ulin said McGoff showed a lot of leadership in that second half.
“He’s a pleasure to coach,” Ulin said of McGoff.
Ulin said Bremerton dictated the pace too much in the early going. The Knights were trying to speed up the game, while he wanted the Riders to make sure they got a shot on every possession. He thought his players did great in the second half denying Bremerton second-chance shots.
In addition to controlling the pace, Ulin said he preached to his team the need to limit the Knights to single shots on every possession. Bremerton got barely any offensive rebounds, especially in the second half.
“Liam [Clark] and Garrett [Edwards] were just dynamite,” on defense and the boards, Ulin said. Noah Angevine also had a couple of huge blocks in that second half.
Ulin said the Riders are still trying to put together four strong quarters, but will have to play their best tonight when North Kitsap comes to Port Angeles for a game that was postponed from last week.
“Now we get to play the No. 2 team in the state,” he said, looking forward to the matchup.
After a ragged first half, the Riders (3-1, 2-0) went into halftime down 24-18. McGoff hit three buckets, including a 3-pointer, and Liam Clark had two blocks as Port Angeles went on a 9-0 run over five minutes to open up the second half.
With the game still close at the beginning of the fourth quarter, McGoff and Grayson Peet hit back-to-back 3s as the Riders took a 40-31 lead.
Bremerton clawed back to make the game interesting at 47-44 with 1:15 left to play, but McGoff hit a critical bucket on a baseline drive with 46 seconds left and Edwards got a rebound and putback in the final seconds to make it 51-44.
Peet ended the game with 14 points, while Edwards scored 12. Angevine had seven points.
Bremerton was led by Desmond Moore with 13 points and Diontae Madison with 10.
Port Angeles’ game today will begin at 7 p.m.
Port Angeles 53, Bremerton 44
Bremerton 16 8 7 13— 44
Port Angeles 10 8 16 19— 53
Bremerton (44) — Moore 13, Madison 10, Pedesclaux 8, Bios 7, Herring 2, McMichael 2.
Port Angeles (53) — McGoff 18, Peet 14, Edwards 12, Angevine 7, Clark 1, Benedict 1.
Girls Basketball Bremerton 44, Port Angeles 38
BREMERTON — The Port Angeles girls were outscored 20-4 in the third quarter, losing on the road to Bremerton 44-38.
Coach Michael Poindexter said Bremerton’s Michaela Derda got hot in the second half for the Knights.
“Bremerton got three 3-point scores from Michaela Derda, who sat out the entire first half,” he said.
“Our zone defense was effective in holding Bremerton to just five field goals in the first half, but Derda’s increased range and better passing by Bremerton forced us to switch defenses, rely more on our man-man look. We could have withstood Bremerton’s scoring in that quarter had we not gone 2 of 14 from the field, and 0 of 3 from the free-throw line,” Poindexter said,.
The Riders were 6-for-21 from the free-throw line for the game and Poindexter said they also missed a number of inside opportunities.
“Few of our players have had a lot of experience being on the floor for extended minutes in close, stressful games, and that inexperience showed,” he said.
Bremerton 44, Port Angeles 38
Port Angeles 8 14 4 12— 38
Bremerton 7 8 20 9— 44
Port Angeles (38) — Gracie Long 9, Nizhoni Wheeler 7, Natalie Steinman 6, Mikkiah Brady 4, Kiana Robideau 4, Devin Edwards 4, Lauren Lunt 2, Kyrsten McGuffey 2, Brennan Gray, Aeverie Politika, Maddy Wenzl.
Bremerton (44) — Lizz Lamoureux 14, Michaela Derda 10, Alycia Hereford 9, Amerika Weatherford 6, Bri Lammi 3, Renee Dass 2.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]