PORT ANGELES — The contest almost took a back seat to the postgame Sophomore Night ceremony honoring seven Peninsula College women’s basketball players, but the Pirates took care of business with a 65-44 win over Shoreline on Wednesday night.
Peninsula’s earned its sixth straight win and in doing so, locked down the North Division’s No. 2 seed to the NWAC Tournament.
It just took a little time for the Pirates to take full control against the Dolphins.
“We tried to play heavy sophomores and I thought they came out and played a little too emotional at times and fumbled the ball a little too much,” Peninsula head coach Alison Crumb said.
“I’m just happy with how hard they played and how well they supported each other.”
Peninsula led by as much as 12 in the first half before Shoreline took advantage of some Pirate turnovers to trim the advantage to 32-25 at halftime.
The Dolphins cut the lead to five at two different points early in the third quarter, but Peninsula closed out the quarter and seized control of the contest with a 14-3 run.
White got things going with a 3-pointer, Sunshine Vicente corralled a White miss for a follow basket and in an energizing possession, Kameron Bowen out-efforted Shoreline for two boards, eventually leading to a layup by White.
“We were super scrappy on the boards,” Crumb said. “That’s kind of become our identity. We are not the tallest but we can outwork the other team.”
Padilla had 21 points on eight of 10 shooting. She hit two of her five 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter as Peninsula ground down the Dolphins.
The second 3 was from Steph Curry range near the NWAC logo to put the Pirates up 54-34.
A 3 by Neah Bay sophomore Gina McCaulley gave Peninsula it’s biggest lead of the game — 57-34 with 7:45 to play.
“You saw that in the fourth quarter we started to pull away,” Crumb said. “Our depth and conditioning wore on them.”
The Pirates (11-3, 18-7) will wait until Sunday afternoon to learn their NWAC Tournament first-round opponent.
Peninsula said it’s home goodbyes to sophomores Padilla, McCaulley, White, Vicente, Bowen, Logan Luke and Brianna Fitzgerald.
“We are losing a lot of players, a lot of talent and a lot of points,” Crumb said.
“They are a phenomenal group and most of them played a ton as freshmen and won a [division] championship. They’ve done a lot of really great things for the youth, for the school, for community and campus events. I’m going to really miss them as people. They are fun to be around, they love each other, support each other and support me. A lot of teams say they are family, but this really feels like one.”
Peninsula 65, Shoreline 44
Shoreline 12 13 7 12— 44
Peninsula 18 14 16 17— 65
Shoreline (44) — Lui 11, Sanchez 9, Smith 7, Burns 6, Nicado 6, Kimmel 3, Nguyen 2.
Peninsula (65) — Padilla 21, White 13, Bowen 8, Vicente 7, Luke 4, Johnson 4, Sargent 4, McCaulley 3, Fitzgerald 1, Ontiveros, Brown.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected].