PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College roared to life with a huge run to finish the fourth quarter to pull away from Skagit Valley for an 83-62 NWAC women’s basketball victory Wednesday.
Despite the final score, the game was close early in the fourth quarter as Skagit Valley hit a pair of 3-pointers and added a 3-point play to cut a Peninsula 62-49 lead down to 63-58.
The Pirates went on an 18-1 run to put the Cardinals away.
Brianna Fitzgerald, coming off the bench, was a big part of that finishing run. She scored three baskets and made a great assist to Logan Luke as the Pirates very quickly scored six straight points to open up a 14-point lead at 73-59.
The win was important for Peninsula’s playoff hopes and positioning. With the victory, the Pirates are in a tie with Bellevue for second place in the North Division at 7-3, two games behind first-place Whatcom. A loss would have dropped the Pirates into a tie for third.
Peninsula had great balance with seven players with at least seven points. Leilani Padilla led the Pirates with 17 points, while Casandra White hit four 3-pointers and 4 for 8 shooting from beyond the arc and had 16 points.
Sunshine Vicente scored nine, while Fitzgerald, Kameron Bowen and Logan Luke all scored eight. Amari Brown scored seven.
Bowen led the team with eight rebounds, while Luke had six. Brown had five steals.
Coach Alison Crumb said that beyond the box score, Gina McCaulley, Fitzgerald and Bowen all gave the Pirates a big contribution as they held off the Cardinals.
“Gina, [Bowen] and Brie really sparked us all game,” Crumb said. “We really fed off of it. I’m so happy for them. They had a good game.”
Despite the Cardinals’ mini-run in the fourth quarter to briefly make the game close, Crumb felt her players would respond.
“I have all the confidence in them,” she said.
The schedule favors the Pirates down the stretch. Peninsula (7-3, 14-7), next plays at Olympic (0-10, 3-16) on Saturday and they also have games against 4-6 Everett and 4-6 Shoreline. They do get another crack at first-place Whatcom at home next Wednesday. The Orcas beat the Pirates by 11 points in the team’s first meeting in Bellingham.
Peninsula 83, Skagit Valley 62
Skagit Valley 13 19 17 13— 62
Peninsula 23 16 21 23— 83
Skagit Valley (62) — Frein 23, Cox 14, Reyes-Guzman 9, Toycen 6, Bocci 6, Johnson 4.
Peninsula (83) — Padilla 17, White 16, Vicente 9, Bowen 8, Luke 8, Fitzgerald 8, Brown 7, Johnson 4, Sargent 4, Ontiveros 2, McCaulley.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]