By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College women’s basketball had one of those kind of games in a hard-fought 65-61 loss to NWAC North Division rival Bellevue.
A game in which it seemed like every long rebound bounced the Bulldogs’ way rather than the Pirates.
The kind of contest that sees rim-rattling shots fall in for Bellevue and go halfway down and out for Peninsula (3-1, 11-6).
And let’s not start about the overbearing officiating — at least both teams suffered in that regard.
“I always expect a close game with this team,” Pirates coach Allison Crumb said of Saturday’s loss.
“Even the past couple of years when we’ve won the division our only [league] loss came against Bellevue.
“This game we didn’t shoot well, we got outrebounded by a ton, but other than that I thought we played well. Especially with Anaya [Rodisha] playing with an injury as well as Jenise[McKnight].”
Rodisha and McKnight were injured in a collision during Wednesday’s win over Olympic. For the most part, the duo played as Peninsula has come to expect — Rodisha attacking the rim and an overall active presence and McKnight offering her usual solid play in the post.
The sophomore pair led Peninsula in scoring and rebounding in Saturday’s game, with McKnight hitting for 16 points and seven rebounds and Rodisha scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 19 minutes of playing time.
Peninsula pushed to a 13-8 lead after one quarter, but it was a different story as Bellevue rolled in a 21-11 second quarter to take a 29-24 lead into the halftime break.
Two buzzer-beating treys by Dauneah Wheeler, one on a shot-clock beating attempt and another to beat the game clock at the end of the half accounted for the Bulldogs’ advantage.
“We just had a rough second quarter,” Crumb said.
“We got lackadaisical and complacent and we missed some defensive assignments and a lot of rebounds. You may lose a quarter here and there against a good team, but you can’t lose one by that significant an amount against a team of that caliber. We put ourselves in a tricky spot.”
Bellevue held a 28-15 rebounding advantage at halftime, allowing the Bulldogs extra opportunities and denying the Pirates the opportunity to push the pace and attack the rim in transition.
“Bellevue is so long and big,” Crumb said. “We needed our bigs. We didn’t do ourselves any favors.”
We wanted to get out in transition and it’s really hard to do that when you don’t get rebounds. If they are shooting free throws or hitting baskets its tough.
Foul trouble also conspired against Peninsula as Tai Thomas and Rodisha each had to sit for extended second-period stretches with two fouls apiece.
“Too many people in foul trouble and its hard when you have too many of your players on the bench.
“We just needed more rebounds and less fouls. Either they [Bellevue] made it or there was a whistle on every defensive possession.”
The Pirates did take a short-lived lead at 40-39 when Sephora Yayouss dished to Thomas for a layup on a 2-on-1 break with 3:08 to go in the third quarter, but Peninsula couldn’t sustain momentum and trailed 49-42 entering the fourth quarter.
The Pirates tied the score at 55-all when McKnight sent a no-look past through the lane for a Thomas bucket, but Peninsula couldn’t get over the hump and pull away.
A 3-pointer by Yamilei Rodriguez cut the Bellevue lead to 64-61 with 15 seconds to go, before Bellevue’s Molly Dixon sank one of two foul shots with 10 seconds left to seal the deal.
“I’m proud of our effort,” Crumb said.
“It wasn’t for a lack of wanting to win. We just have to clean some things up and focus on a tough game at Skagit [Valley] on Wednesday.
“Skagit is a really difficult place to play and we have people banged up, so we have to be a better basketball team. This is a team that wants it, so that will be time to show that desire.”
Bellevue 65, Peninsula 61
Bellevue 8 21 20 16— 65
Peninsula 13 11 18 19— 61
Bellevue (65) — B. Akoto 14, Dixon 14, Hamilton 13, Wheeler 12, M. Akoto 10, Turner 2.
Peninsula (61) — McKnight 16, Rodriguez 14, Rodisha 14, Dugan 12, Thomas 4, Smith 1, Butler, Alvarez, Barnes.