Peninsula’s Ituau Tuisaula, center, bulls her way through the Skagit Valley defenders, from left, Kailyn Allison, Sarah Cook and Janae Rhoads on Wednesday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Peninsula’s Ituau Tuisaula, center, bulls her way through the Skagit Valley defenders, from left, Kailyn Allison, Sarah Cook and Janae Rhoads on Wednesday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Peninsula shuts down Cardinals

Pirates allow just 25 points into the fourth quarter in victory

PORT ANGELES — It wasn’t pretty, but the important thing is, the Peninsula College women’s basketball team got a North Division win under its belt.

The women, ranked No. 1 preseason, got off to a slow start in North Division play earlier this month with two road losses, one in overtime. Wednesday’s night game at Peninsula College was already almost a must-win for the Pirates as an 0-3 start would have put them in a massive hole in the standings.

Peninsula had trouble shooting, hitting just 38 percent from the floor and 41 percent from the free-throw line, but the Pirates won with incredibly tough defense and their transition game, taking out previously unbeaten Skagit Valley 57-49.

The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Pirates allowed just 25 points through three quarters and held a 40-25 lead going into the fourth.They built that lead up to 54-36 with 2:42 left in the game.

Skagit Valley, which had been shooting 31 percent for the game, hit four baskets and managed to score 13 points over the final 162 seconds of the game, but never got closer than seven points. In the end, the Cardinals scored nearly half their points in the fourth quarter.

“That was a good defensive effort. Our defense was strong,” said coach Alison Crumb. “That was our best half-court defense all season.”

Crumb said that when the Pirates’ offense is stagnant, the team has to rely on defense and getting out and running the floor to get its points.

“When our offense is stale like that, we need to get out and run,” she said. “We needed this win.”

The Pirates ended up with 13 steals and outboarded the Cardinals 41-28. Millie Long, saddled by foul trouble, still led the Pirates with 14 points, four assists and five rebounds. Ituau Tuisaula had 21 rebounds, including 13 offensive rebounds, to go with her 13 points.

Tatie Kamae was huge in the second half, scoring all 13 of her points, mostly by running the floor and hitting her layups, over the final 20 minutes while shooting 5-for-8 from the field. Talia Marini also hit a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the second half to keep the Cardinals at bay.

Chasity Selden, playing in her first home game for the Pirates, had some big moments, including a pretty no-look pass for an assist. She finished with four steals, five assists and seven points.

Peninsula (1-2, 9-4) next plays at home at 2 p.m. Saturday against Olympic (2-1, 9-6).

Peninsula 78, Skagit Valley 67

Skagit Valley 9 6 10 24 — 49

Peninsula 18 6 16 17 — 57

Skagit (49) — Tjoelker 16, Cook 16, Allison 9, Wichers 5, Wayer 3.

Peninsula (57) — Long 14, Kamae 13, Tuisaula 13, Selden 7, Marini 6, Kaganak 3, Donovan 1.

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or plabossiere@peninsuladailynews.com.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Peninsula's Ituau Tuisaula, right, reaches for a rebound over the heads of Skagit Valley's McKenna Wichers, left, and Sarah Cook as Pennsula's Ruth Moss looks on from behind on Wednesday night in Port Angeles.
KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Peninsula's Chasity Selden, front, pushes to the lane into the defense of Skagit Valley's Liv Tjoelker on Wednesday on the Peninsula College home court in Port Angeles.
KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Peninsula's Tatianna Kaemae, left, tries to squeeze past Skagit Valley's Jenae Rhoads while Skagit's Sarah Cook, right, looks on during Wednesday night's conference game in Port Angeles.
KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Peninsula's Millie Long, center, aims for the hoop on Wednesday night against Skagit Valley in Port Angeles.

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