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PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College Pirates, the most successful NWAACC men’s basketball program during the past two seasons, opens the 2012-2013 season tonight.
The game, at the Peninsula College gymnasium at 7 p.m., is against an alumni squad comprised of former Peninsula College players, including the likes of Thad Vinson and Dudley Ewell, both members of the 2010-11 NWAACC championship team.
Vinson, who earned second team All-North Region that season, will lead the alumni squad onto the court versus the new-look Pirates, who will be taking the court with 12 new faces this season.
Ewell, who redshirted, practiced with the team but did not participate in games during the 2010-11 championship season, was the third leading scorer at 13 points per game on last season’s 25-win team that finished in the Final Four at the NWAACC championships.
Returning players for the Pirates are wing Djuan Smith, and guards Daniel Sims and Anthony Crouts.
Averaged 11 points
Smith participated in eight games last season, averaging 11 points, five rebounds, two steals and one block per game.
Sims contributed three points, two assists and one steal a contest while Crouts logged minutes in nine contests.
“We have such great tradition of success here at Peninsula College, going all the way back to the 1970 state championship team, which was led by Bernie Friar, who ended up competing for the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA,” Peninsula coach Lance Von Vogt.
“This alumni game is a great way to connect our history with our present.
“We intend to build on this inaugural game every year. It will be a terrific experience for our guys to compete [against] and to also meet those who have paved the way for them to wear the Peninsula College jersey.”
The Pirates collection of untested players played well at the Bellevue jamboree Monday, posting two wins and one tie.
The jamboree format is to play one-half of regulation basketball against an opponent.
In the first game versus consistent championship contender Yakima Valley, the new-look Pirates raced out to a 24-13 lead before winning the half 36-33.
The second matchup was a rematch of the 2011 NWAACC championship game against Pierce College Raiders.
The Pirates again held the lead throughout, but settled for a 30-30 tie at the end of the half as Pierce hit the tying basket with 13 seconds remaining and G.P. Panoam’s jump shot for the Pirates caromed off the back rim as the final buzzer sounded.
In the final matchup of the day, the Pirates overwhelmed the Grays Harbor Chokers 48-27.
Among the newcomers for the Pirates in 2012 are two transfers with familiar names.
One is Donald Gaddy, a 6-1 point guard from Bellarmine Prep who transfers to Peninsula from Sheridan College.
He is the brother of Abdul Gaddy, the staring point guard at the University of Washington.
The other is Ian Ward, who prepped at Port Angeles High School, leading the Roughriders in scoring as a senior in 2010-11.
Ward returns to Port Angeles after spending a year at Lower Columbia College in Longview.
“I’ve known Ian since I arrived at Peninsula College in June 2010,” Von Vogt said.
“When Ian contacted me about transferring in, it was a no brainer for us to add him to our roster.
“Ian is a high-character young man who is also a terrific basketball player.”