UPDATE — Peninsula College men stay alive at NWAACC tourney; women eliminated

By Peninsula Daily News staff

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KENNEWICK — The Peninsula College men's basketball team is still ialive while the women's team went two-and-out with two close heartbreaking losses at the NWAACC Tournament.

The Pirate men lost 73-60 to Tacoma in the first round Saturday but rebounded with a 77-59 blowout of Walla Walla in the consolation quarterfinals today (Sunday) to advance to the loser-out consolation semifinals today.

Peninsula must win Monday to be eligible for a seventh- or eighth-place trophy.

The Pirates (18-11) battle Monday against Centralia (19-10) in the semifinals at the Toyota Center starting at 10 a.m. The winner advances to the consolation final Tuesday morning.

Peninsula 77, Walla Walla 59

After a few brief leads early in the first half, Peninsula grabbed the advantage and never let go, leading by as many as 21 points in Sunday's quarterfinals.

Walla Walla's last lead evaporated with 15 minutes left in the first half when Donald Gaddy spotted up from distance and nailed the 3-pointer, putting Peninsula up 12-10.

Minutes later, the Pirates were up eight, and by the time the half was over, the Pirates had led by as many as 10 points, taking an eight-point cushion into the halftime break.

In the second half, Peninsula quickly built a lead of 15 on another bucket from Gaddy with 12 minutes left in the period.

Walla Walla (13-15) hit a few field goals here and there, but the lead grew to 17, 19 and eventually 21 points on a jumper from TreShawn King-Dunbar with less than 3 minutes to play, and the Pirates held on to win.

Xavier Bazile led Peninsula with a double-double of 24 points on 11 of 14 shooting, and 11 rebounds.

Four Pirates scored in double figures as Djuan Smith had 19, Gaddy 16 on 7 of 8 shooting, and King-Dunbar with 10.

Bazile also had a game-high six assists while Smith had seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Eric Harr led the Warriors with 15 points while Case Rada netted 13 and Austin Nooner had 12.

Nooner also led the Warriors with eight rebounds.

Tacoma 73, Peninsula 60

A match up that pitted two of the last NWAACC champions, Tacoma dominated the backboards, pulling down 18 offensive rebounds and scoring 19 second-chance points to take down Peninsula and move on to the second round.

The two squads traded baskets for the first 7 minutes, with six lead changes in the first half alone before Tacoma (20-8) went on a 10-2 run to build a double-digit lead with just under 7 minutes remaining in the first period.

That's when Djuan Smith and Xavier Bazille combined for nine points in two minutes to cut the deficit to just two points.

Tacoma went on a run of its own, and had regained a six-point lead by halftime.

As the second half got underway, the Pirates turned on their afterburners and came charging back into contention, climbing to within one point, and eventually taking the lead on a 3-pointer from Smith at the 14:52 mark.

On the next possession, Smith was whistled for a foul and a technical on the defensive end, and sat down with four penalties and it seemed Peninsula had lost its momentum.

Tacoma stopped Peninsula's streak and built one of its own. The Titans went up five with 9:32 left, and couldn't be caught from there.

Julian Vaughn led four Tacoma players in double figures with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Dominique Campbell netted just four points, but had 12 boards and four blocks.

Smith and Bazile had a combined 42 points for the Pirates.

Peninsula shot only 31 percent from the field, making just 18 of 59 shots, and trailed 35-29 at halftime while being outscored 38-31 in the second half.

Smith was 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line to score a game-high 22 points and had four steals while Bazile made 8 of 11 free throws to finish close behind with 20 points.

No other Pirate scored in double figures as the remaining seven players combined for 18 points.

Bazile also had a team-high seven boards while Ian Ward and Gatpan Panaom earned three blocked shots each for the Pirates.

King-Dunbar dished out a team-high four assists.

Women's Basketball

The Peninsula women, meanwhile, lost two heartbreakers despite getting back the school's all-time top scorer Taylor Larson from injury for the tournament.

Larson, however, played limited minutes and wasn't anywhere near 100 percent, scoring way below her average for the year.

In both games, the Pirates had strong first halves but couldn't keep up the level of play in the second halves.

Peninsula (14-12) was behind Centralia (23-5) just 34-33 at halftime but was outscored 25-16 in the second half to lose 59-49 in the first round Saturday.

In the loser-out consolation quarterfinals Sunday, the Pirates were leading Yakima Valley (17-12) 41-26 at halftime before losing 82-71 in overtime.

The Yaks had tied the game 69-all at the end of regulation.

Yakima Valley 82, Peninsula 71, OT

Yakima Valley made one of the great rallies of the 2012-13 season, racing from 17 down in the second half to win in overtime and stay alive on the consolation side of the bracket, defeating the Pirates in the first extra-period thriller of the tournament.

The Yaks had just one lead in regulation, a 2-0 advantage on the second play of the game.

From there, everything went Peninsula's way. The Pirates' lead grew to double digits when Olivia Henderson connected to make it 20-10.

The hole grew to 15 points on a 3-pointer from Alison Knowles with 90 seconds left in the first half, which was the eventual halftime deficit as Peninsula led at the break, 41-26.

After six minutes of second-half play, Peninsula pushed its advantage to 17 points, and it seemed all was lost for Yakima Valley.

The Yaks, however, weren't finished yet.

A string of buckets capped by a shot from distance by Kaylah Gonzales brought the Yaks to within 10, just two minutes later.

Yakima Valley broke into single digits with 7 minutes remaining in the contest, but still a long way to go.

Then quite all of the sudden, the lead was six after Sammi Jo Blodgett scored a field goal.

Peninsula hit two baskets to slow things down, but the comeback was on.

Then, with 12 seconds left, Jo Blodgett spotted up on the far side and nailed a deep 3, bringing the teams even for the first time in more than 35 minutes.

Peninsula had one last chance to win it, but lost the ball and Yakima Valley didn't get a shot away in time.

Overtime belonged to the Yaks, who had gone on a 33-16 run to catch Peninsula, and didn't stop there.

Yakima Valley outscored Peninsula 13-2 in the extra period to eliminate the Pirates.

Jo Blodgett led Yakima Valley with a tournament-high 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win, which pits the Yaks against Eastern Region foe Columbia Basin today.

Larson played only 13 minutes, 37 seconds in the game, scoring just six points.

Jasmine Yarde led the Pirates with 21 points and seven rebounds while Jesse Ellis was right behind with 18 points and eight boards.

Abigail Jones scored 10 points for Peninsula and she had seven rebounds. Jonica Durbin had four blocked shots in the game.

Centralia 59, Peninsula 49

Behind 16 points, six boards and three assists from Italia Mengarelli, Centralia did just enough to pull away from Peninsula in the second half and win by double digits.

Evenly matched in almost every category, it was points off the bench that did it for Centralia, which outscored Peninsula 24-9 off the bench.

Centralia also took much better care of the ball, giving up the rock only 14 times for nine Peninsula points, compared to 24 Pirate miscues for 21 Centralia points.

At first, it seemed as though Centralia, the top seed from the Western Region, would get bounced from the tournament in the first round for two seasons in a row.

Peninsula had the game under control with a healthy lead midway through the first half, but Centralia wasn't done.

The Blazers put together a run to cut it back, and take the lead by halftime by one at 34-33.

The second half, as with just about every other game in the tournament so far, was completely different.

Peninsula shot just 19 percent in the second period and was outscored 25-16.

The poor shooting percentage, combined with the turnovers, made Centralia too much for Peninsula.

Larson played 18:54 in this game and scored eight points on 4 of 7 shooting.

Jesse Ellis led the Pirates with 15 points while Jasmine Yarde had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Abigail Jones brought down eight rebounds while Pherrari Brumbaugh had seven.

Last modified: March 03. 2013 6:31PM
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