The best college basketball on the Olympic Peninsula is a game at Peninsula College, folks. If you haven’t seen the Pirates in person, plan to do so several times before the regular season ends.
New Pirate coach Lance Von Vogt has his squad playing at a high level and after a brutal three-game week, the Buccaneers play tonight at home against Shoreline and will rest a week before hosting Olympic out of Bremerton next Wednesday.
For one price of admission, you get two games each night at Peninsula, with coach Alison’s Crumb’s women starting at 5 p.m., the men going at 7 p.m.
Crumb, a graduate of Port Angeles High School in 2003, led the Bucs to their only title in 2005 and this is her second year at the helm.
Last week, I ventured to take a gander at both squads.
On Wednesday evening, the Edmonds Tritons broke away from a 17-8 early lead and went on to a 37-28 lead against Crumb’s team, but too many unforced turnovers and a lid atop the basket did the Pirates in as they fell 73-47.
The Pirates play at a high tempo, sometimes too high, but it’s a lack of shooting percentage that has forced the team to the bottom of the NWAACC North Division standings.
Former Roughrider Danika Goodwin is the leading scorer, but the overall team percentage of 30 isn’t getting the job done.
Callie Monfrey is a 5-foot 10-inch freshman from South Anchorage, Shawna Thein is a 5-foot 6-inch guard from Palmer and Megan Smith is a 5-foot 6-inch guard from Coupeville who will help this team in the future.
Ashley Manker and Charis Erhardt, from Coupeville and Anchorage Christian, can be counted on for inside scoring and rebounding.
The ladies fell at Everett last Saturday, 83-50, and Crumb said her team started very slow and Everett took advantage by getting turnovers and early, very easy baskets to take a 48-23 halftime lead.
“At some point we need to find a way to play as a team and come out with more intensity,” she said.
Look for Crumb to get out on the recruiting trail to find some long-range scorers … or even medium-range shooters for next year.
Meantime they hustle and give it all they have.
The Pirates are 6-1 in conference play and 11-5 overall as they entered the week and Van Vogt has big guys, strong guys and quicker-than-cat guys and this is a fun team to watch.
Against Edmonds, the Pirates showed a ferocious man defense and limited the Tritons to 23 first-half points while garnering 41 of their own.
I was sitting courtside next to the Edmonds bench and could not believe the shouting and bad-mouthing that went on between the head coach
and his players.
In contrast, Van Vogt, looking like he was stepping out to a fancy ball in his sharp black suit, was quite calm at the other end of the Pirate gym as he guided his troops.
He started 6-foot 7-inch
DeShaun Freeman, the 6-foot 3-inch Thad Vinson, 5-foot 10-inch Mitrell Clark, 6-foot 3-inch Anthony Williams and 5-foot 11-inch Sammeon Waller.
The bench is strong. Soph Jerry Johnson of Ocean Shores at 6-feet 10-inches came in when it was 19-14. He hit a pair of treys from top of the lane, then was inside to dish off a nice assist and the Pirates went up 29-18 and were on their way.
Second-half play was on the spotty side, but the Pirates meshed 22 of 29 free throws for the game and held off the Tritons.
The 72-55 win was a good one, but if the Pirates are to return to state, they must play for two halves and not just one.
Saturday, they helped Everett usher in a new gym and beat the Trojans 90-62. Van Vogt said 11 of his 12 players suited up scored in the romp.
The team is fun to watch, so plan on being in attendance tonight and then Feb. 2 for Olympic, then Feb. 5, 9 and 12 for Bellevue, Skagit and Seattle, with the home finale set for Feb. 21 against Everett.
Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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