After playing it safe in the first half against Everett, Peninsula's women Pirates gave the visiting Trojans a jolt in the second half.
Krystal Tolliver and Brooke Helpenstell led a Peninsula 10-0 run to open the second half and turn a close match-up of division contenders into a near blowout Saturday night, with the Pirates prevailing 62-54.
Only a late run kept the Trojans in the ballgame.
"The intensity coming out of the half was exactly what I wanted," Peninsula coach Julie Stewart said. "We attacked off of rebounds."
The win and Bellevue's loss to Whatcom Saturday night gives Peninsula (5-2 in conference play, 10-8 overall) sole possession of second place in the NWAACC North Division behind Skagit Valley.
Tolliver led four Peninsula players in double figures with 14 points and added a team-high 10 rebounds. She also had four steals and five assists.
Helpenstell chipped in with 12 points and top Pirate scorer Sam Flett had 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals. Guard Britney Yamane finished with four points and a team-high seven assists.
P.C. reserve Dena Houser scored 11 points on five-of-seven shooting and had three steals in just 13 minutes of play.
"She plays hard and attacks the basket so well," Stewart said of Houser. "I love having as many bodies (coming off the bench) as we do."
It was Tolliver, the 5-foot, 4-inch sophomore guard out of Fairbanks, Alaska, who led the charge in the second frame. With the Pirates up 25-20, Tolliver and Flett snuck a pair of passes to Helpenstell underneath the rim for easy scores. Then Tolliver scored a pair of baskets and assisted on another for the 10-0 run, and Peninsula built a lead as big as 15 points until the Trojans made a late run.
Morgan Thomas, who hit a pair of long-range bombs to keep the Trojans close, led Everett with 16 points.
The Pirates take to the road this week, playing at winless Edmonds on Jan. 28 and at Shoreline on Jan. 31.
Pirates home win
Rebounding and good defense can help teams win a lot of ballgames. Just ask the Pirates.
Peninsula's women held Whatcom under 30-percent shooting
and collected 21 offensive rebounds in a 59-43 victory Jan. 22 against the Orcas in Port Angeles.
Peninsula held a 27-25 lead at halftime but ran away with it in the second half.
Helpenstell led the Pirates with 20 points on nine-of-14 shooting and had 10 rebounds, five on the offensive glass.
Flett added 12 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Pirates calm Storm
At 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Sam Flett isn't an imposing figure, but the figures she puts up certainly are imposing.
The shooting guard from Wellpinit scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out four assists in a 79-57 blowout at Seattle Jan. 19.
Helpenstell added 16 points and Brittany Bridges had 11 as Peninsula raced to a 36-16 lead by halftime.
"We had a really good defensive effort in the first half," Stewart said.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.