The Pirate men have proved that they can win on the road.
Peninsula claimed one win from a two-game trip through the NWAACC North Division, their second triumph in three conference road games.
The Pirates (3-1 in division, 8-5 overall) lost to the division-leading Skagit Valley Cardinals 86-72 on Jan. 12 but returned to best middle-of-the-pack North Seattle College Storm 72-55 on Jan. 15.
The Cardinals (4-0 in division, 6-7 overall) pulled out to a 35-31 lead after the first half and padded their advantage in the following period, shooting 60 percent from the field.
Peninsula was not at full strength for the game and coach Lance Von Vogt believed that made a difference.
“The Skagit game was difficult because many of the guys on the team were battling flu-like symptoms,” Von Vogt said.
“I believe that affected our energy level and awareness on the floor and it showed with the result.”
Each team received a significant contribution from their reserves as Pirate nonstarters poured in 27 points to the Cardinals’ 25.
DeShaun Freeman garnered 26 points and cleaned the glass for eight rebounds. Sammeon Waller added 22 points.
Justin King led Skagit Valley with 25 buckets and eight rebounds.
With a workmanlike performance and four double-digit scoring efforts, the Pirates topped the Storm (2-2 in division, 3-9 overall).
Peninsula led by seven points at halftime, 33-26, and slowly inched away from North Seattle in the second half.
“We were more healthy and the players did a better job of preparing themselves for the game,” Von Vogt said. “We led from the first possession to the last possession.”
Throughout the game the Pirates limited the Storm’s extra opportunities. North Seattle gained the rebound advantage, 40-39, but the Storm did not have any second-chance points. Peninsula committed only five turnovers while North Seattle gave the Pirates 16 extra possessions, resulting in 20 points.
Freeman threaded the twine for 17 points and collected six boards. Waller and Thad Vinson each added 12 buckets.
Peninsula had an important early-season test against the North Division-leading Whatcom Community College Orcas (3-0 in division, 11-1 overall) in Port Angeles at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17. Results were unavailable at press time.
Later in the week, the Pirates will battle the cellar-dwellers of the North Division. They play host to the Edmonds Tritons (0-3 in division, 2-9 overall) at 7 p.m. today, Jan. 19.
Reach Ryan Hueter at email@example.com.