The Pirate ship was taking on water after four straight losses, but the team that was ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC’s power rankings just a month ago, rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Everett 108-105 in an overtime thriller Wednesday.
Xavier Bazile, a freshman out of Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, led the Pirates with a career-high 32 points in a critical win that lifted the Peninsula men back into the thick of the playoff race.
The Pirates (6-5 in conference play, 15-9 overall) are now tied with Everett in third place, trailing Edmonds and Whatcom. Bellevue and Shoreline are a game back at 5-6 with three games to play.
The Pirates are home against Olympic on Saturday, at Shoreline on Wednesday and then home against Bellevue on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The top four teams from the North Division advance to the 16-team NWAACC Basketball Championship Tournament, set for March 2-5 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The game was all Everett through the first 30 minutes, but the Pirates rallied to close the gap to 10 points at halftime, 49-39. The P.C. men captured the lead 59-58 on a shot by Donald Gaddy with 12:49 remaining – and it was back and forth from there on out.
Everett went up 93-87 with 1:14 to go as a hush came over the Pirate fans, desperate to see their team climb out of a funk that has led to four straight defeats. Gaddy hit a pair of free throws to close the Trojan lead to four and then, after an Everett free throw, Bazile stuck a contested three-point bomb from the wing to make it 95-92 with 43 seconds left.
The Pirates then got a stop and freshman point guard TreShawn King Dunbar passed up a wide open three, getting the ball to Bazile in front of the Pirate bench and he cast off another three with an Everett player in his face. The shot fell through the net bringing the home fans to their feet with the score knotted at 95-95.
Neither team was able to score as time elapsed, forcing the second overtime game of the season between these two teams (the Pirates beat Everett in overtime 101-96 back on Jan. 16 at Everett).
In overtime, the Pirates used a pair of King Dunbar free throws, a field goal by Bazile, a huge 3-pointer by Matt Visser, a field goal by Gaddy and free throws to put the game away. Everett tried to get off a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but were swarmed by Pirates as the final buzzer sounded.
Bazile’s 32 led all scorers, Djuan Smith had 20 points and 11 very big rebounds, Gaddy finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, Gatpan Panaom had 13 points, six boards and four blocked shots, Visser finished with nine and King Dunbar contributed nine assists.
Coach Lance Von Vogt used all 11 of his players in the game and all contributed to what might be their biggest win of the season as they collectively stepped right back in the playoff race.
The Pirates shot 44 percent from the floor, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 65 percent from the free throw line. Everett was 38 percent from the floor, 26 percent from three-point range and 68 percent from the line.
Peninsula narrowly out-rebounded the Trojans 60-58.