Playing the first of four games in eight days, the Peninsula Pirates are off to a running start.
Sophomore guard Dominick Lozano sank seven three-pointers and scored with a game-high 30 points as Peninsula thrashed division cellar-dweller Seattle 90-59 on Feb. 16 at North Seattle.
Lozano finished 10-of-16 from the field overall while Clay Greenland chipped in with 17 points and three steals as Peninsula (10-3 in NWAACC, 19-7 overall) built a 20-point first-half lead and hardly relented, going ahead by as many as 36 points in the first half.
"From the start of the game we were ready to play," Pirate coach Peter Stewart said. "The effort was there especially on the defensive end."
Cody Killian, Christian Harris and Ethan Wilford each scored eight points as the Pirates shot 57-percent from the field including a blistering 16-of-26 (61.5-percent) in the second half. They out-rebounded the Storm 35-24 and scored 30 points off 22 Seattle turnovers.
Casey Pursell led the Storm with 15 points.
With the win, Peninsula remains a game behind NWAACC North Division-leading Whatcom and a half-game behind Everett with three games left, heading into the Feb. 18 home contest with Whatcom's Orcas (see box).
With wins against Whatcom, at home versus Everett on Feb. 20 and at Edmonds Feb. 23, the Pirates can claim at least a share of the division title.
Pirates avoid upset,
down Skagit Valley
Every road win in this conference isn't easy.
Peninsula's men found the veracity in that belief last week as they built an 11-point lead on Skagit Valley but had to hold on for a 68-63 win in Mount Vernon Feb. 13.
Lozano scored 24 points and Greenland added 10 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists to help keep the Pirates in third place in the NWAACC North Division, a game ahead of Bellevue and a game-and-a-half behind league-leading Everett.
Despite sub-par shooting from the field (36-percent), the Pirates fostered a 33-26 lead by halftime thanks to a tough Peninsula defense that held Skagit to 29-percent shooting by half's end and, by game's end, the Pirates converting 20 Cardinals miscues into 24 points.
But a 62-51 Peninsula lead shrank by game's end, giving Skagit Valley (3-10, 6-17) a chance.
Ernie Grimes had nine points and Killian added eight points for the Pirates, while Harris had three steals and Jason Millon contributed two blocks.
Matt Peterson led Skagit Valley with 16 points while Chas Kok - who helped Lynden High School to a state 2A title in 2007 under former Sequim coach Brian Roper - had 15 points.