It took the undefeated and No. 5-ranked ABA professional league team — the Seattle Mountaineers — all 2,400 seconds of a college basketball game to wrestle out an 80-76 triumph over our home town community college Peninsula Pirates Saturday night.
In a thrilling game to cap off the inaugural First Federal Pirate Classic, Peninsula refused to lay down to the bigger and more experienced professional team.
The Mountaineers put together a 10-0 run midway through the first half capped by Franklin Igbekoyi's drop step dunk securing them a 29-17 lead. At that point it looked as if the Pirates were overmatched until Peninsula responded in the final 6:17 of the first half scoring 16 points while limiting the Seattle to just seven.
"Going into the half after our run and only down three our guys realized that with proper discipline and effort we could compete with anyone, including one of the top ABA professional teams," Peninsula head coach Lance Von Vogt said. "At halftime we spoke about playing a full forty minutes and if we did we would have a chance to win it at the end."
After the halftime festivities, Peninsula's Djuan Smith converted a driving lay up through Jason WaltmanÂs foul drawing the score to 36-36 after the free throw.
From this point forward the game was back and forth with Peninsula consistently nipping the heals of the Mountaineers until a Daniel Sims steal and assist to Smith pulled the Pirates within three at 79-76 with 11.7 seconds remaining.
After a timeout the Pirates freshman TreShawn King-Dunbar deflected a pass and a loose ball ensued unfortunately for the home team it bounced directly to Reggie Chambers of the Mountaineers who connected on 1-of-2 free throws to provide the final score of 80-76.
Matt Visser's three pointer glanced off the rim as the buzzer expired ending the Pirates upset bid.
"ÂI can't say enough about the character and heart of our team," Von Vogt said. "Playing against professionals is a tough thing to do and our guys didn't only play them they gave them everything they could handle.
"I am ecstatic that First Federal and our other sponsors stepped up to the plate to make this classic happen," he said. "It is the commitment of local businesses that make this Olympic Peninsula community so great. We look forward to a long relationship with First Federal Bank as well as all of our other sponsors moving forward."
The Pirates were led by Djuan Smith's 21 points while Salim Gloyd contributed his second straight double-double with 18 points 12 rebounds. Starting point guard Daniel Sims ran the Pirate ship to the tune of 14 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals.
The Pirates next home game is Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. against another professional team from the ABA: the Washington Rampage.
"If we can compete against professionals we will be prepared to compete against other top college programs," Von Vogt said.