Jay Cline/Peninsula College Athletics Peninsula’s Shania Moananu turns the corner on a Centralia Trailblazer defender during the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday at Columbia Basin College’s Holden Court in Pasco.

Jay Cline/Peninsula College Athletics Peninsula’s Shania Moananu turns the corner on a Centralia Trailblazer defender during the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday at Columbia Basin College’s Holden Court in Pasco.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Peninsula women open NWAC Tournament with defensive performance in win

Moananu limits Centralia’s Gore to 5 points

PASCO — The Peninsula College women’s basketball team won its 18th game in a row Friday and it was a typical Pirates’ win, not necessarily pretty all the time, but utterly dominating.

The No. 1 seeded Pirates, also ranked No. 4 in the NWAC, crushed Centralia with its stifling defense 60-35 in the opening game of the NWAC Tournament, moving on to what should be an interesting second-round game at 2 p.m. today at Columbia Basin College. This will be a huge challenge as the Pirates take on NWAC powerhouse Umpqua, a No. 2 seed, and the Riverhawks’ star player Brooklyn Fely, who scored an NWAC Tournament-single game record of 52 points in a victory over Yakima Valley on Friday.

The Pirates (22-2 overall) missed some early layups against the Trailblazers, but they got Centralia’s big scorer Madison Gore into early foul trouble and hit four 3-pointers in the first half to take a 29-20 lead into the break. The Pirates held just an 18-17 lead midway through the second quarter but opened up a big lead when Ciera Tugade Agasiva finished the half by hitting two straight 3-pointers.

Ten different Pirates scored with six players scoring at least five points.

“We don’t really have the height, that’s been a challenge for us all season,” said Jenilee Donovan, who scored all 10 of her second-half points in the second half.

“[But] we’re so diverse. We have so much diversity on both sides of the ball,” she said.

The Pirates blew the game wide open in the third, outscoring the Blazers 19-6 and taking a commanding lead as Jenilee Donovan, who barely played the first half due to foul trouble, and Allie Greene each hit 3-pointers. Shania Moananu added six free throws in the quarter.

Moananu showed one of the reasons why she was the North Region MVP as she didn’t put up huge stats, hitting just two field goals for the game. But she was the primary defender on Gore, who came in to Friday’s game averaging 17 points a game. She finished with just five points with Moananu glued to her most of the game.

Centralia shot just 25 percent (13-for-52) from the field against the Pirates’ tough defense.

Moananu led the Pirates with 14 points, shooting 10-for-12 from the free-throw line, while Donovan hit a pair of 3-pointers. Talia Marini also hit a pair of 3s and finished with eight. Sequim’s Jelissa Julmist had a great game with 16 rebounds. She also had a pair of steals in the Pirates’ big third quarter. Alexa Mackey added eight rebounds.

Fely, a post player, shot 24-for-36 from the floor in the Umpqua’s 83-66 win just before the Pirates’ game. She also pulled down 17 rebounds.

Alyssa Vandenberg, a former player for the East Jefferson girls, got in the game for three minutes for Centralia, which did not field a team last year.

Peninsula 60, Centralia 35

Centralia 11 9 6 9 — 35

Peninsula 16 13 19 12 — 60

Centralia (35) — Pula 11, Maya Barnett 10, Marecia Barnett 6, Gore 5, Carpenter 3.

Peninsula (60) — Moananu 14, Donovan 10, Marini 8, Agasiva 7, Suaava 5, Greene 5, Julmist 4, Pedebone 3, Vaaia 2, Mackey 2.

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or sports@peninsulanews.us.

Jay Cline/Peninsula College Athletics
Peninsula's Allie Greene dribbles around the defense of Centralia's Madison Gore during the Pirates' NWAC Women's Basketball Tournament victory Friday at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Jay Cline/Peninsula College Athletics Peninsula’s Allie Greene dribbles around the defense of Centralia’s Madison Gore during the Pirates’ NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament victory Friday at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

Jay Cline/Peninsula College Athletics Peninsula’s Allie Greene dribbles around the defense of Centralia’s Madison Gore during the Pirates’ NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament victory Friday at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

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