Community Sports

Sports Beat: Local schools square off for soccer supremacy

Posted on September 30th, 2022 By:

It’s time for the Sports Beat, a weekly capsule of athletic events and standout performances from Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools.

We will start out with a preview of the game of the week between girls soccer powers Gig Harbor (6-0, 6-0 South Sound Conference) and Peninsula (7-1, 6-0). They square off at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Roy Anderson Field.

Gig Harbor is ranked third and Peninsula ninth in the WIAA‘s RPI rankings. Peninsula‘s only loss was a 1-0 contest to Class 4A power Olympia. Combined, the teams have outscored opponents 51-2.

Both teams have fine defenses, explosive offenses, fantastic goalies and prepared coaching staffs. The intensity for this match will be off the charts as local soccer supremacy is at stake at Roy Anderson Field.

Peninsula junior defender Makena Getts is step for step with a Timberline player in the Seahawks victory. Bryce Carithers

Volleyball: Seahawks suffer first league loss

Peninsula (4-2, 3-1) lost a fierce volleyball battle to the No. 4-ranked Class 3A team in the state, North Thurston (5-0, 3-0), 3-2 on Thursday, Sept. 29. Peninsula was up 2-1 after three games before the Rams won the final two to escape with a victory.

Precision sets, explosive kills and diving digs were on display during the key SSC match at Peninsula High.

Peninsulas Alex Sims (4) and Samantha Karjala (10) go for the block against North Thurston. Bryce Carithers

The Seahawks are led by three 6-footers across the front line who can all leap and crank kill shots. Returning all-state player Langley Griffin leads the team in kills and the talented Sneva sisters, Laney and Ziah, are right behind her. Those three continually roofed the Rams.

Two 5-foot-10 leapers, Alex Sims and Olivia Beal, made athletic plays and the Seahawks’ libero combination of Evalyn Sutherland and Cana Moore hustled all around the court. The Seahawks are led in assists by Mackenna Moloznik, who made no-look, behind-her-head sets look routine.

The Seahawks get another shot at North Thurston later this season but first must get past league co-leader Gig Harbor (6-1, 4-0) on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Gig Harbor swept two SSC opponents this week in impressive fashion, knocking off Central Kitsap and Timberline.

Water polo: Both schools start strong

Both schools are having impressive seasons in boys water polo. Peninsula has started the season 5-1.

They are led by goalie Dylan Bassler, who has made some terrific saves. Marcus Reum has been a stand out from his driver position and Landon Gullum is a team leader from his point position, according to head coach Carter Gilmore.

A Seahawk water polo player eyes the target before firing a goal to the back of the net against South Kitsap in Peninsulas win. Bryce Carithers

The Gig Harbor water polo team is 7-1, with their only loss to defending Division 2 state champion Bainbridge Island. Captain Joey Hughes has been a standout for the team at goalie, averaging 14 saves a game.

“He is such a great verbal leader and always works hard in our practices. He is a defensive machine and we are lucky to have him,” coach Alana Ponce said.

The Tides and Seahawks will collide at the Peninsula pool at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

GH tennis stumbles on the road

They say that home court advantage is huge in sports and that was evident on the tennis courts this week.

The Gig Harbor Tides took a 7-0 record to River Ridge on Sept. 27, confident after beating the Hawks 4-1 at home on Sept. 7.

River Ridge reversed the score and beat Gig Harbor 4-1 in Lacey to leave each team with a single league loss. Both teams have won their other matches somewhat easily and may share the SSC title unless one stumbles going forward.

Football: Peninsula dominates River Ridge

The Peninsula Seahawks (4-1, 3-0) continued their winning ways with a 48-6 road victory against an overmatched River Ridge team. The Seahawks did it again on the ground, running behind their physical offensive line to the tune of 289 yards and four touchdowns.

Landon Watson had 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Seahawks. Isaac Smith found the end zone four times. Quarterback Payton Knowles was 14-21 passing for 197 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

The Seahawks face winless Central Kitsap next Friday, Oct. 7, in Silverdale. Tougher games are ahead against league-leading Timberline (4-1, 3-0) and Yelm (4-0, 2-0).

The Tides football team (3-2, 1-2) lost a heartbreaker to Timberline (4-1) on Thursday, Sept. 29, 36-34.

Gig Harbor was without their star running back Blaze Herbert due to injury and definitely felt his loss. The Tides only mustered 59 yards on 26 rushing attempts against the Blazers’ oversized defensive line.

Gig Harbor quarterback Will Landram looks downfield for a open receiver. The senior threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns against Timberline. Bryce Carithers

Couple Herbert’s loss with defensive standout Christian Parrish’s absence due to injury and the Tides were without two of their best players.

Give coach Darrin Reeves Tides team credit, they fought tooth and nail against a talented Timberline team but lost when a two-point conversion attempt to tie was denied in overtime.

Gig Harbor stopped the Blazers’ two-point conversion attempt with a minute and a half to go in regulation to keep their hopes alive, trailing 28-21. Quarterback Will Landram — who carried the Tides on offense with four touchdowns — found wide receiver Carson Griffin for a 33-yard score with only 32 seconds left.

In overtime, Timberline scored first and went for two again, finding success and an 8-point lead. Landram drove the Tides back and scored on a 3-yard run, making the score 36-34.

The Tides needed another two-point conversion to tie, but an inside slant pass was broken up. Gig Harbor didn’t turn the ball over, but injuries and 10 costly penalties proved too much to overcome.

The Tides’ two losses on the season have come by a combined 11 points, with 2-point conversions figuring heavily into both losses.

Gig Harbor hosts River Ridge at 7 p.m. Oct. 7  at Roy Anderson Field for their Homecoming game.

In next week’s Sports Beat, we take a deeper dive into the swimming teams and a look into the competitive cheer and dance squads from both high schools.