Community Sports

Sports Beat: North Thurston edges Peninsula in Purdy

Posted on December 23rd, 2022 By:

The four local basketball teams have compiled a combined 22-8 record heading into the holiday break.

North Thurston came to Purdy to face Peninsula on Friday, Dec. 16, and escaped with a 67-65 win. The lead changed hands repeatedly, but the Rams prevailed after a floater by the Seahawks’ Isaiah Browns rolled off.

The Seahawks (3-3, 2-2 South Sound Conference) pushed the talented Rams to the brink. They played with a fast pace on offense and used a quick, trapping defense to mount a furious, fourth-quarter comeback.

Peninsula sophomore Will Whitley-Ross hits a jumper from the corner against North Thurston. Bryce Carithers

North Thurston went on a 12-2 run to start the second period, but Peninsula made some defensive adjustments and started to close the gap. Brown was the offensive star for the Seahawks, as the jumping junior accumulated 32 points on a variety of steals and open-court finishes before drilling a few rainbow threes in the fourth quarter.

Peninsula turned up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and converted off turnovers. When they couldn’t get a steal they fouled the right players. The Rams made just one of five free throws in the last two minutes.

The last missed freebie came with five seconds remaining and the Rams leading by two, giving the Seahawks a final chance. Brown split two defenders before launching a foul-line floater that just glanced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Peninsula’s Isaiah Brown, who scored 32 points, shoots for a tie late in the Seahawks’ game against North Thurston onDec. 16. The shot rimmed off as the buzzer sounded.

Brown leads the team in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Gabe Sarno leads in rebounding at 7.0 per game.

The Seahawks lost at Sumner on Dec. 21, 62-38. They are now off to sunny Phoenix to play in the Cactus Jam tournament starting Dec. 27.

Gig Harbor boys win three

The Gig Harbor boys (7-1, 3-1 SSC) had a busy week, sweeping three games ahead of the Christmas break.

The Tides beat Yelm, 69-37, on Saturday, Dec. 17, behind the 25 points and 9-for-16 shooting of Luke Browne. Will Landram added 10 points, making 8 of 10 from the free throw line, and Cole Browne made all three of his 3-pointers en route to nine points.

The Tides then cruised to the coast and beat an overmatched Aberdeen team, 76-34, on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Landram scored 24 points on 10-for-15 marksmanship, while Luke Browne added 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Christian Parrish had 12 points and KeVaughn Harvey had 9 assists with six steals.

Gig Harbor was back on the court the next night, beating reigning Class 2A champion Lynden at home. Lynden came into the contest ranked No. 1 in 2A this year and unbeaten on the season at 6-0.

Landram drained five 3-pointers on his way to 32 points.

The Lions handled the Gig Harbor’s pressure defense but had trouble stopping the Tides, who scored 24 points in the opening quarter.

The Lions rallied to take a lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game, helped by three consecutive Tides turnovers.

But Luke Browne, who scored seven of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, hit a clutch three to put Gig Harbor ahead for good at 60-59. Harvey converted a steal and a layup to stretch the lead. And Landram capped a superb night by scoring the game’s final bucket on a spinning jumper.

The Tides now travel to balmy Miami and the Florida Keys for a pair of games after Christmas.

Gig Harbor’s Will Landram stretches for a dunk in a game last week. The senior led Gig Harbor with 32 points against Lynden in a victory. Christi Adams

GH girls unbeaten in league play

The Gig Harbor girls (5-3, 4-0 SSC) are tied with North Thurston atop the league standings after a narrow win over Timberline on Dec. 16. Riley Peschek and Olivia Paul hit crucial late free throws to help the Tides survive a late Timberline 3-pointer and prevail, 46-45.

Peschek dominated with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Taylor Schwab had 11 points and 6 assists, Paul had 7 points and 5 rebounds and Finley Wyman had 10 crucial rebounds against the Blazers.

Earlier last week, Gig Harbor defeated Central Kitsap, 51-46, behind Schwab’s 15 points and six rebounds. Peschek scored 14 points with 10 boards and Alex Ferrier added nine points.

Coach Mike Guinasso is not afraid to face quality opponents. He scheduled several high-quality Class 4A opponents for the non-league portion of his team’s schedule.

The Tides most recently lost to Camas, 63-27, and Union, 69-57. But Guinasso feels his team will be the better for it come playoff time, as all three of their losses are against tough 4A opponents.

The Tides are back on the road Tuesday, Jan. 3, against Seattle Academy before returning to conference play against Capital, North Thurston and Peninsula.

Senior Riley Peschek has been a force for Gig Harbor, scoring 22 points with 15 rebounds in a 46-45 victory over Timberline. Gig Harbor High School girls basketball

Peninsula girls ranked seventh

The Peninsula Seahawks girls (7-1, 3-1 SSC) are ranked No. 7 in Class 3A in the latest poll by high school sports website MaxPreps.

Their only loss came Dec. 16 at North Thurston, 58-50. Kaylia Heidelberg scored 15 points, Brooke Zimmerman had 13 points with 11 rebounds and Grace Richardson had 11 points against the Rams.

The Seahawks followed with a 50-37 non-league win at Port Angeles on Dec. 17. The Seahawks compiled 17 steals against the RoughRiders.

Heidelberg was 8-for-15 from the field for 23 points and five steals. Richardson stuffed the stats with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals and Zimmerman contributed 10 rebounds and four steals.

The Seahawks do not play again until they host River Ridge on Jan. 4.