Community Sports

Gig Harbor’s Peschek sets school rebounding record in win

Posted on January 9th, 2023 By:

The Gig Harbor girls basketball team sits in sole possession of first place in the South Sound Conference after a 49-34 win over North Thurston on Friday, Jan. 6.

Gig Harbor power forward Riley Peschek set a school record with 24 rebounds in the victory.

The Lady Tides (7-4, 6-0 South Sound Conference) used a suffocating defense and an efficient offense to secure the victory over North Thurston (9-2, 5-1). The two teams shared the conference championship last year.

The Tides Riley Peschek set a new school record pulling down 24 rebounds against North Thurston. The senior also scored 22 points in the contest. Photo courtesy of Riley Peschek

The game featured two elite guards in Gig Harbor’s Taylor Schwab, who averages 18 points per game, and North Thurston’s Soraya Ogladez. Schwab got the better of the battle with 15 points and eight rebounds.

“Our overall goal for the game was, we lock her down, we win,” Schwab said. “We wanted to make her frustrated, so me and Alex (Ferrier) switched off and played our hardest against her. It feels really good to get this win.”

Peschek dominant on the glass

Nonetheless, this game was decided in the paint. Peschek was dominant, scoring 22 points to go with her school-record 24 rebounds. That total was one more rebound than any other player who has ever worn a Gig Harbor jersey, boy or girl.

North Thurston’s centers were larger than Peschek, but she compensated with superior timing, positioning and desire. In one decisive fourth-quarter stretch, Peschek grabbed offensive rebounds on five successive trips down the floor and scored or was fouled on her ensuing shot attempts.

Peschek has been focused on the school rebounding record — previously 23 set by Racheal Smith in 2010 — since last year, when she grabbed 22 in a game.

“You’ve got to be in the right position at the right time and you have to want it,” Peschek said of rebounding. “We knew that this game would determine the rest of our season and there were a lot of emotions involved.”

The Tides also got standout performances from their other guards, Ferrier and Olivia Paul. If defenses concentrate too much on Schwab and leave Paul alone, she can make them pay. She owns the Tides single game 3-point record with 11 and was effective against the Rams, nailing four three pointers for 12 points while grabbing five rebounds.

Tough defense

The Tides also got a standout performance from junior Ferrier, who plays defense like a Terrier. She was all over Ogladez from the opening tip, face-guarding her  and frustrating her into many forced shots.

“Ferrier plays that hard all the time. There’s no difference in practice as she brings intensity to everything she does,” Tides coach Mike Guinasso said.

“I’ve always been a person that was driven by success,” Ferrier said. “You practice how you play and I know that if I practice as hard as I can, I will also challenge my teammates too, which makes us better as a team.”

The exuberant and excitable Guinasso leads an intense, competitive coaching staff. Assistants include Corey Schwab, who was a basketball player at Northern Arizona  University, and James Bonnici, who is a Major League Baseball scout. The combination is paying dividends for Gig Harbor.

“They hold us to high standards, they all know the game and really want to help us be successful,” Peschek said.

Peninsula beats Timberline, faces GH Wednesday

Another talented girls team across town will face the Tides at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at Gig Harbor. The Peninsula Seahawks (9-2, 5-1 SSC) won at Timberline, 68-35, on Jan. 6. The Seahawks’ only league loss this year was at North Thurston, 58-50, on Dec. 16.

On Friday, Brooke Zimmerman led the Seahawks with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.

Senior guard Kaylia Heidelberg hit two threes and scored 18 points with five rebounds. Grace Richardson stuffed the box score with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Point guard Daisy Peay added 13 points and seven  rebounds.

GH boys hand North Thurston first league loss

The Gig Harbor boys (11-1, 5-1 SSC) used full-court pressure and a match-up zone to hand North Thurston (9-3, 5-1 SSC) its first league loss on Friday.

The Tides, No. 4 in WIAA’s RPI ratings of Class 3A teams, won in Lacey, 73-51.

Senior Luke Browne made six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds. Senior Will Landram flashed his athleticism with a chase-down block above the rim, two thunderous dunks and 14 points with eight rebounds.

KeVaughn Harvey rattled the Rams with multiple steals and 13 points while point guard Christian Parrish distributed the ball and found open shooters.

The Tides played as a cohesive unit after a nail-bitting, one-point win over Capital earlier in the week. That game seemed to light a fire under the Tides. They played an efficient game to pull away from the talented Rams and remain second in the SSC, one game back of Timberline.

Short-handed Peninsula falls to Timberline

The Peninsula (5-5, 3-3) boys were short handed on Friday against Timberline, having lost leading scorer Isaiah Brown to injury earlier in the week. The Blazers (7-4, 5-0) got 26 points from guard Brooklyn Hicks en route to a 79-52 victory.

Senior guard Cole Bashaw scored 13 points for Peninsula, while senior Gabe Sarno netted 11 points. Reece Redal became the seventh Seahawk to score in double figures this season with 10 points. Luke Benoit snared nine rebounds for the Seahawks.

The loss puts the Seahawks in fourth place in the SSC. Gig Harbor visits the Peninsula gym at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.