Gig Harbor kept Peninsula’s sophomore sensation and Oregon State commit JaQuori McLaughlin in check Saturday night as the Tides cruised to a 60-27 win over the Seahawks in front of Gig Harbor’s home crowd.
McLaughlin didn’t manage many clean looks at the basket, and finished with just 10 points.
“He’s a really good player,” said Tides coach Billy Landram. “We tried to focus on him. We were playing a bunch of teams so we didn’t even get a scouting report in until this morning. Our kids get excited to play just as much as theirs.”
The Tides, on the other hand, had no problem scoring.
Senior guard Ryan Rychard finished with 22 points and made four 3-pointers. Junior Casey Gearhart added nine points.
The Tides were up 32-14 at halftime and Peninsula was never able to close the gap.
“We played with a lot of energy and just fought hard and won the game,” Gearhart said.
While the game lacked competitiveness, the draw of a cross-town rivalry generated plenty of excitement for students and fans from both schools who packed the Gig Harbor High gym.
“It means a lot, just for the fans and just to show them a good time,” Gearhart said.
Gig Harbor 61, Peninsula 31: At the end of the first quarter, Peninsula led 9-6 over the rival Tides. Then Gig Harbor coach Bob Boback went to a full-court press, and the Gig Harbor never looked back, leading 27-17 at halftime and winning 61-31.
Boback said the team hasn’t been executing its half-court offense well, and he wanted the team to loosen up.
“I just wanted to try to get us playing hard,” Boback said. “I figured we could get some turnovers and get some transition baskets. We’ve been playing kind of tight, so when we press it kind of makes them just play and not think. We really started getting some momentum.”
Freshman Izzy Turk led the Tides with 15 points. Sophomore captain McKenzie Alton added 14.