The last time the Peninsula boys basketball team played on the road at Auburn Mountainview, Oregon State commit JaQuori McLaughlin had one the worst games of his high school career, going 0-for-24 from the field. He was unable to find any breathing room against a relentless Lions double team in that Seahawks loss.
That was last year’s McLaughlin. This year he is more patient, mature and willing to take what the opposing defense is giving him.
McLaughlin didn’t record a shot attempt until the second quarter, opting instead to distribute the basketball to his teammates. His plan worked as three of McLaughlin’s teammates scored in double digits and the Peninsula defense suffocated Auburn Mountainview on the road in a 58-40 win on Friday night.
“I was going one on one last year — that really doesn’t work playing against a good defensive team,” McLaughlin said. “I have to use my teammates, spread the ball and get easy shots. I have teammates that can put the ball in the hoop, so I just give it to them when they’re open and they’re double teaming me. Just getting them the ball and getting into rhythm early.”
Senior Garrett Kingman led the Seahawks with 16 points. Senior Austin Kingman and senior center Jimmy Ritchie added 13 apiece, while McLaughlin chipped in 12. Peninsula was up 36-13 at halftime.
“The biggest thing (with McLaughlin) is trust,” Seahawks coach Jake Jackson said. “He firmly believes if he passes the ball to Jimmy (Ritchie), Jimmy will score. (Jimmy) shoots 70 percent from the field this year. (McLaughlin) knows data-wise, Jimmy, Garrett and Austin are phenomenal players. He doesn’t need to do that; he’s a point guard. He wants to facilitate. He wants to play defense. He wants to lead the troops.”
Peninsula (11-0, 6-0 SPSL 3A) stayed in a 2-3 zone the entire night, forcing Auburn Mountainview (10-1, 5-1) to settle for low-percentage outside shots.
“We get our offense through our defense,” Jackson said. “We were so swarming. Our length, we were building walls. It was like a dense forest, man. They couldn’t even drive their bike or motorcycle through the trees — there was just so much foliage, they couldn’t do anything. That’s Peninsula basketball. That’s how we should play every possession.”
Senior Ki’Jan Weisinger scored a team-high 12 points and senior Ryan Lacey added 11 points for Auburn Mountainview.