For the first time this season, the Peninsula High School girls basketball team got a taste of some adversity. Playing in the “Top of the Peak” tournament in Snohomish, Peninsula posted a 1-2 record, losing 76-61 to Glacier Peak, bouncing back for a 62-60 win over Kentlake and dropping the final game against WF West, 60-55.
The holiday tournament dropped Peninsula’s record to 8-2. Going into the tournament, the Seahawks were riding high with a 7-0 record. While it was tough to lose, Peninsula coach Mike Schick said facing tough competition was beneficial for the Seahawks.
“Overall, we did all right,” Schick said. “There’s a lot we need to work on, which is good. One of the reasons we got into that tournament was to see that next level. A lot of these girls, once we got into districts last season, it was kind of an eye opening experience to play the Lincolns of the world, and stuff like that.”
And when Peninsula lost to Mount Spokane in the regional round of the Class 3A state tournament, falling one game short of the Tacoma Dome, it was the measuring stick for the Seahawks heading into this season.
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“Once we got to that Mount Spokane game, it was a whole different level,” Schick said. “It kind of left that bad taste in our mouths, we needed to figure out how to get to that level. The tournament last weekend put us in a position to play some of those teams.”
Peninsula senior guard Belle Frazier led the Seahawks, averaging 19.3 points per game in the tournament. Sophomore Linsey Lovorich averaged 17, while Renee Doss averaged 9.6 and Piper Bauer averaged 5.3 points during the tournament.
“The outcome in the tournament wasn’t what we wanted,” Lovrovich said. “Our rebounding was bad. But now we know what we need to work on. We’ve only played some weaker teams so far this season and that hasn’t pushed us. So it helped a lot to show us what’s out there and what’s going to come during playoffs and in state.”
Schick called defensive rebounding the team’s Achilles’ heel and said it’s been a point of emphasis in practice.
“We look for trying to get turnovers so they don’t get shots off,” Schick said. “Just trying to speed teams up. But just having that blue collar mentality of just finding bodies and being tougher than they are. That’s something we try to teach them but it’s something that comes from within. They just need to come out with that a little more often.”
Peninsula also played against some teams that pressure the ball more often than teams in the Class 3A South Sound Conference.
“We just could’ve worked better as a team, moving the ball,” Bauer said. “Against Glacier Peak, their defense, that’s what got to us. We’re not used to that pressure with the opponents we’ve been playing. … It’s good competition. We know other teams that are out there, fighting for the same thing we are.”
Schick said he intentionally sought out some difficult matchups for the Seahawks this season, to prepare the team for the postseason.
“It’s 100 percent awesome,” he said. “It’s one of those things where we’re going to face some adversity once we get to districts and we’re going to face some of those teams like Lincoln, Bethel, Gig Harbor, Prairie. Our district is one of the toughest in the state to come out of. For right now, it’s really nice to be able to get there. We were skating by, running over teams. To go up against those teams that are more evenly matched and have those pressure situations is good.”