Every Peninsula High School basketball player wears the letters DWWD across his shoulders where some teams stitch last names: Do What We Do.
In the closing minutes of a battle of unbeaten 3A powers, junior guard Cade McGill did a little more than he usually does to spark Peninsula’s 63-61 victory over Wilson at the Showare Center on Saturday night.
First, McGill, who came into the game averaging less than three points per game, nailed a three-pointer from the left corner to give the Seahawks (6-0) their first lead of the second half, 52-50, then he came up with a steal that turned into a JaQuori McLaughlin layup and finally collected his own rebound to score and stretch the Seahawks lead to five.
“The three felt amazing, that’s a shot you dream of,” said McGill.
As Wilson (5-1) tried to advance the ball into the front court, McGill slashed in to take the ball away and fired it ahead to McLaughlin.
“It’s my job to get steals,” he said. “I read his eyes and saw where it was going to go.”
“You love to see a guy who doesn’t get a lot of touches come through in a situation like that,” said Peninsula coach Jake Jackson.
Despite a role player creating some highlights, there was plenty of star power for both teams.
The Oregon State-bound McLaughlin scored 21 points for Peninsula to go along with four rebounds and two assists while 6-foot-9 post Jimmy Ritchie added 13 points — included five of six pressure free throws in the final minute — despite being limited to only 19 minutes due to foul trouble. Austin Kingman also had 13, making 3 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Wilson guard David Jenkins, Jr. poured in 28 points, all but two points scored in the final three quarters on 11-of-24 shooting. Jenkins drained two crowd-pleasing 3-pointers in the final 13 seconds to keep the winner in doubt until the end. Emmitt Mathews, Jr. had 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Peninsula grabbed its biggest lead of the night at the end of the first quarter, 16-9.
“Early on seeing our zone and the size that we have slowed them down a bit,” said Jackson.
Wilson coach Dave Alwert agreed to a point.
“I don’t think their size bothered us,” he said. “But their zone did.”
With the Rams outrebounding the Seahawks, 34-31, despite the size disparity and the teams playing evenly in a wide variety of statistical categories, Alwert pointed to effort as the ultimate difference.
“Film will explain everything to our team when we watch this game,” he said. “We’ll see that it was our heart and our hustle that was lacking, our discipline at the end of the game, but we can fix those things.”
Though Wilson outscored Peninsula in the second quarter, 14-12, but the Rams missed a chance to tie when Jenkins traveled trying to line up for a 3-pointer. On the inbounds pass, Kingman took the ball hard up the right side for a layup at the buzzer and the margin was again five.
But Wilson was at its best after intermission.
“That was the only quarter we actually attacked,” Alwert said. “When we play at our tempo, we can be very good team.”
The Rams put together a 10-4 run, then scored the next eight points to put Wilson ahead, 39-37. They built the advantage to as many as eight, 46-38, before McLaughlin and McGill keyed the Seahawks decisive fourth quarter.