At the end of the first quarter, Peninsula led 9-6 over the rival Tides. Gig Harbor head coach Bob Boback went to a full court press, and the Tides never looked back, leading 27-17 at half and winning 61-31. Boback said the team hasn't been executing their 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 points for the Tides.
Turk said the team has gotten off to a few slow starts this year, and wanted to push the tempo.
“It always helps us to press and kind of get our intensity up,” Turk said. “We just wanted to keep it up no matter how tired we get. We have subs, so just keep the intensity up and work hard.”
Peninsula head coach Steve Jacobson said the Seahawks simply didn't do a good job of executing against the press. The team just wasn't on the same page, he said.
“We didn't each do our little part of the puzzle,” Jacobson said. “When we don't do that, we allow the defense to get into advantageous positions, and that caused us to pass the ball backwards instead of forwards against the pressure. Every time we go backwards, it allows them to reset the press. Every time we go forwards, it causes them to chase and we get the break.”
Peninsula senior center Rilee Zilkey, also said the team didn't execute well.
“We got down on ourselves and that we just didn't execute how we're supposed to,” Zilkey said. “We have so many great options in our press breaks, we just kind of fell apart and couldn't see the whole court. Next game, we just need to execute.”
Jacobson also said the team didn't rebound well, and was concerned about their composure once they fell behind.
“I understand that it's our heated rivals and they want to put on a good showing, but we can't get discouraged,” Jacobson said. “We have to just keep playing. We have a lot of kids that are getting their feet wet with varsity, so they need to understand that we need to keep going.”
While players often claim that no game is bigger than any other, rivalry games are special, and different. Turk said the Tides, who lost by two last year in overtime to the Seahawks, will enjoy the win.
“It means everything,” Turk said. “We've worked so hard and as a team just bonded and grouped together. It's been quite the ride. We've had some tough losses lately and just to have a breakthrough win like this is huge for our team.”
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.