KENNEWICK — Chelsea Dyson, Deborah Simmers and Clara Russell each contributed 17 points as the Clark College women’s basketball team defeated Peninsula 78-48 in the elimination round Sunday morning at the Toyota Center.
“We came out prepared,” coach Nancy Boone said. “We decided for this game that we were going to each give a hard three to four minutes every time they stepped foot on the court. As you can see we were able to do what we knew we needed to.”
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Clark (21-7) kept a lead of 19 or more points against Peninsula (17-11) and never looked back.
“We had fresh legs out there constantly,” Boone said. “That helped us have a stellar defensive performance.”
The Pirates had two stretches of not scoring in the first half of three minutes or more. The Penguins defended their opponent by holding each player to single digits in the first 20 minutes.
“The first half we actually felt like it ended on a rough note for us,” Simmers said of the 19-point lead at the half. “But we really turned it around and hit our shots as well as defend like we know we can.”
Peninsula post Taylor Larson lead her team with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Clark shot 43 percent from the field, while Peninsula shot about 21 percent.
“We wanted to make sure that we started the second half just as the first half,” Russell said. “It showed in the way we shot, I mean we did not take our foot off the peddle.”
The Penguins out rebounded (38-27) as well as kept the Pirates from scoring in the final four minutes of the game, finishing the game with their largest lead of 32 points.
Clark’s bench added 21 points.
“I have to give credit where credit is due,” Simmers said. “Those girls who came off the bench stepped up with high intensity and locked it down. It was a great thing to be apart of.”
The Penguins will play Umpqua at 10 a.m. Monday in the consolation semifinal.