Cole, Fenumiai could meet face-to-face in NWAC finals

March 9, 2015

Aminata Cole basketball

Aminata Cole

Two of the best women’s basketball players in the Northwest Athletic Conference are from Alaska and they are on a collision course to square off in the championship game.

Both players are in action in tonight’s NWAC tournament semifinals, with the winners advancing to Tuesday’s title tilt in Washington.

Southwestern Oregon center Aminata Cole of Anchorage was voted to the Southern Region Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team all-star.

The 5-foot-11 sophomore scored the winning basket in the closing seconds in the first round to secure a 70-69 victory over Bellevue. She sank a driving jumper in the lane to punctuate a 26-point, 20-rebound effort.

The next day she had 22 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocked shots as SW Oregon beat Clark 73-70 to reach the semifinals.

Cole, of Dimond High fame, leads the NWAC with 3.6 blocked shots per game. She ranks second with 10.8 rebounds and third in scoring at 18.9.

Peninsula College is also in the final four, thanks in large part to Northern Region First Team all-star Gabi Fenumiai of Juneau.

Gabi Fenumiai basketballThe 6-foot power forward ranks fourth in the NWAC in field-goal percentage [.585] and sixth with 9.0 rebounds.

Fenumiai, of Juneau-Douglas High fame, highlighted an 81-60 win over Portland in the first round with a 22-point, 17-rebound performance. She made 11-of-14 field goals.

Peninsula beat Highline 69-55 in the next round with Fenumiai amassing 15 points and 6 rebounds.

In tonight’s semifinals, SW Oregon plays Lane and Peninsula takes on Umpqua.