Fenumiai, Peninsula College win NWAC hoops championship

March 11, 2015

Gabi Fenumiai basketballThe hunt is over for Gabi Fenumiai. She finally bagged the big one.

The Juneau basketball player helped Peninsula College beat perennial power Lane 85-75 in the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament championship game in Washington.

It was the first NWAC title in Peninsula College history and the first time since she was a little kid that Fenumiai ended the season with a victory.

“I’ve never won a title like this before,” she told me. “I’ve won regions and came close to a state title [in high school] a couples times but was never able to pull off the big one, and now I have.

“I just love my team and my coaches and am so thankful for them.”

Fenumiai, of Juneau-Douglas High fame, averaged 15 points and 10.8 rebounds in four NWAC tournament games.

The 6-foot sophomore forward scored 9 points and grabbed 8 points despite foul trouble. She grabbed five offensive rebounds and made 4-of-7 shots from the floor.

Peninsula College finished 23-5 and won the Northern Region regular-season title as well as the tournament championship.

“We just have such a special group of talent this year. We made history with each game,” Fenumiai said. “Even if we only made it past the first round we set a new record because Peninsula College had never made it past the first round in the tournament.

“But we weren’t satisfied with that, we were hungry for that title and together, from starters to coaches to managers to the bench, we took the whole thing home.

“There’s no other way I’d want to end my years at PC and there no other people I’d rather share this monumental moment with than the ones I have now.”

Fenumiai was named to the NWAC tournament Second Team.

Anchorage’s Aminata Cole of Southwestern Oregon was named to the First Team after leading her team to the semifinals.

Aminata Cole Basketball

Aminata Cole

The 5-foot-11 sophomore center averaged 18.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots in 28 games this season.

Cole, of Dimond High fame, turned it up a notch in tournament play and posted three double-doubles in four games – 26/20, 22/15 and 23/12.

Cole and Fenumiai are both finished with junior college and have two more years of college eligibility. Look for them to sign with a school soon.

“As of right now I’m not really sure where I will end up nex year,” Cole told me.