Hoopsters notch two more wins; record is now 5-1

Taegan Lynch tries to block a shot by Northwest Christian’s Kami Bates. Pirates Rachel Hoffman, 12, and Cat Amick and Navigator Mackenzie Reeves follow the play. - Rik Forschmiedt Photo
Taegan Lynch tries to block a shot by Northwest Christian’s Kami Bates. Pirates Rachel Hoffman, 12, and Cat Amick and Navigator Mackenzie Reeves follow the play.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt Photo

The girls basketball team won two back-to-back non-league games last week, besting Lacey’s Northwest Christian and Steilacoom and bringing their overall record to 5-1.

In the contest against Northwest Christian, held Monday, Dec. 20, on the Pirates’ home turf, the Vashon hoopsters claimed an early lead, but the Navigators continued to battle, keeping the score close for four quarters of basketball. Leading by only two points, 16-14 at the half, the Pirates played a strong third quarter, extending their lead to as much 10 points. A Navigator rally late in the fourth quarter trimmed the Pirates’ lead, but Vashon held on to win, 35-30.

Freshman Tianna Koenig sparked the offense, coming from off the bench to penetrate the Navigator 2-3 zone that was intent on limiting offensive touches for junior post Charlotte Kehoe. Despite being frequently double-teamed, Kehoe scored 10 points in the Vashon effort. Anya Quig provided the bulk of the Pirate scoring, achieving a game high of 16 points. Jasmine Acosta (4), Koenig (4) and Cat Amick (1) also contributed to the Pirate offensive effort.

The Pirates took on the class 2A Steilacoom Sentinels the next day, Tuesday, Dec. 21, in Steilacoom.

Both squads struggled to score in the first quarter with the score tied at 7 at quarter’s end. Vashon picked up the offensive pace in the second quarter and limited the Sentinels to just four points, defensively taking a 20-11 lead to the break. Kelsey Abella played effectively in the second quarter in place of Kehoe who picked up a second foul early in the quarter.

Vashon extended its lead early in the second half, but Steilacoom switched to a 2-2-1 full-court zone press late in the third quarter, which led to several turnovers, and the quarter ended with the Sentinels cutting the Pirate advantage to eight points.

Steilacoom continued to press effectively in the final quarter and with less than four minutes to play took a brief three-point lead.

Coach Henry Porter used two separate timeouts to settle the Pirate backcourt, and finally the insertion of junior point guard Marya Munsey provided the needed confidence to break the Sentinel press.

The quarter ended with Vashon scoring two press break-associated layups and going 5-7 from the line as the Pirates rebuilt their third quarter advantage, winning 46-38.

Kehoe led the offense with a game-high of 18 points, but the game was marked by team-wide scoring, paced by Amick (8), Taegan Lynch (8), Quig (7), Hoffman (3) and Abella (2). “Marya’s leadership in the press break was one of the keys to our finding some rhythm again in the fourth quarter,” Porter said after the game.

The Pirates now head to holiday play at the SunDome Shootout in Yakima on Dec. 29 and 30. Porter is optimistic the girls will play well.

“We still need to work on our offensive flow,” he said. “But the girls are doing a better job every game. Our wings are beginning to recognize openings and attacking the basket when it is available.”

— Gary Means is the assistant coach of the Pirate girls basketball team.

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