Pirates trample Cowboys, head to playoffs

Matthew Dick (15) shoots a layup on the way to Vashon’s win over the Chimacum Cowboys last Tuesday. - Glenna Mileson Photo
Matthew Dick (15) shoots a layup on the way to Vashon’s win over the Chimacum Cowboys last Tuesday.
— image credit: Glenna Mileson Photo

The Vashon High School boys basketball team brought home a 56-30 win over the Chimacum Cowboys on Tuesday, Feb. 8, to seal their uncontested second place spot in the Nisqually League with a league record of 9-3. They earned a bye in the first round of the Tri-District playoffs.

The game got off to a quick start with Alex Wegner putting in two on the Pirates’ first possession. Tyler Stoffer stole the ball on the Chimacum possession to score two more from the free throw line after getting fouled on his drive to the hoop.

Chimacum sunk their first two off of a Pirate foul. Then Wegner followed with another two from the line. The score held at 6-2 until over halfway through the quarter until Hamzah Griffin dropped in two, followed by a 3-pointer from Chimacum to keep it close with Pirates leading 8-5. Wegner answered with a dunk on the next Pirate possession, and Vashon scored seven more before Chimacum sunk three free throws at the end of the quarter to give them eight on the scoreboard, but the Pirates held a 17-8 lead.

Game momentum changed in the second quarter. With six calls against them while the Cowboys had none, combined with two turnovers and three missed shots, the Pirates were unable to convert on their first 11 possessions while Chimacum added four to their total. Wegner finally hit for two, but Chimacum followed with another 3-pointer. Jeff Rauma added one, but Chimacum put in two more and once again it was a three-point game.

Wegner finished the half with a drive for two, followed by one from the line after being fouled on the shot, and Vashon held a narrow 23-17 lead at the half.

The boys were clearly frustrated going into the locker room. They knew they needed to make changes.

“I’m proud of them,” said Coach Andy Sears. “By the time I got into the locker room, they weren’t complaining. They were just talking about adjusting.”

A disciplined team came back on the floor for the third, taking care of the ball and putting up nine unanswered points. Chimacum could only add a total of seven in the quarter, while Vashon sank 16, and the Pirates pulled out to 39-23 lead.

Vashon continued to widen the gap in the fourth to a 47-25 lead, allowing the starters to come out and give other players some time on the court. Matthew Dick drove in for two. Then, buoyed by the chants of “Diesel, Diesel” from his teammates on the bench, he followed it with a 3-pointer. The Pirates finished with a 56-30 victory.

Wegner finished with 24 points. Points were also scored by Griffin (9), Bakker (6), Dick (5), Stoffer (4), Whitaker (3), Hazzard (2), Arceo (2) and Rauma (1).

Having earned a bye in the first round, last night the boys played King’s High School in round two of the Tri-District playoffs. Win or lose, they will play in round three on Thursday, Feb. 17, at a site to be determined.

Two wins or a win and a loss will advance the team to round four on Saturday, Feb. 19, in Lynnwood. Five teams from the Tri-District advance to the state tournament. Due to a change in tournament format this year, the state tournament will be loser-out. The first round will be played locally on Feb. 25 and 26. Eight teams will move on to play in Yakima. Game schedules will be posted on as the tournament progresses.

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