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Pirate hoopsters fall to league-leading teams
The Vashon boys basketball team had a challenging run last week, as they played the top three teams in the Nisqually League and lost to all three.
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Pirates played a close game at Life Christian, but lost 78-65.
The team stayed in the game the whole way. Three players scored in the double digits: Ben Whitaker with 18 points, Dan Lofland with 14 points and Jessie Norton with 10 points. The first half saw the Pirates scoring with good assists from Whitaker, and with Norton hitting three three-point shots. The half ended with the Pirates trailing, 34-33.
Life Christian then went on a seven-point run, but the Pirates fought back with a steal by Whitaker that went to Norton for three-pointer and a nice alley-oop from Whitaker to Lofland. The Pirates continued to battle, but in the last four minutes Life Christian scored points from Vashon turnovers and the Pirates were unable to answer, leaving the final score at 78-65.
After a snow cancellation the week before, the Pirates lost at league-leading Seattle Christian on Thursday, 59-30.
While the Pirate defense played tough against a very good team, the offense never seemed to get into a groove. Lofland led scoring in the first half and made two steals that led to points. Whitaker and Ian Stewart both hit two-point shots, and the remainder of points came from free-throws. The half ended with the Pirates down, 26-15.
In the second half it seemed every time a ball was loose it went to Seattle Christian. Lofland led the team with 15 points, Whitaker had six, Stewart got two and Norton scored five points all from free-throws. From the bench Jessie Hazzard, Dylan Basurto and Garrett Starr all scored two, and CJ Williams hit a three-pointer. The final score was 59-30.
On Friday Cascade Christian came to Vashon and left with a victory over the Pirates, 58-54.
Vashon came out and played with energy and intensity, grabbing some steals and breaking up plays on defense. Offense got in a groove early with Whitaker and Norton hitting three-point shots, each scoring seven points in the half. With Basurto, Lofland and Owen Brenno all scoring, the half ended with the Pirates behind, 27-24
In the third quarter Lofland made six of his 12 points on the night, Basurto scored four of his eight and Hazzard hit some key foul shots. In the fourth quarter Whitaker hit another three-pointer and Norton hit three of his five three-pointers on the night, leading the team with 16 points.
Basurto hit two foul shots to bring the Pirates within one point with 1:49 to go, but the Pirates could not overcome and the game ended in a loss, 58-54.
The Pirates played Orting at home on Tuesday after press deadline, and they will play at Charles Wright on Friday. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the team ends league play with a home game against Chimacum that could decide fourth place in the league.
— Brian Brenno is the father of a Pirate basketball player.