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Vashon girls basketball wins first-round playoff game
Tuesday, Feb. 7, marked the last regular season game and Senior Night as the Pirate girls basketball team brought down the Chimacum Cowboys. Two days later the team took another victory over University Prep in a nail-biting playoff game.
The first and third quarters of Tuesday’s season finale featured the team’s five seniors: Charlotte Kehoe, Rachel Hoffman, Mariya Munsey, Kelsey Abella and Shannon Slater. And the seniors did not disappoint, posting a 24-9 lead as the first quarter ended.
By halftime Vashon opened a 40-14 advantage as the Pirates sailed to a 70-32 win.
Kehoe led the Pirates with 17 points, and Vashon seniors accounted for 43 points on the evening as Hoffman (10), Abella (8), Slater (6) and Munsey (2) all added to the tally.
Vashon’s win over Chimacum, coupled with two Life Christian losses the previous week, paved the way for the Pirates to post a third-place Nisqually League tie with Life Christian. The two teams split the head-to-head meetings during the regular season, so a coin flip (which the Pirates lost) was used to slot the Pirates as the No. 4 seed from District 3 in the tri-district playoffs. For the first time in five seasons, Vashon did not host a first-round playoff game.
Instead Vashon traveled to Seattle on Saturday to take on the District 2’s No. 3 seed, the University Prep Pumas, in a loser-out first round contest.
This game was marked by a difference in styles, with the Pumas staying in a full-court press while the Pirates slowed the pace, sticking to half-court pressure on defense and methodical play on offense.
The game, played in front of an enthusiastic University Prep crowd, remained close through the first half, with neither team opening a substantial lead. The half ended with the Pirates sporting a 2-point advantage, 18-16.
In the third quarter the score again stayed close. With the Pirates up by 3 and time running out, Koenig scored her only points of the evening, hitting a key buzzer-beater from 14 feet to give the Pirates their largest lead of the evening, 28-23.
Vashon extended the lead to 7 in the fourth quarter, but a resilient Puma squad struck for 7 unanswered points of their own to tie the game. The two teams were deadlocked at 32 to end regulation play.
A tense overtime followed, as each team scored a single basket over the first three-and-a-half minutes. Regain-ing possession with 29 seconds left, the Pirates worked the clock to under six seconds.
Quig fed the ball to Kehoe, who was double-teamed midway up the left side of the lane. The Pirate post managed to turn into the key and deliver, hitting what proved to be the game winner. The Pumas could only manage a desperation shot as time expired. Vashon advanced to the second round of playoffs with a final score of 36-34.
Vashon scoring was again led by Kehoe (16), Quig (11) and Hoffman (7) with Koenig adding 2 points.
The Pirates took on their Nisqually League foe, Cascade Christian, on Tuesday after press deadline. Win or lose, the Pirates are guaranteed a playoff game on Thursday. Check the high school website for location and tip-off information.
— Gary Means is the assistant coach of the girls basketball team.