This season the Pirate basketball team started off hot, winning its first two games. The beginning of league play, however, has seen the team stumble, losing two in a row and leaving them with a record of 2-2.
The first match of the season was a late-November home game against Auburn Adventist Academy. The Pirates came out strong, scoring fast and overwhelming Auburn on defense.
Vashon dominated the game from the start to the final buzzer. The underclassmen played well — sophomore Jessie Norton led the Pirates in scoring with 23 points. Another sophomore, Josh Myer, hit from the 3-point range multiple times, aiding the Pirates to a 68-37 victory.
The second contest of the season was a home game against Cross Point Academy on Dec. 1.
“We came out firing on all cylinders versus Cross Point with a tremendous amount of energy” said coach Andy Sears.
Vashon again dominated the game, showing who was the better team that night. Senior Ben Whitaker had a tremendous first half, scoring 26 of his 30 points on the night. The Pirates won by a landslide, 80-32.
The game against Cedar Park Christian, Dec. 4, was Vashon’s first road game and more importantly the first league game of the season. This would be a tough game for the Pirates, who were up against a very good Cedar Park team.
“Cedar Park is a tremendous team, and we got to see up close why they are picked by many to win the league,” Sears said.
Cedar Park has more size and experience than the young Vashon roster.
“We had a couple of good runs, but every time we made a mistake, they capitalized,” Sears said.
Norton had another great evening, scoring 29 points, but it was not enough to salvage the game for the Pirates. In the end, the team with fewer mistakes came out on top, with Vashon losing 63-47.
Vashon returned home to face a talented Seattle Christian team on Dec. 7. As expected, the Pirates were hoping to redeem themselves with a win, but this proved to be no easy task against Seattle Christian. The game had an extreme defensive emphasis, and the Pirate defense played tremendously, but the offense couldn’t get the points to take the lead.
Sophomore point guard Ian Stewart did a great job distributing the ball and running the offense, but shots that would usually go in were not falling for the Pirates. At the half, Seattle Christian led, 18-13. In the second half, the back-and-fourth game continued and was neck-and-neck coming down to the final minute of regulation.
Freshman Sam Yates nailed a 3-pointer in the final seconds to send the game into overtime. The Pirates, however, failed to capitalize in the extra period, losing in overtime, 51-43. Being 0-2 in league play is never a good place to be, Sears said, but he is confident that the young, talented team will turn it around.
— Ezra Lacina is a student at Vashon High School.