This week the Pirate boys basketball team, after dropping two league games in a row, turned the season around when it took down the Cascade Christian Cougars, 57-44. The Friday win was a significant one for the Pirates, as the Cougars were ranked number one in class 1A in the latest Tacoma News Tribune poll.
The first quarter was intense, and the Pirates played tough defense with double coverage on Cascade’s 6-foot-10 senior Shawn Spencer. On the other end of the court, the Pirate offense was explosive, scoring points quickly and often.
Sophomore forward Jesse Norton scored 10 of his 22 points in the first quarter. As the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the quarter, the score read 17-10 with Vashon in the lead.
The second quarter was a little slower, but the Pirates maintained dominance throughout, not allowing Cascade to take the lead.
Sophomore guard Ian Stewart was flying around, stealing the ball, scoring and doing a great job running the point. Frustrations grew for the Cascade Cougars as they struggled to score against a solid Pirate defense.
In the final seconds of the first half, Norton hit a monster buzzer beater that gave the Pirates momentum going into halftime. With half of the game in the books, the Pirates led 30-19.
As play resumed, the attitude of the Pirates got more intense as they came closer to victory. The energy in the building was incredible, as the Green Tide had come out in full strength and cheered at a near-deafening level. On several occasions a school official had to tell the student section to quiet down.
Cascade pulled closer during the fourth quarter, but every time the Cougars got within 10 points, the Pirates pulled away again.
With 17 seconds left in the game, the crowd began singing a victory song, and as the final buzzer rang, the score was 57-44, signaling a Vashon win.
Senior Ben Whitaker had a solid game, scoring 13 points for the night, and Ian Stewart set a career high with 14 points.
“We had two great days of practice that allowed us to be successful on Friday,” said Coach Andy Sears. “Our guys pulled out a really scrappy win.”
With this game in the books, the Pirates had their first league victory and momentum going into the following week. On Tuesday after press deadline the team played Life Christian. Their next game is Friday at Bellevue Christian.
— Ezra Lacina is a student at Vashon High School.