The Vashon girls basketball team split Nisqually League contests last week. The Pirates defeated the Life Christian Eagles on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and then took the Bellevue Christian Vikings to the wire before losing a close game on Saturday.
The game against the Eagles presented an opportunity for the Pirates to demonstrate the degree of improvement they have achieved since a 29-point drubbing at Life Christian in December. The Pirates leaned on their scrappy defense during the first half, taking a 3-point advantage to halftime (13-10). The team exploded for 20 points in the third quarter on their way to the 36-24 win.
Siena Jannetty’s 17 points led the Pirate scoring. Anya Quig scored 9, Taegen Lynch tallied 6, and Annika Hille added 3.
“Our communication was really great on defense,” said head coach Henry Porter after the game. “On the offensive end, we are getting much more makeable shots. The end result is that we have really begun to play better as a team.”
The Pirate win dropped Life Christian out of a tie for the fourth and final spot in the Tri-District tournament and represented Vashon’s largest winning margin of the season.
The Saturday evening visit by the Vikings pitted the Pirates against the league’s third-place team. Bellevue Christian entered the contest one game behind Eatonville in the Nisqually League standings — the Vikings had beaten Vashon by 37 points earlier in the season.
Playing without two sidelined starters, the Pirates trailed by as much as 11 points in the first quarter before battling back to end the stanza down by six, 13-7. Vashon continued its bid to even the tally in the second quarter, outscoring the Vikings 8-4, and were within 2 points at the half, 17-15.
The Pirates kept the game within reach in the second half, pulling to within 3 points with 30 ticks left on the clock. The Vikings were aided by an intentional foul call with 20 seconds remaining. This gave them two free throws and possession as the Pirates came close in this one, but ultimately fell short, losing 37-30.
Kalie Heffernan had 11 points to pace the Pirate scoring. Natalie VanDevanter scored 6 points in her first starting appearance for Vashon. Quig added 9 points, while Lynch and Kate Atwell each scored a bucket in the Pirate effort.
“This was a game where a couple of missed scoring opportunities could have turned the result,” Porter said after the game. “But I think the girls showed their mettle, played hard through adversity, and were very close to an upset win.”
The Pirates played Chimacum in a home game after press deadline on Tuesday. They will travel to Eatonville on Saturday. The final game of the season will be next Tuesday at VHS. With no seniors on the roster, and looking forward to next year, the Pirate team is looking solid.
— Gary Means is the assistant coach of the Vashon girls basketball team.