Hoopsters win two as season opens

The Pirates tipped off the regular basketball season last Wednesday with a home game against Cedar Park Christian. The Pirates were victorious, defeating the Eagles, 65-42.

The opening possession set the tone for the Pirates. Junior Jesse Norton out jumped defending league MVP Trey Drechsel, flipping the ball to Ian Stewart, who forwarded it to Noah Chee, who waxed a three to score the first points of the season.

Vashon jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes before Cedar Park was able to get on the board. Senior center Owen Brenno had a dominant first quarter, scoring 8 points and grabbing four rebounds. At the end of the first quarter the Pirates were up, 18-13.

The Pirates continued to add to their lead over the Eagles. Jesse Norton led scoring with 18, followed by sophomore Sam Yates with 12 points. Junior point guard Ian Stewart had a great game, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Both Chee and Owen Brenno had 10 points, giving all five Pirate starters double digits.

As the final buzzer sounded, the crowd erupted as the Pirates had knocked off the defending league champs in their first home game of the year.

Later in the week the Pirates traveled to Seattle Christian High School to take on the Warriors. The first half of this game presented a very different picture of the Vashon team than the one seen in their first game. The Pirates were missing shots, not getting rebounds and giving up the inside on defense. Despite not playing up to their potential, the Pirates stuck with the Warriors, ending the half down by only one point.

In the second half, Vashon came out fired up. Yates and Norton started it off, hitting three-pointes on back-to-back possessions. The offense started to click, with Yates knocking down jumpers and Norton driving the lane. On defense, the Pirates started to play with more grit, and Norton shut down Seattle Christian star forward Cody Miller.

With victory inevitable, coach Andy Sears sent in the bench, and the starters received a standing ovation as they took their seats. The final score was Pirates 54, Warriors 38. Norton had a “double double,” scoring 13 and grabbing 10 boards, but Yates led the scoring with 18 points.

Saturday night the Pirates returned home for a non-league game against Northwest High School.  This was a game the Pirates expected to win and it showed, coming out a little flat footed and trading scores with Northwest. But they quickly woke up, dominating Northwest, outscoring them 24-11 in the first quarter.

This trend continued for the rest of the game. The Pirates were bigger, faster and more aggressive, than Northwest. Halfway through the third quarter, all of the Pirate starters had been benched so as not to run up the score and to give some younger players game experience. Once again Norton and Yates turned in impressive games, scoring 22 and 14 points respectively.

If the first week of the season is any inidication, Vashon is a force to be reckoned with in the Nisqually League.

— Ezra Lacina is a The Riptide’s  sports editor.

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