By EZRA LACINA
The Vashon Pirates capped off a strong regular season with a great week of basketball. They started the week by crushing the Cruisers of Eatonville, finished with a road win at Charles Wright Academy and came out of the game sharing the Nisqually league title with Cedar Park.
Tuesday was time for a rematch with the Eatonville Cruisers, who had handed the Pirates their first loss of the season. Vashon was plenty motivated to win this game.Not only did they want to prove that the last meeting was a fluke, but also this was senior night for the Pirates.
The Pirates came out on fire, with senior Owen Brenno getting Vashon on the board with an off-the-glass basket. From there Vashon got a big first-quarter lead and didn’t let up. This was an instance when the intensity on the floor didn’t reflect the score. Vashon was dominating in the score book, but Eatonville was more physical and more intense than the Pirates. At the end of the first quarter, the Pirates had the lead, 17-6
In the second quarter, Eatonvilles’ physical play got more intense, and it helped the Cruisers as they forced turnovers and grabbed tough rebounds. They doubled their first-quarter score in the second quarter, but Vashon still held a strong lead to the half, going into the locker room up 31-21.
Junior Ian Stewart started things off in the second half by draining a 3-pointer to add to Vashon’s already impressive lead. The third quarter was almost identical to the first score wise, putting Eatonville down in a huge hole late in the game.
In the fourth quarter, Vashon was in cruise control when senior Thomas Douglas scored a 3-pointer and threw up an alley-oop to junior Jessie Norton. With a couple minutes left in the game, head coach Andy Sears called time out, subbing out Douglas and Brenno. The crowd gave the two seniors a standing ovation while Sears paced back and forth signaling for the crowd to get loud — which it did.
In the end, Vashon cruised to victory, winning by a score of 66-39. Norton led the Pirates scoring with 18. Brenno had 4 and Douglas had 5 to finish their home careers.
Thursday night promised a thriller as the Pirates traveled to the Charles Wright dome to take on the Terriers. In their last meeting, the Pirates pulled out a close victory that ended with the students storming the court. It is no secret that these two schools don’t like each other when it comes to sports, which almost always promises great competition. The energy in the dome was high, as the traveling Vashon crowd battled with the home CWA crowd.
Vashon started well, with Norton scoring the first 7. Then sophomore Sam Yates added the next 9, hitting three treys. At the end of the first quarter, Vashon was up 18-13 with Yates and Norton dominating as a sharp shooting duo.
The second quarter was a battle with both teams playing very well, but Vashon was able to maintain its lead, going into the half up 32-25.
The third quarter made a Charles Wright comeback seem possible as they outscored the Pirates 13-8 in the quarter. Coming down the stretch, it looked as if this would be another close finish. Vashon just had to keep the upper hand for several more minutes. Norton was dominating the game both driving and shooting from beyond the arc. Stewart made a layup while getting fouled to put Vashon up by 7 with 13 seconds left. Stewart’s free throw put the game away for Vashon as the Pirates battled to a 58-50 victory. Norton led the Pirates scoring 21 points. Stewart played with tremendous energy all game long and dropped 12.
Beating Charles Wright gave Vashon the co-league title with Cedar Park, forcing a one-game playoff played at Seattle Christian on Saturday.
Vashon came out strong in the first quarter, finishing the first period up 16-10. In the second quarter, Vashon played solid defense along and scored consistently. Both Yates and Norton got into foul trouble early, proved difficult for the Pirates late in the game. At the half, Vashon was up 32-23.
The third quarter did not go well for Vashon. The Pirates were plagued by turnovers, and Cedar Park capitalized on the Vashon’s mistakes. After the third quater, the score was knotted up at 42.
In the fourth quater, Vashons’ defense collapsed, giving up 21 points as Trey Drechsel took over. In the end, Vashon came up short, losing 52-63. Junior Steen Jennings led Vashon’s scoring with 14, followed by sophomore Noah Chee ,who battled to get 13.
The loss means Vashon has the number two seed heading into the playoffs and will take on the Northwest School at home tonight. Vashon defeated Northwest 66-33 earlier this season.
— Ezra Lacina is the sports editor for The Riptide.
The Vashon boys’ basketball team will host the Northwest School at 7 p.m. tonight in the first round of the Tri-district Tournament. The winner will advance to the next round, which will be played at 6:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School on Friday. The loser will be out of the tournament. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. No checks will be accepted at the door because this is a tri-district event.