This past week was another busy one for the Pirate basketball team as it marched deeper into the playoffs. The Pirates went 2-1 last week, beating The Northwest School and Seattle Christian, but losing to Cascade Christian. Despite the loss, the Pirates are moving on to regionals, which will take place this weekend in eastern Washington.
The first game of the week was a home game against The Northwest School. These two teams met earlier in the year, when Vashon came out on top by a score of 66-33. The game started well for Vashon as it jumped out to a huge lead early, going up 12-2 halfway through the first quarter. Northwest won the last four minutes, pulling to within 6 and ending the first quarter with Vashon up 16-10.
The Pirates’ overall play improved in the second quarter. Junior Jessie Norton played strong, both rebounding and scoring, giving the Pirates momentum as they pulled away from Northwest. In the final seconds, sophomore Noah Chee drained a 3 to cap off a great half. Heading into the locker room, the Pirates were up 34-17. Norton had a double double in the first half with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Norton started the second half right where he left off, knocking down a 3 for Vashon’s first points. In the second half, the Pirate defense let up a bit, but the offense just kept getting better. Sophomore Sean Delargie made a nice play with a ball fake put back shot. Junior Ian Stewart wasn’t able to continue in the second half, giving Delargie more minutes than he is used to running the point, and he played very well with the extended time.
Vashon finished the game strong on offense, winning 76-57. Norton had a great game, scoring 24 and grabbing 14 rebounds.
On Friday night the Pirates took on league rival Cascade Christian at Mountlake Terrace High School. Things started off pretty badly for the Pirates, with Cascade scoring first and getting the momentum early. Vashon lost four turnovers in the first four minutes, all leading to Cougar scores.
Junior Steen Jennings got Vashon on the board with an early 3, but Cascade still had the momentum. After the first quarter, Vashon kept it close, down 9-11. The second quarter was more of the same. Norton had an impressive quarter, but as a team, the Pirates didn’t play Vashon basketball. At the half, Cascade was in the lead, 25-19.
The Pirate defense picked it up in the third quarter, holding Cascade to 9 points, but the offense couldn’t get going, scoring only 7. The Cougars simply seemed to want it more than the Pirates.
In the fourth quarter, Vashon started a comeback with a bombardment of 3s by Chee, Stewart, Yates and Norton, bringing Vashon within 2. With seven seconds left, Vashon was down by 2 with an inbound under the basket, but a last-second 3-pointer attempt didn’t fall, and Vashon was defeated 43-45. Norton again led Vashon in scoring with 19 points.
Because of the loss, the Pirates had to face Seattle Christian the next day at Mountlake Terrace. It was another rough start for the Pirates, as they found themselves down early. Sophomore Sam Schoenberg knocked down a corner 3 to bring the Pirates within 2 points late in the first quarter. The quarter ended with Vashon down, 10-15. The Pirates picked it up in the second quarter, starting off with a Chee 3 followed by another 3 by Schoenberg that tied it up. In the second half of the quarter, Norton took over with several scores. At the half, Vashon was up 28-24.
Chee went off in the third quarter, knocking down 3 after 3. Chee’s performance plus Norton’s aggressive drives gave the Pirates a huge lead with 1:20 left in the third, 47-29.
In the fourth quarter, Seattle made it close for a bit, but the Pirates never gave up the lead. Vashon won 67-57, ending Seattle Christian’s season and continuing its own to regionals.
The Pirates will play at noon Saturday in Wenatchee. Their opponents will be Okanogan High School. The game will be broadcast live on Voice of Vashon web radio.
— Ezra Lacina is the sports editor of The Riptide.