The Pirate basketball season came to an end on Saturday with a 60-70 loss to Okanogan High School at the regional championships. Okanogan came into the game boasting a 23-0 record while Vashon came in with an impressive 20-5 record.
The Okanogan Bulldogs came out fired up and strong to start the game. Their interior zone defense seemed impenetrable, and they did not let passes go through the inside.
Junior Jessie Norton scored the first 8 points for Vashon, beginning one of the best personal performances in school history. Late in the first quarter, sophomore Noah Chee hit a 3-pointer to bring the Pirates within 1, but Okanogan got two quick scores, ending the first quarter up 18-13.
The problems continued for Vashon in the second quarter. The Bulldogs scored quickly and efficiently, with quick slashing drives and fast breaks. At the same time, they were not allowing any Pirates to score in the paint, but the long-range shooting of Norton kept Vashon within 11 points. At the half, Vashon was still down 26-37. Norton had an impressive 17 points in the first half.
For years Vashon has been known for its high pass offense. One big problem in this game was that Okanogan defended the pass incredibly well, often picking off passes and taking them the other way for a fast break.
With time winding down, it was apparent that Vashon was not going to win the game. The Pirates fought hard, but in the end the better team won. Vashon fell 60-70.
Norton had an incredible personal performance, hitting 11 3-pointers, scoring a career high of 43 points and breaking the school scoring record he had set earlier in the season.
The loss marks the end of two careers, seniors Owen Brenno and Thomas Douglas. Both these young men showed incredible work ethic and heart throughout their basketball careers.
— Ezra Lacina is the sports editor for The Riptide.