Boys trounce Seattle Christian

Alex Wegner powers the ball to the hoop over Seattle Christian. - Bill Gage photo
Alex Wegner powers the ball to the hoop over Seattle Christian.
— image credit: Bill Gage photo


For The Beachcomber

The battle was won before the game was over against the Warriors on Friday, Jan. 9. Pirate fans, including Stanford basketball coach Rodney Tention, filled the Seattle Christian gym, dulling the team’s home advantage.

The Pirates faced a team giving away considerable height advantage — the tallest Warrior was 6’3” while the average height of the Pirate’s starting lineup is more than 6’5”.

The match began with John Gage jamming the tip to Thomas Timm-Skove, who scored within seconds.

The teams were only tied briefly before Vashon kicked into high gear. Matt Kerns sunk the first of his two 3-pointers a minute before the first quarter buzzer, bringing the score to Pirates 15, Warriors 10.

Seattle Christian’s press couldn’t prevent the Pirates from scoring. Nor could their interesting “belly button defense” against John Gage, comprised of placing a defender between Gage and the basket plus another very short Warrior facing Gage’s stomach.

With Gage caged for the first two periods of the game, Timm-Skove and Alex Wegner repeatedly sliced to the basket. After Max Burnham, Charlie Hoffman and Chris Pieterick weighed in, the Pirate margin extended to 17 points by halftime.

The Warriors’ choice to abandon its belly button strategy and start the second half with a standard 3/2 zone defense sent Gage on a hoop fest. Thanks to adept passing

by his fellow Pirates, he slammed down five baskets in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Going into the fourth, it was Pirates 49, Warriors 26.

Vashon’s defense shuts down good 3-point shooting teams, forces turnovers and rebounds with vengeance, transmitting Pirate energy back into offense.

Early in the fourth, the Warriors’ best shooter and ball handler fouled out. Pirate coach Andy Sears pulled starters, and Vashon’s overall strength and depth was put on display.

Before the game was over, Michael Stoffer and Quinn Holert contributed Pirate points. Vashon continues to be ranked number one in the state for 1A schools.

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