Sports

Boys tame Tarriers, trounce Cowboys

Charlie Hoffman shoots over the Charles Wright Academy defense on Jan. 21. - Bill Gage photo
Charlie Hoffman shoots over the Charles Wright Academy defense on Jan. 21.
— image credit: Bill Gage photo

The Vashon High School boys basketball team notched two more wins last week.

On Wednesday, they defeated the Charles Wright Tarriers 56-33.

On Friday, they pummeled the Chimacum Cowboys, 89-23. They thus complete a perfect record through the first half of their Nisqually League season, and continue to be the top-ranked 1A team in the state.

However, the Pirates did not look like champions in the early going in Tacoma.

Charles Wright Academy, defending Washington state 1A champions, played with focus and determination, hoping to upset the team considered most likely to be their successor.

The Tarriers successfully employed a packed zone similar to that used by Chelan against the Pirates two days earlier.This prevented the Pirates from getting the ball inside to their twin towers, John Gage and Charlie Hoffman.

Pirate perimeter shooting was poor. And while Pirate coach Andy Sears exhorted his players to attack the basket, they did not seem able to find a crease in the Tarrier defense. This, combined with Pirate turnovers, left them clinging to a slim 20-17 advantage at the half.

Coming out in the second half, the Pirates seemed to have gotten Sears’ message.

Pirate Thomas Timm-Skove started off by attacking inside. And while he missed the shot, he managed to get his own rebound for the putback.

Alex Wegner attacked baseline and was fouled, sinking one of two free throws.

Timm-Skove followed this with a slashing drive for 2, putting the Pirates up 25-17 only a minute into the quarter.

When Charles Wright managed to close back within 2 points midway through the third, the Pirates responded.

On offense, they displayed an inside-out game, getting the ball inside to Gage and driving the lanes, but also kicking out for scores from the perimeter.

On defense, they pressured the Tarrier backcourt, forcing turnovers and turning some of them into fast break points.

By the end of the third quarter, the Pirates had a solid 40-25 lead.

Continuing to successfully press ahead in the fourth, the Pirates returned to the Island with a 56-33 victory in tow.

The Pirates made the long trip to Chimacum on Friday to face a weak Cowboy team. At their last meeting this season, the Pirates drubbed the Cowboys 89-20 in an embarrassing display of “shock and awe.” This second contest, on the Cowboys’ home court, ended in a similar 89-23 show of Pirate force.

Sears said he expects his players to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the season. Whether in practice, a championship game or an

expected blowout as the Chim-acum game proved to be, he admonishes his players to play “Vashon Style,” with each giving his best effort all the time.

He reminded his players that even against the weakest teams, “the best way to show people respect is to go out there and play your hardest.”

Well, suffice to say, the Pirates showed Chimacum a lot of respect. With the starting rotation in place, the Pirates roared to a 53-7 first half lead.

Reserves were brought in early and received more than usual playing time. They used the opportunity to show that the future of the Pirate program is in good hands.

Junior reserves Quinn Holert, Matt Kerns, Elias Weston and sophomore Kyle Bakker routinely provide quality challenges for their starting brethren during practices.

Using them as game time substitutes, Sears knows they bring the same intensity and productivity as his starters.

Gaining significant minutes against Chimacum, the bench showed they can sustain that intensity and productivity over time in a game situation, something that Sears must find reassuring.

As the team moves into the second half of the season, on their journey toward district and state tournament play, he will need their continued efforts to keep the Pirates’ sails trimmed and full.

The Pirates faced chief Nisqually League rival, the Cascade Christian Cougars, last night at home (too late for publication in today’s paper). A win against the Cougars would virtually ensure the Pirates’ fifth consecutive Nisqually League crown.

The Pirates travel to Orting on Friday, then return to Vashon High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, to host the Seattle Christian Warriors.

— Charlie Pieterick is the father of Pirate Chris Pieterick.

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