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Girls basketball team advances to State
The Vashon Pirates beat the Nooksack Valley Pioneers 45 to 42 in a thrilling come-from-behind overtime victory on Feb. 28. Leading only once until the very end of the game, Vashon battled back the entire game and never lost their composure, tying the game 38 to 38 on a pop out 3 from junior Kelly Costello that sent the game into overtime.
Vashon’s started out the game down 16 to 9 at the end of first quarter, falling behind as much as 10 points in the second quarter.
“I switched the defense from zone to man, and our players did a great job of harrasing the Nooksack ball handlers. They were getting some early looks at threes, and the Nooksack players were dropping them. After we got in to their faces, the same girls couldn’t get their shots off,” said coach Porter.
With a big 3 from junior Kiki Means right before the second half buzzer, the Pirates found themselves down only 21 to 17 at the half.
“We told the girls at half time that with one basket we were right back in this game,” Porter said.
As the second half started, Costello hit a 3 to pull the Pirates within 1. But Nooksack kept on battling and outscored the Pirates by 2 to take a 6 point lead in the fourth. In the fourth quarter, the Pirates finally got their offense on track, outscoring the pioneers 14 to 8. Along with the 3 from Costello to take the game into overtime, Means hit the second of her three 3s at a crucial point down the stretch.
In overtime, the Pirates were first to strike. Junior Kiki Means unleashed her third tray of the evening to put the pirates up 41 to 38. The Pioneers answered back with a basket to close within one. The next time down senior Zelda Porter got the ball on the wing and whipped a pass over the top to Costello for a five foot jumper to the Pirates, back up by 3. Nooksack came right back on a nice backdoor play and pulled within 1. With 12 seconds left and Nooksack trying to press the Pirates, junior Chrissy Swope got the inbounds pass and kicked it back to Porter, who was fouled with seven seconds left. Porter stepped up to the line and drilled two big free throws to give the pirates a 3 point lead with seven seconds to go.
Nooksack managed to get off a 3 that missed the rim, and the pirates were on their way to State.
“There are so many things you can say about a game like this. All the girls played their hearts out” said Porter. “But one of the biggest factors was the defensive play of junior Chrissy Swope on Nooksack’s All-League player Erica Ramstead.
Swope got help from her teammates, especially Abby Dolmseth, who guarded Ramstead for the most of the first quarter. They held Ramstead, who averages 17 points a game, to 6 points and only 2 field goals. The Pirates were led by Costello 20, Means with 9, Swope 8, Porter and Kehoe with 4.
Earlier in the week in a home playoff game, the Pirates defeated the Cedar Park Eagles 53 to 31. In a game that the Pirates controlled from the beginning to the end, they steamrolled over the young Eagles, showing their Island fans why they have gone 11 and 1 over the last two years.
This is the first time that any girls’ team has gone back to back to State in the history of Vashon basketball. The girl’s program as been to State three out of the last four years with a strong core of juniors coming back next year.
The Pirates thank all their fans and supporters who have come out to support them over the season.
— This article was written with information submitted by coach Henry Porter.