Sports

Pirate boys basketball team has a successful summer season

The Vashon High School boys basketball team was back on the court for the summer season starting June 1 and played a final game on July 19.

Hoping to continue the success of last year, Coach Andy Sears lined up stiff competition for the team, often matching them up against the bigger 3A and 4A schools. With players juggling summer football, baseball, Amateur Athletic Union basketball and family vacations, the team often played with a short bench, but still finished the summer with more wins than losses.

Six players from Vashon’s 2009 1A state championship team graduated in June, including three starters. The two starters returning to the team are senior John Gage and junior Alex Wegner. Also returning to the team are seniors Elias Weston, Quinn Holert and Matt Kerns and junior Kyle Bakker.

Last year’s team manager, senior Christian Hasson, was added to the varsity roster for the summer season as well as senior Matt Amick and juniors Tyler Stoffer and Jeff Rauma. Hamzah Griffin, Dylan Basurto, Torin Perret, Jesse Hazard, Grady Penning and Ben Whitaker also saw some varsity playing time.

“We really started clicking by the end of July,” Weston said. “We’re finding our roles, which will be the key to success.”

The summer season kicked off with the Kentridge Tip-Off tournament June 6 and 7, where the team lost in two close games to Lindbergh (3A) and Auburn (3A), then beat West Valley (3A).

June 8 marked the first game of the Cloud 9 Summer League at Auburn High School, where they competed in seven games in June and came away with a 4-3 record. Highlights included a win over Thomas Jefferson (4A) and Kentwood (4A). The losses came in close games to good teams.

Participation in the Seattle Pacific University Falcon Classic is a summer tradition for Vashon High School basketball and took place on June 20. This year the team played four games in a single day, the last two back to back. They won all four, beating Lake Washington (4A), Monroe (4A), Inglemoor (4A) and British Columbia All-Stars.

“We’ve never done that before,” said Sears of the wins.

Another season highlight and first for the team came in July at team camp on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg. The team beat East Valley (3A), Fife (2A), Arlington (4A), Meadowdale (3A) and Shorecrest (3A) in back-to-back games to win the tournament held on the last day of camp.

“I was exhausted,” said Weston, “but happy.”

The team wrapped up the season with a Cloud 9 tournament on July 16 and 17 and came away with a win over River Ridge (2A) and losses to Auburn (3A), Thomas Jefferson (3A) and White River (3A).

“Although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go,” said Gage. “We’re dedicated to getting better.”

The final success of the summer came the day after the team played its final game when Gage verbally committed to play for Stanford following his graduation from Vashon High School.

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