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Vashon Pirates get back to their winning ways
Coming off a close, tough loss to Squalicum, last years state 2A champion team, the Pirates said, “enough of that,” and dominated the Chimacum Cowboys on Dec. 15.
The Pirate trademark, a suffocating defense, was in full display. Good things happened from their aggressive pressing defense — like errant passes, steals, poor ball handling and a decomposing, frustrated and rattled opposition.
That was certainly in evidence during the first quarter of the game, with many turnovers heading the Pirates' way. But the offensive end of the court seemed to be suffering from the long ride to Chimacum.
"We were spinning our wheels and stuck in the mud,” said Coach Andy Sears.
The three-point shoots would not drop: The Pirates went only 2 for 17 attempts, with Alex Wegner collecting both shots. Halfway through the first quarter, the score was Vashon 5, Chimacum 0.
Where was the Pirate firepower? Chimacum is rebuilding with a new coach and a very young team. So a tough contest was not on the drawing board.
In the midst of this poor start, John Gage collected two quick fouls and spent most of the first quarter watching. Maybe it was the long drive that did the Pirates in at first. Maybe it was the 90-minute delay for clearing a submarine through the Hood Canal Bridge. Whatever the reason, champions respond, and the Pirates did in the second quarter, outscoring the Cowboys 22-8 with a halftime lead of 36-15.
By this time, Sears turned over playing time to his bench. By game's end, everyone played some good minutes. There were Vashon crowd-pleasing signs from the bench with quality passing and scoring from Amick and Lofland.
The halftime message from Coach Sears was heard with the starters back on the court to turn in a 12-point scoring margin during the next eight minutes. Quality rebounding, blocked shots and solid defense were on display. At the end of the quarter, it was Vashon 55, Chimacum 22.
Although his playing time was limited to mostly two quarters, Gage maintained his average at 19 points, Wegner with 15 and Holert at 10. Elias Weston and Matt Kerns each had 6. From the free throw line, the Pirates were 12 for 21.
Cascade Christian arrives on the Island for a game at 7 p.m. Friday.