Hoopsters win one, lose one

Sophie Nespor, 31, and Elisa Wendt, 12, try to keep the ball away from Seattle Christian as the third quarter winds down. - Rik Forschmiedt photo
Sophie Nespor, 31, and Elisa Wendt, 12, try to keep the ball away from Seattle Christian as the third quarter winds down.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photo

Pirates split games last week with Nisqually league foes Orting and Seattle Christian, beating the Cardinals 71-30 but falling to the Warriors 53-37.

Vashon returned to league play Tuesday night, making the trip to Orting. The Pirates got off to a slow start, riding full-court pressure to several steals but failing to convert the takeaways into points. Ahead midway through the first quarter, the Pirate press began to pay dividends as Vashon went on a 17-4 run to finish the quarter up 25-11.

“One key to our offensive success was the ball movement,” said Coach Henry Porter. “A great example was at the end of the first quarter as the great team-wide passing allowed us to run the game clock to one second before generating a wide-open three from Kiki Means.”

The Pirates took a 40-16 lead into the half and regardless of substitution combinations remained effective in the second half. Sophie Nespor, Marya Munsey, Kelsea Abella and Katherine Misel made key contributions in the fourth quarter as the Pirates won 71-30.

Throughout the game the backcourt tandem of Kelly Costello and Means spread the Cardinal defense with the two combining to shoot six out of seven for the game from beyond the arc.

On the boards the Pirates were paced by Cat Amick and Chrissy Swope, who garnered eight and seven rebounds, respectively. Vashon had a season high of 22 steals and 19 assists as a team. Four Pirates scored in double figures, led by Costello, whose 28 points came in just more than three quarters of play. Elisa Wendt (17 points), Means and Charlotte Kehoe (10), Swope (4) and Munsey (2) rounded out the scoring.

Vashon’s long-anticipated home rematch with 2009 state champion Seattle Christian was played on Friday. The Pirates struggled with uncharacteristic turnovers in half-court offense (five in the first seven possessions). Even when open, Vashon could not make anything drop, spotting the Warriors a 19-4 advantage after one quarter.

The Pirates showed their mettle in the second quarter, whittling the Warrior lead to 10 by the intermission (25-15). The Pirates cut the Warrior lead to 7 when point guard Means drained the second of two third quarter threes, but this was the closest the Pirates came to evening the score. Ultimately, the third quarter was played to a virtual draw as Vashon scored 14 points to the Warriors’ 13, but half-court turnovers and a couple timely bounces helped the Warriors keep the Pirates at bay.

Seattle Christian quickly extended its lead back to 12 in the fourth quarter, and the Pirates only managed 8 points in the quarter as Seattle Christian won 53-37.

Costello led the Pirates with 19 points, aided by Means (6), Wendt (5), Swope (4), Nespor (2) and Kehoe (1).

“We struggled with our half-court sets tonight,” said Porter. “Even when we were able to work the ball inside, we either failed to maintain possession or did not take the types of shots that are there when our offense is running efficiently.”

— Gary Means is the father of Pirate Kiki Means.

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