Because of a four game losing skid, Vashon had to win two straight away games against the league leaders in order to get into the district playoffs. The first win came on Friday against Cascade Christian, and Tuesday the Pirates took care of Bellevue Christian, 53-46, in Bellevue.
The game started immediately after Bellevue Christian (BC) enjoyed a celebratory senior night. When the ball was thrown up to start at center court, the Pirates were in a predatory mood, as they blocked passes and stole possessions in those very early moments. Ethan Danielsen scored off a quick inside assist from Jahmiah Hoogen, and then Mike Piatti took an artful pass from Tommy Delargy and turned it into hook shot from 4 feet, and a 4-0 lead. Next, Delargy stole a BC rebound and made a 2-foot shot. Hoogen buried a long shot from downtown to begin his onslaught on the 3-point line, and extend the lead to 9-2. Colin Pottinger whistled a blistering fast bounce pass to a cutting Noah Edmonds for 2 points. Delargy made a 3-point shot, Pottinger banked in an 8-foot jumper, and then a tip-in at the first period buzzer, for an 18-8 lead.
The second quarter started with Piatti dribbling into the key, reversing and hitting a fall-away jumper, and the awarded free throw. Halfway through the period, BC made a three, and Delargy answered with a running 6-foot shot. Tyler Jump made a pair of free throws for BC, but Noah Edmonds scored on a jump shot from 5 feet, extending the lead to 25-13. The half ended with Hoogen getting warmed up by hitting from very deep to maintain a 10-point 28-18 lead.
Edmonds hit two free throws, and then Mr. Outside, Hoogen, continued his hot hand at the 3-point line. His bucket put the margin at 12 points, 33-21. The Vikings started to narrow the lead with an 8-foot jumper from Jump, and a long three from the corner from 6’6” Ken West. Mr. Outside hit from 23-feet to extend the lead back to 10 points, but BC made a fast-break layin and started to penetrate the Vashon defense with a turnaround jumper from West. Hoogen drove inside for a bucket, and BC answered with a three, and a runner to reduce the lead to 3 points. Then with time running out, Delargy drained a step back jump shot at the top of the key to end the period with the Pirates leading 40-35.
The last quarter opened with Pottinger catching a perfectly lofted pass from Piatti and laying it in to give VHS a little breathing room. BC answered with a long 3-point shot from the left side, to cut the Pirate lead to 42-38. In front court, Delargy came to the rescue. He drove in to the hoop, convincing his defender he would lay it in, but instead jumped backward and hit an 8-foot jumper.
The BC coach’s son, Eric Kats, drained a three bring the margin to 3 points. At the five minute mark, play was getting tense, and each team exchanged fouls without scoring. With three minutes left in the game, Hoogen got open on the ride side and lofted a three that swished through the hoop, and quieted the partisan crowd that smelled a come from behind victory. BC then made two free throws. The Pirates had a turnover that led to a fast break layin and a free throw for BC. Now with 2:30 on the clock it was a 1-point game, 47-46.
BC would not score again, and Mr. Outside hit a cold-blooded dagger-in- the-heart, 3-point shot from 22 feet. The lead was 4 points, and the clock read 2:00.
Vashon secured the rebound from the next BC shot, and then took as much time off of the clock as possible. Hoogen drove into the paint for a lay in, to give him 22 points, making eight baskets on 11 shots for the night. Delargy sank a free throw to end the scoring at 53-46. Vashon ended the league campaign with a 4-4 record and a third-place finish.
High Scorer for Bellevue Christian was Tyler Jump with 19 points. Scoring for Vashon were Hoogen 22, Delargy 12, Edmonds 6, Pottinger 6, Piatti 5 and Danielsen 2.
Friday the Pirates played Klahowya, the number-two seeded team from the Olympic league. The winner would play Cascade Christian.
Also necessary was the Seattle Christian loss, also on Tuesday, to the Cougars of Cascade Christian.
These results gave the number-one seed to Cascade Christian, the number-two seed to Bellevue Christian and the number-three seed to Vashon Island.
Vashon traveled to Silverdale Friday night for a game between the lower seeds to determine which team will play Cascade Christian Feb. 13 at Bremerton High School. The third-seeded Pirates were pitted against the Klahowya Eagles, the number-two seed from the 1A Olympic league.
Comparing schedules, and considering that the Eagles are a young team, one had to favor the Pirates, but Klahowya did not go down easily. The Pirates’ 52-42 victory was a great outcome, but the margin should have been 20 points. VHS returned to some undisciplined play, like dribbling through a crowd and losing possession of the ball, and often played uninspired defense. The other glaring negative observation from this game: Vashon continues to miss more than a third of their free throws.
Vashon played two fabulous games prior to this battle, so perhaps playoff pressure was a factor. From now on, all games will have this pressure.
Jahmiah Hoogen started where he left off, with a 3-point shot for the early lead. Tommy Delargy drained a three, and got two baskets from inside the paint while the Pirates raced out to an 11-6 lead.
But then the Pirates let down their guard and were slow to defend, allowing baskets from deep and fairly easy fast-breaks after rebounds and turnovers. The Eagles went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter leading 14-11.
JJ Bogaard started the second quarter scoring with a contested runner from 8 feet, followed by an assist to Ethan Danielsen off a pick and roll. Fundamental basketball had reared its productive head.
Next, Hoogen buried a three from the deep right side, putting the Pirates into the lead at 18-17. In the latter part of the period, Piatti and Jacob Chavez each hit threes, and Piatti drove for a contested layin to end the half with a 27-22 lead.
The third quarter was a scrum without much scoring, but the Pirates managed to increase the lead to 10 points at 35-25. Danielsen got the scoring going with a 4-foot shot, Colin Pottinger buried a three from downtown, and Hoogen followed with another three to end the Pirate scoring in the third period.
The final quarter saw Vashon maintain their 10-point lead for the victory. Klahowya made a few threats led by junior John Hartford. He scored 17 points, and hit two threes late, but the Eagles did not have enough fire power or speed to make a large enough run at the Pirate lead. They will be back next year, as they have only two seniors on the team.
Scoring for the Pirates were Piatti 13, Hoogen 12, Delargy 10, Danielsen 6, Pottinger 5, Chavez 4 and Bogaard 2. Noah Edmonds led the attack on the boards, with eight rebounds.
Vashon played Cascade Christian Tuesday night after press time.
— Daniel Briggs is the father of a VHS basketball player.