The Pirates spent their holiday break continuing to work as a team to improve and develop chemistry as they prepared for the second half of the season.
Traveling to Trout Lake on Dec. 28 and 29, the Pirates took on Trout Lake High School and Lyle-Wishram. Vashon was missing three key players for the tournament, including senior Brynn Mueller, senior Ava Butler and sophomore Tamsen Henry. However, they were able to get strong scoring performances by senior Chloe Kuyper who pumped in 20 points along with 12 rebounds and five steals against Trout Lake, and 19 points against Lyle. Senior Liv Larson set the tone defensively with five steals, 11 points against Trout Lake and 13 points against Lyle. Freshman Ella Koebelin finished with four assists, seven rebounds and two steals against Lyle, and six rebounds, two assists and two steals against Trout Lake. Sophomore Sienna Stromberg got her first starts of the season in both games and played very hard, gaining some great experience.
With three varsity players missing, Coach Rob Kearns was able to bring additional players from junior varsity up for the tournament with sophomore Bella Mediavilla getting huge experience against Trout Lake in overtime, knocking down an important jump shot as well as hitting a free throw to finish them off. This moved the Pirates to 9-0 heading into league play, now finished with the non-league schedule.
On Friday, Jan. 4, the Pirates traveled to Bellevue to take on Bellevue Christian. The Vikings came into the game undefeated, like the Pirates, and from the jump they were ready to defend their home court. Bellevue pounded the ball all night with their 6’3” center getting layups and picking up fouls on Vashon’s players.
The second quarter, according to Kearns, was where the game really turned.
“What got us was the second quarter when Kuyper picked up her third foul and had to sit down,” he said. Trailing at the half 21 to 5, the Pirates had a big hole to overcome. Coming out of the third quarter, they had some energy and got close, but ultimately fell 52 to 30. The Pirates struggled to get open shots and had turnovers, which the Vikings turned into points at the other end. Kuyper led the Pirates with 15 points, while Larson finished with 7, and junior Ella Wheeler had 8 points. League play continued on Tuesday, after press time, when the Pirates traveled to Seattle Christian. Despite suffering its first loss, the team was confident heading into that game and looking forward to competing.
Each week Kearns spotlights two members of the team, and up this week are seniors Butler and Mueller.
Butler is a forward and has been in the program four years overall with three years as a varsity player. Her favorite sport is basketball, and she is hoping to continue playing after she graduates. She is heading to college and is interested in majoring in education.
Mueller is a senior guard and has been with the program for fours years, with three years as a varsity player. Her favorite sport is basketball, which she plays all year. She plans on going to college after she graduates high school and wants to attend Brigham Young University. Mueller has a pair of lucky red Christmas socks that she wears every December for her basketball games.
— Chris Koebelin is the parent of a VHS basketball player.