The Pirates came off of a tough loss against Seattle Christian and looked to regroup against Annie Wright on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
Playing against a team with sophomore guard Julianna Walker — a Player of the Year candidate — the Pirates had their work cut out from them. The game started fast with both teams exchanging 3-point shots with senior Chloe Kuyper hitting two of them early on. The Pirates continued to try and stop Walker with a game plan that was focused on stopping her with a zone defensive scheme. But Walker was just too good, hitting deep 3s, and attacking the basket for easy layups. The Pirates would enter halftime down 40-24 in what was a much closer game than the score indicated.
Coming out of the third quarter, the Pirates managed to slow down Annie Wright and force some turnovers but could not score themselves. As the fourth quarter began, the Pirates — down by 25 points — clawed their way to a competitive finish. Senior Ava Butler hit a 3 pointer from the top of the key, which sparked a run as freshman Ella Koebelin drove hard on the next play, drew a foul and finished the basket at the rim for a 3-point play. During the very next possession, Kuyper got a steal, pushing the ball up the court and hitting Koebelin for another transition basket, which cut the lead to 16. The frantic play led Annie Wright to call a time out and regroup.
The Pirates would score 20 points in the fourth quarter, and despite coming up short in the game, showed a level of fight that was important for the team moving forward. Kuyper led the team with 16 points, followed by Koebelin, who had 15 points. The final score was 75 for Annie Wright and 52 for Vashon.
Coming off of the tough loss to Annie Wright, the Pirates still had a chance to squeeze into the district playoffs by winning on the road against Cascade Christian on Friday, Feb. 1.
The Pirates had already beaten Cascade at home and were looking for the season sweep. From the start of the game, the Pirates came out scorching hot as Koebelin assisted on five baskets with Kuyper, hitting three 3-pointers, followed by senior Liv Larsen scoring at the basket. The Pirates were on fire and led after the end of the first quarter, 18-8. It looked as if they would run away, but not before Cascade Christian would heat up their play.
In the second quarter, Cascade started taking away the open 3-point shots as their defense picked up. The Pirates went ice cold and could not make any baskets for the next three quarters as Cascade slowly chipped away. The Pirates would only score 13 points for the rest of the game, losing by 10. Larsen led the Pirates with 10 points, followed by Kuyper with 9. The final score was 41 for Cascade Christian and 31 for Vashon.
The Pirates’ final game of the season came at home on Wednesday, Feb. 6. It was a special night as the Pirates honored their seniors before the game. Butler, Brynn Mueller, Larsen, Kuyper and exchange student Sara Paggi were recognized by the Pirates, fans and family for their commitment to the VHS Pirates Girls Basketball program. It was a special night and clear that the emotion of the night had an effect on the players.
Charles Wright raced out to a 14 to 2 lead and carried that throughout the game with effort and determination. The Pirates could not match the energy and seemed flat for the majority of the game. Charles Wright ended up winning the game 50 to 38, and just like that, the season ended for the Pirates. What started out with playoff aspirations ended up a tough season, losing 10 of their final 11 games and finishing one win and nine losses in league play. The Pirates dropped their final seven games of the season, finishing with 10 wins and 10 losses, and head into the off-season looking to regroup and rebuild the program as they are losing five players to graduation.
Larsen finished off her four-year VHS Pirates basketball career strong, averaging 7 points a game and being a defensive leader. She was a great mentor to the freshman this past season and was always pushing and cheering her team on no matter the situation. Larsen is a multi-sport athlete, also playing softball for VHS, and has been in the Pirate Basketball program all four years
Kuyper finished off the season, leading the team in scoring at 13 points per game. She has also been in the VHS Pirates basketball program for four years and was the offensive leader this past year. She is a multi-sport athlete who also plays softball for VHS. Chloe led VHS this year in minutes played and was one of the tougher players throughout the season, absorbing hits and injuries almost every game.
— Chris Koebelin is the parent of a VHS basketball player.