Cascade Christian beat Port Townsend for the opportunity to play into the bracket against Vashon, the top seed, on Feb. 14.
Cascade hit their first two shots, both 3s, while the Pirates could not find the net. Vashon could not get untracked, or reach the hoop in the first quarter, going down 16-8. But they clawed back in the second period, getting to within 3 points at the half.
Jeremiah Bogaard raced to a layup in the first 30 seconds of the third period, getting the deficit to 1 point. On the next possession, Tommy Delargy drove into the key, racing past his defender and into a crowd, and he got the shot away and scored. But the referee said the player he went by fouled him before the shot. The basket did not count. A 3-point play — and the lead — was erased.
The Pirates did not score again in the third quarter, and they were lucky to have only been outscored by 9-2 in the period, but could not recover from a 10-point deficit going into the fourth period. The final score was 41-29.
The next day, Vashon kept their eyes on the prize and took down Klahowya 54-30, earning a chance at the regional tourney in the next game if they beat Cascade Christian. Cascade lost to Bellevue Christian, 58-41, and had to get by Vashon in order to move on.
In the Klahowya game, the Eagles opened by hitting from beyond the 3-point line early and held the lead for a short time. The Pirates can shoot threes as well and soon had the game in control.
Jacob Chavez hit six shots from deep and finished the game with 20 points. The team shooting percentage was around its usual 43 percent. Also scoring were the following: Delargy with 13, Bogaard with 9, Edgar Hernandez-Torres with 4, Kalen Cunningham and Sol Dehnert with 3, and Isaac Patchen with 2.
On Saturday afternoon, at Bellarmine Prep high school, the Vashon Pirates boys’ basketball team lost in a hotly contested game to Cascade Christian, 50-47. This was a game for second place in the West Central District tournament and a berth in the regional tourney.
The game began with VHS looking determined to overcome the tentativeness that influenced their loss to the Cougars two days earlier. But it was not to be, as the first period showed the Cougars to be settled on their game plan, while meanwhile, the Pirates were perhaps trying to find theirs.
The Cascade plan appeared simple: Get the ball to either Nathan Larsen or Parker Johnson. If Larsen went to the hoop and defenders collapsed onto him, he tossed the ball out to Johnson. And this worked in reverse just as well. The Cougar duo accounted for 34 of their 50 points.
The first period ended with CC leading 17-11, but the Pirates reduced the halftime deficit to 24-21. In the fourth quarter, they pulled to within 2 points on a few different occasions, but could not take the lead.
VHS hit on around 50 percent of their shots, but the deliberate nature of the game did not allow for enough shots to be taken. And in what had been becoming a pattern in the last few games, the Pirates did not convert free throws. In this game, they only managed to make one of eight.
A few mistakes were made, but the Vashon players never gave up and continued to look for opportunities to the end. They fought on, at a high level, and so did Cascade. Both teams showed respect for each other, and to a fan, or a parent, that is moving to witness. The Cougars showed poise in keeping the game just out of reach of Vashon.
Scoring for the Pirates were Delargy and Bogaard with 10, Chavez and Colin Pottinger with 8, Patchen with 7 and Hernandez-Torres with 4.
The Pirates end the season with a record of 16-7.
Cascade Christian and Bellevue Christian will wait for the state to employ their seeding mechanism to place them in their regional bracket.
—By Daniel Briggs, the parent of a former VHS basketball player.