The Cascade Christian Cougars came to Vashon on a stormy Wednesday night, ended the Pirates five game winning streak and went home with a coveted league victory. Their offense was flawlessly executed in the first quarter with repeated baskets by sophomore Parker Johnson, junior Nathan Larsen and senior Cougar guard Dylan Cooley. The offensive bombardment continued throughout the second half as Cooley burned the Pirates with 25 points to lead Cascade Christian to the 54-43 win.
The Cougars started a very athletic group, averaging over 6’3”. Their defense did not completely block the Pirates access to the paint, but managed to frustrate VHS shooters into passing the ball elsewhere.
Despite allowing Noah Edmonds a path to the hoop for the first Pirate basket of the game, he would not score again.
The game began with the Cougars hitting on five of their first six shots and leading 10-3. They continued to get open shots from eight feet or less, by faking a shot and drawing a Pirate defender into the air, then stepping toward the hoop and scoring. The first quarter ended with Cascade Christian having an 18-11 lead.
VHS could not advance their cause because they could not get the ball into the hoop. For the game, they shot a dismal 31 percent. Perhaps this ninth game in the last 20 days was proving to have some consequences.
Late in the second period, down 27-13, Jahmiah Hoogen gave the Pirates a much needed lift drilling a three from the deep left corner and the “and one” subsequent free throw. Tommy Delargy hit a turnaround jumper from six feet, and the half ended 27-19.
The third quarter was not a pretty sight either. The Cougars took five minutes to make 11 consecutive points, and with three minutes left in the period, their lead was 19 points.
Finbar Andersen came into the game briefly, took a pass down low in the paint, calmly turned to face the hoop and tossed it in. Delargy followed with two baskets on runners. The quarter ended with Pirate momentum generated, but now they were in a 16 point deficit.
Delargy continued his artistry with a drive to the hoop to begin the final period. Hoogen, fouled for a second time while attempting a shot from deep, made two of the three shots awarded him. Delargy hit a step-back jumper from 10 feet, at 6:30 on the clock, giving VHS six unanswered points, reducing the deficit to 10 points. For the next two minutes no points were scored by either team, until Cooley hit from deep, to notch a 44-31 lead for the Cougars. That quieted the crowd, until Mike Piatti answered from 20 feet, with his first three of the night.
Four minutes remained in the game, but 10 points would be too much for the Pirates to gain back.
Cooley drove to the hoop, and the defense did not get in front of him. He scored and made the free throw. Once again, Piatti answered with a three point shot. He would hit two more in the last two minutes, for a total of four three point shots in the fourth quarter. But despite his valiant shooting, the Cascade Christian offense was deliberate and resourceful, and also scored. The
VHS defense that tenaciously throttled University Prep the previous week could not be found tonight.
Vashon lost their second straight Nisqually league game at home Friday night, 44-40, to a fast breaking Bellevue Christian (BC) team, that was led by 6’6” junior Ken West. West roamed the whole court to provide aid to teammates looking for a place to pass and to defend his basket. He blocked four shots and significantly altered many others, as the Pirates had trouble getting comfortable with him on the court.
The first quarter was very ugly because both teams had trouble shooting. Vashon only had two points in that initial period until Jacob Chavez buried a three at the buzzer with the Vikings from Bellevue Christian leading 6-5.
Chavez hit a second shot from deep to start the period, and the Pirates ran out to an 18-13 lead, on baskets from JJ Bogaard, Delargy and Hoogen. The party ended when Viking guard Eric Kats hit two straight three point baskets, igniting a 13-2 BC run that included fast breaking baskets off of unforced Pirate passing errors. The half ended with BC leading 26-20.
In the third period, Piatti hit two shots from beyond the three point arc, and Colin Pottinger made a brilliant pass to a cutting Edmonds, knotting the score at 32 points each.
Next, in one of the more curious endings to a period, with time running out, Edmonds went up for a shot, a foul was called by the referee, but he was not given the usual free throws after the shooting foul.
In the final period, the Pirates led 35-32 after Chavez hit his third three point shot. Baskets were traded until, with 4:30 left in the game, Piatti hit his third three point shot to put the Pirates in the lead 40-37.
The Vikings then scored seven unanswered points to steal the victory.
Piatti was high scorer for the Pirates with 10, Chavez 8, Delargy 6, Edmonds 5, Hoogen and Ethan Danielsen 4, and Bogaard 2.
Tuesday, the Pirates will travel to Charles Wright Academy for another Nisqually league game.
— Daniel Briggs is the father of a VHS basketball player.