The Vashon Pirates took their winning streak of two games to Seattle Christian Tuesday night last week, for the second Nisqually League game for both teams.
Despite a second quarter spurt that resulted in an 18-13 lead, the Warriors could not contain the Noah Edmonds turnaround jumping machine. He blistered the Warriors for 29 points, mostly in the second half, while leading VHS to a 72-61 overtime victory.
Baskets were traded early in the game, and the first quarter ended with Seattle Christian (SC) leading 11-9. In the second period, SC effectively used multiple screens to enable a pass to an open player cutting to the basket and kept VHS defenders off balance and a step behind, as seniors Jared Cattell and Zac Vanderlay drove to the hoop for points, and always got the “and one” call from the referees.
Mike Piatti, always defending and in the middle of the fray, was the player too often identified as the Pirate to be charged with the foul. Despite falling behind 18-11, VHS rallied to end the half with a 22-21 lead.
Starting the third period, Edmonds spun around the interior key; Jahmiah Hoogen bounced him a pass, and Edmonds made a layin. Tommy Delargy added two baskets, and Ethan Danielsen tipped in a rebound for nine unanswered points and a 31-21 lead. Seattle Christian was losing control. Frustrated, they called a time out. Determined not to roll over in this important league game, they answered with an 11-2 run. The battle was on. Vashon could not stop SC penetration, and their big guys were very efficient at getting superior position under the hoop and scoring. But VHS had a determined and quick scorer in Edmonds, and SC could not stop him either. At the end of three quarters, Vashon held the lead, 39-38.
The fourth period began with a spurt for SC as they scored in the paint to take the lead at 43-39.
Answering, Jacob Chavez ran to the left corner, called for the ball and buried a three to stop the Pirate bleeding. VHS regained the lead 46-45, after an Edmonds steal and layin. The lead was exchanged twice, but after a tie at 53 points each, Chavez got an inbound pass beyond the three-point line at the top of the key and drilled it for a 56-53 lead.
With time running out, SC answered with a bucket. The score now at 56-55, Delargy floated an 8-foot running shot for a three-point lead. Now, two minutes to go, and the Warriors had to score. They missed their shot, and Delargy got the rebound. Vashon slowed down the pace, but Piatti lost the ball on an exchange with Edmonds, and SC scored a layin, and in a very curious call, Piatti was flagged with the foul despite carefully maintaining a distance from the shooter. This would tie the score, foul out Piatti and send the game into overtime.
In the overtime, baskets by both Delargy and Edmonds had VHS up 63-61, and when sophomore JJ Bogaard was fouled after controlling a defensive rebound, the pressure was palpable. Bogaard gave no hint of anything but resolve, sank both free throws, and the Warriors did not score again.
During the second half, Edmonds sank seven shots in a row, and was six for eight at the charity stripe in a truly spectacular demonstration of determination to get free at the hoop and score. In addition to Edmonds’ 29 points, other Pirate scorers were Delargy, Piatti and Chavez with 13, 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Friday, the University Prep Pumas, a 1A school in the Emerald City boys’ basketball league, came to town boasting that their roster included five players 6’4” or more. The Pirates conceded that, but laid down the challenge that if you dribbled the ball on the hardwood, it was ours. Delargy stuck to point guard, Neamin Amare, like they were joined at the chest, reducing his penetration and his ability to pass inside to those big forwards. Still, Amare was the high scorer for the Pumas, but with only eight points in a defensive “beat-down,” as Vashon won easily, 48-24.
The Pumas did score first, but did not score again in the first quarter due to VHS guarding closely, preventing drives, stealing passes and rebounding ferociously.
The Pirates were finding Noah Edmonds under the basket. He took the task from there, by quickly turning and finishing at the hoop for two points. He made 10 points with this play in the first half, and VHS went into the break leading 22-12.
In the third quarter, the Pumas played with more energy, but could only manage to trade baskets. With 20 seconds left in the period and behind by nine points, they got the rebound and set up for the last shot at the buzzer. Amare shot and missed. Bogaard got the rebound and raced coast to coast for a highly contested layin, an 11 point lead and a surge of momentum.
VHS scored nine unanswered points to begin the fourth period to put the game out of reach. Pirate scorers included Edmonds 17, Delargy 7, Danielsen 4, Piatti 4, Bogaard 4, Chavez 3, Sam Briggs 3, Hoogen 2, Finbar Andersen 2 and Kalen Cunningham 2.
Monday, during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and too late for press time, Vashon played Kentlake at the ShoWare center in Kent. On Wednesday, Cascade Christian visits the varsity boys at 7 p.m. Varsity girls play at 5:30 p.m., and junior varsity will be at Chautauqua.
— Daniel Briggs is the father of a Pirate basketball player.