VHS hoopsters pull off double wins

  • Saturday, April 26, 2008 5:06am
  • Sports

By CHARLIE PIETERICK

The Vashon High School (VHS) Pirate boys basketball team opened its season with two wins over non-conference opponents last week.

They defeated the Fife Trojans, 52-40 at home on Wednesday, Nov. 28, and they brought the blizzard to Sultan in defeating the Turks of Sultan High, 73-52, on Saturday, Dec. 1.

For the home opener against Fife, a festive and expectant atmosphere was aided by the presence of the VHS band, under directorship of music teacher Mike Scott. The Pirate basketball faithful turned out in good numbers to see what this promising but inexperienced group of Pirate boys would do as a team so early in the season.

Following Coach Andy Sears’ advice to “Play hard and play smart for the first three minutes,” the Pirates exploded onto the court with intense defensive pressure and crisp offensive ball movement.

Working inside and out, the new Pirates debuted 6’9” post player John Gage (a sophomore who led all scorers with 15), then counter-punched with slashing drives and long threes.

Justin Calhoun showed calm leadership as the sole senior on this year’s team. He burned the Trojans with a steal and three 3-point bombs in the first quarter, including an end-of-quarter buzzer-beater to stake the Pirates to a 15-8 lead. They never trailed the remainder of the game.

Pirate Points: Gage 15, Calhoun 9, Max Burnham 7, Matt Kerns 6, Chris Pieterick 5, Thomas Timm-Skove 4, Charlie Hoffman 2, Odin Jacobovitch 2, Michael Stoffer 2, Quinn Holert, Elias Weston.

On Saturday night, while a snow blizzard raged outside the gym, the Pirates unleashed a blizzard of their own inside the Sultan High School gym. Behind a total of seven 3-pointers (by six different Pirates) and suffocating defense, Vashon kept the Turks back on their heels the entire game.

Coach Sears, substituting early and often, kept his team’s legs rested and fresh to maintain the withering assault.

Jumping out to a 22-14 first quarter lead with the help of two treys by sophomore Matt Kerns, the Pirates never let up. Even when the tenacious Turks got within 11 on a third quarter buzzer-beater, the Pirates did not waver. Rather, they resumed the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run.

Game highlights included junior Max Burnham’s perfect 9 for 9 from the stripe and domination of the boards by the twin towers of Gage and 6’7” junior Charlie Hoffman.

Pirate Points: Burnham 16, Gage 13, Calhoun 11, Hoffman 10, Kerns 8, Timm-Skove 6, Pieterick 4, Weston 4, Stoffer 1, Holert.

When asked to reflect on the season’s start, junior Thomas Timm-Skove stated, “We’re a whole new team (from last year’s). We’re young. We’ve got a lot of depth, a lot of talent, and good teamwork.”

He sees these early games as important in helping team members find their respective roles on the team.

Under Coach Sears’ helm, this young, talented and dedicated Pirate team is in the midst of a successful shakedown cruise and nearly ready to make a run at Nisqually League foes.

The Pirates played their third, and final, pre-conference game against the Foster Bulldogs last night (too late to go to press), and open league play at home against the Seattle Christian Warriors at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.

— Charlie Pieterick is a basketball dad.

More in Sports

Burton Beach Rowing Club crews finish 11th and 17th at Youth Nationals

This past weekend, three junior athletes from the Burton Beach Rowing Club… Continue reading

Vashon Island Rowing Club juniors earn spot in top 18 at Nationals

In past years, it’s been a bittersweet badge of honor. Most of… Continue reading

Experiencing the Vashon Ultra for the first time

“My body wasn’t conditioned enough for this race. But I’ll be ready next year for the 10.75-mile run.”

In its 10th year, Vashon Ultra draws runners from near and far

The 50k had an unheard-of finishing rate of 97%, with 61 runners completing the course.

Islanders row from Tacoma to Port Townsend

Duo rowed all through the night in rough water with waves from all directions.

Track sends three girls to State competition

Will compete in respective events on Friday and Saturday.

Soccer team heads to State semi-finals

A win will put the Pirates into the finals at Sumner’s Sunset-Chevrolet stadium Saturday.

Burton Beach Rowing Club qualifies two boats for Nationals

Fifteen of young club’s athletes came home with medals from NW Regional championships

Vashon Island Rowing Club juniors compete at Regionals

Several VIRC boats finished well enough in their heats to qualify for the finals.

Baseball finishes season strong

An exciting season was played with heart, said coach Marc McCann.

Pirate soccer team heads to State competition

The boys will compete in the Division championship after a hard-fought win.

Track teams placed third, fifth in League competition

Championship saw all six of the Nisqually league schools come to Vashon.