By DANIEL BRIGGS
for The Beachcomber
On a Tuesday night in Tacoma, the Vashon Pirates met the Tarriers from Charles Wright Academy (CWA) in an important Nisqually League basketball game. Both teams needed a win. Vashon was slumping after their strong start to league play, and CWA still had a slim, but possible, chance at a third place position in the league and an opportunity to play in the post season. The Tarriers, beaten easily two weeks ago at home, were not going to allow the same result. And the Pirates failed to put them away when they had the opportunity, and lost 48-44.
The game began with Jahmiah Hoogen scoring a quick five points on free throws, and a basket from an offensive rebound. CWA answered after each Vashon score, and neither team able to separate from the other to generate a big lead. Noah Edmonds made three of four free throws toward the end of the first period to put VHS ahead by two points, but CWA took the lead at the buzzer 14-12.
The Tarriers made nine unanswered points until Michele Piatti scored a basket, and the free throw to make the score 19-15. The Pirates were not getting back on defense quickly and CWA ball handlers were slashing in for fairly uncontested baskets. CWA ran out to a 25-17 lead, until Edmonds stopped the bleeding with a three point shot from twenty feet. This began an eleven point run by the Pirates, aided by two threes from Jacob Chavez, to end the half leading 28-25.
Near the end of the third period, the Pirates were trailing 35-33; Colin Pottinger blocked a CWA shot, and Hoogen scored, made a free throw to take the lead 36-35.
Edmonds started the fourth quarter with another three point shot, but CWA continued to match VHS basket for basket, mostly on the shooting of Tarrier sophomore Dane Jacobson. He had a game high sixteen points. Senior Noah Fields drove for a basket during some Pirate defensive confusion, and with two minutes left in the game, CWA led 42-40.
Hoogen drove into the paint and was fouled hard. He made both free throws to tie the score at 42. In the next CWA possession, senior Hayden Saalfeld dribbled into a crowd in the paint, stumbled and threw the ball up against the backboard as he fell to the court. The ball banked in and The Tarriers led 44-42 with 40 seconds on the clock. Piatti wasted no time, raced into the key, faked left, spun right and threw down a five foot shot to tie the game.
Sixteen seconds on the clock, Jacobson had the ball and drove to the hoop. He managed to go around Pirate defenders, and put the ball in the hoop.
With five seconds left in the game, Edmonds drove into the front court and was tackled by two CWA defenders, before he could shoot. Vashon had the ball out of bounds, with less than one second remaining. In the struggle to get the ball inbounds, VHS called a time-out, but had none remaining and were assessed a technical foul. CWA was awarded free throws and then ended the game.
Scoring for Vashon had Edmonds with 11, Hoogen 10, Chavez 6, Piatti 6, Pottinger 4, JJ Bogaard 3, and Tommy Delargy 2.
The Pirates played the Seattle Christian Warriors (SC) Friday night at home. Despite leading from the beginning, and, by as much as fourteen points, Vashon saw SC roar back in the fourth quarter, and hit a shot from the deep left corner at the buzzer to win 54-52.
The Pirates jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of free throws and a three point shot from Jahmiah Hoogen, and later he hit another shot from deep to lead VHS to an 11-6 score at the end of the first period.
Zac Vanderlay kept the Warriors in the game, but Hoogen had 14 points, and Tommy Delargy hit two threes from downtown to close out the half leading 25-15.
Noah Edmonds slashed to the basket to begin the scoring for the Pirates in the third period, and then Hoogen began to take over, as he scored 10 points in this period while sparking VHS to extend their lead to 35-21. The Warriors managed a small rally to close out the quarter down by ten at 37-27.
The fourth quarter saw SC get down to business and score twenty seven points, as many as they had for the first three periods. Vashon had three straight turnovers, while the Warriors put four points on the board to quickly cut into the Pirate lead. Hoogen buried a long three for some breathing room with a nine point lead. The next Pirate possession Colin Pottinger took a lob pass from Edmonds, left alone deep on the left side, he shot and hit nothing but net for a huge three, and a 43-32 lead with five minutes remaining in the game.
Junior Conner Knack buried a three on the next two possessions. Vanderlay made a shot from two feet, to notch the score at 43-40. With the clock showing 3:35, Edmonds drove to the hoop, scored, and was successful on the awarded free throw. The score is 46-40. Warriors guard Jared Cattell is fouled. He goes to the line and makes his fifth and sixth straight free throw.
Tonight Hoogen was Mr. Outside, and Mr. Inside, as he hit a turnaround jumper for his 27th point, and a 48-42 lead. In front court, Vanderlay drove to the hoop, drawing a crowd, and then passed to Connor Knack. Standing at 22 feet, he buried his third straight shot from deep.
The Pirates had a turnover, and then fouled Knack. One of the differences in these two teams tonight was free throw shooting. The Pirates are a team that averages around 66% from the charity stripe. In close games, that is not going to be good enough. Knack made both shots, SC was 20/23 from the line, and the score stood at 48-47.
On the next trip down the court, the Pirates were fouled, and made one of two free throws. Knack is fouled next and he makes both free throws. The score is tied at 49, with 50 seconds remaining in the game. In the next possession, the Pirates are fouled and make one of two at the line.
Spencer Howell makes a four foot shot with 25 seconds remaining to put the Warriors in the lead for the first time in the game, 51-50. Delargy calmly dribbled into the paint, stepped back and lofted a soft jumper into the hoop for the 52-51 lead with 14 seconds on the clock.
SC raced down the court, Cattell went up for a 15 foot jumper and Pottinger blocked it. The ball was on the floor, and awarded to SC. SC threw it into play, 4 seconds remaining; it was kicked out of bounds, and awarded to SC. Now with 3.2 seconds on the clock, Vanderlay took the inbound pass and from deep in the left corner he hit the basket for three points and the 54-52 victory.
Scoring for Seattle Christian, Vanderlay had 22, and Knack 15. High scorer for the Pirates was Hoogen 27, with Delargy 8, Edmonds 7, Piati 5, Pottinger 3, and Ethan Danielsen 2.
— Daniel Briggs is the father of a VHS basketball player