By Doug Langworthy
For The Beachcomber
The Vashon Island High School varsity boys’ basketball team got back to its winning ways on Friday night with a victory against the visiting University Prep Pumas, 50-28. The Pirates (9-3 overall, 0-1 in Nisqually League) led from wire to wire as the Pumas (3-8 overall) could not find a way to penetrate the host’s defense.
The Pirates jumped out to a 9-0 lead midway through the first quarter, which was capped off by the stingy Pirates defense, forcing the Pumas into their first of three shot-clock violations at the 4:15 mark. Head Coach Andy Sears was pleased with his team’s defensive performance.
“Our defense is pretty strong,” Sears said, “and when we finish possessions with rebounds and steals, we’re pretty tough to beat.”
The Pirates defense finished those defensive rotations well, collecting 28 rebounds as a team and generating 10 steals to go along with those three shot-clock violations. Leading the way in rebounds for the pirates was senior forward Isaac Patchen with seven to go along with his seven points and three steals. Junior center Levi Moore also contributed defensively with four of the team’s 10 blocked shots.
The Pirates offense played their part as well, with senior guard Jeremiah Bogaard leading the team with 19 points along with five rebounds, four assists, and a steal with zero turnovers.
Sears called Bogaard “fantastic.”
“He’s just a really good player, great leader, he does a little bit of everything,” Sears said.
The Pirates moved the ball around on the Pumas’ defense, recording 13 assists as a team on their made baskets.
The win puts the Pirates back on track after losing the previous three games, with the last two of those games each being a heartbreaking one-point loss.
“We just realized that after those losses we needed to come out harder and play with more energy and attack them rather than getting attacked,” Bogaard said after the game.
Echoing his coach’s thoughts, Bogaard also talked about the team’s defensive effort.
“Defense is one of our strengths this year and I think we take pride in that, so we try to come out strong every night,” he said.
The Pirates kept the pressure on the Pumas after their hot start, taking a 26-8 lead into the half and stretching that to 43-18 at the end of the third quarter.
Patchen talked about the Pirates’ energy throughout the game.
“We’ve been playing with a lot of energy recently and I think especially we came out tonight (after the losses) all fired up and ready to go,” he said.
Junior guard Luca Aprile chipped in 13 points, and fellow junior guard Lucas Schoenberg added four rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Pirates.
The JV boys nearly had a comeback win as they erased a 6-point deficit with 1:15 to go only to fall short, losing the appetizer game 39-38. Freshman forward Miles Clark led the way with 14 points and sophomore forward Sam Walker added seven for the Pirates.