By Joel Schoenberg
For The Beachcomber
In the fourth game of this late spring basketball season of the Nisqually League, the Vashon Island Pirates boys’ varsity team met the Cascade Christian Cougars in a home matchup at the VHS basketball gym. With a start time of 7 p.m., the Pirates came out with Maxwell Delgado-Williams, Zach Van Dusen, Luca Aprile, Sam Walker and Levi Moore to begin the game.
The Pirates came out strong on defense in the first quarter, aggressively covering the Cougars’ ball carriers and intercepting passes that turned into points for Vashon, thanks to great shots from sophomore Delgado-Williams and senior Aprile. On the boards, the Pirates were able to out-rebound the Cougars on both ends of the court leading to solid second-chance shots. At the end of the first period, the game was tied at 11 points each to the surprise of the many Cougars fans traveling to the game.
In the second quarter, the offense for Vashon Island dried up a little bit with the perimeter shots just not falling. Meanwhile, the Cougar sophomore Owen Bartlett found his shooting groove and brought a team-leading 21 points for the opponents. But seniors Aprile and Moore stood out for Vashon with beautiful shooting and solid rebounding skills. The second half nearly ended with a tie, but the Cougars were able to take advantage of confusion on the court and sunk a last-shot three-pointer to make it a 24-21 deficit for the Pirates at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Cougars came out firing at the basket from range with senior Josiah Ryan making baskets along with the already hot Bartlett. Meanwhile, the Pirates had a difficult time getting the ball up the court through the Cougar full-court press and couldn’t convert the opportunities they did find. The rebounding efforts were still on display for Vashon with Moore dominating the inside and senior Lucas Schoenberg scrapping for the outside loose balls. A bright spot was senior Van Dusen getting on the score sheet with his corner 3-point shot, making the crowd roar.
The fourth quarter was owned by Vashon Island sophomore Walker. With the Cougars in foul trouble from two key players, the Pirates were able to concentrate on getting the ball down low, where Walker amazed with his footwork to spin to the basket over, under and through the Cougars’ defense. Pirate sophomore Miles Clarke was able to get in the game for the last few minutes and played like it was the first quarter. Even though the loss was imminent, Clarke drove the ball for a reverse layup and defended exactly like head coach Andy Sears teaches these fine men.
In the end, the Pirates lost to the Cougars 55-42 in the Nisqually League regular-season home game. The fine defensive effort was not enough to overcome the lack of offensive production from Vashon Island. Leading scorer Aprile brought 17 points and Walker scored 9, but the rest could not muster a scoring performance that matched the opponent, even with an athletic rebounding effort from the entire Pirates team.
Joel Schoenberg provides commentary on Voice of Vashon radio and is a parent of graduating VHS basketball player Lucas Schoenberg.