Vashon Beats #1 Ranked Chelan in Opening Tournament Game

Mar 3, 2010
by Jay Williamson
Alex Wegner slashes to the basket for 2 of his 20 points.
The game was the talk of the town. Number One Chelan versus Number Four Vashon in the first round of the 1A Boys State Championship Tournament. The headline of the Yakima Herald-Republic Sports page was “A heavyweight showdown [sic].” Two of the top high school players in the state facing off: John Gage of Vashon and Joe Harris of Chelan. The SunDome in Yakima was packed for the 9pm game.

Vashon dominated the first quarter led by Alex Wegner, not mentioned in all of the pre-game hype but featured (along with Gage) on the cover of the tournament color program and solo full-page on page 3. He scored 13 points in the quarter, had several steals and grabbed many key rebounds. He also drew primary defensive responsibility for guarding Harris. Gage rebounded well, scored 3 points in the quarter and had several assists. Corey Williamson came in briefly for Gage and got a nice tip on the offensive boards to keep the ball alive. But perhaps the key event was when Chelan star Harris picked up his third foul with just over a minute left in the quarter. When Matt Amick hit a three pointer at the buzzer, the Vashon faithful rose to their feet with the Pirates leading 27-10.

Vashon's scoring slowed in the second quarter and Chelan made a risky move by re-inserting Harris into the game with the three fouls. Harris demonstrated what a great player he is leading his team back into the game with his scoring, his defense and his passing. When the half ended, Chelan had clawed back to within striking distance, 34-23.

Chelan and Harris kept the pressure up in the third quarter. Harris stole a pass and flew in for a dunk and soon thereafter his three-point basket made the score 40-36. But Matt Kerns answered with a big three-point basket, Gage made several nice shots and then Harris picked up his fourth foul with just over a minute left. The quarter ended with Vashon expanding its lead to 45-36.

Harris started the fourth quarter with four fouls. Vashon started quickly with a Quinn Holert three and a Gage basket. When it looked like Vashon was pulling away, Harris made another three. Then with over four minutes to play in the game, Harris fouled Gage under the basket and he was out of the game. Chelan played hard and fought gamely, but as a team they committed too many fouls and Vashon shot well from the free throw line making 20 of 28 for the evening. When Vashon picked up its first second-half foul with just over 3 minutes left in the game, the Chelan fans sarcastically cheered. Gage keyed the Pirates' efforts in the quarter scoring 8 points. Gage, Elias Weston, Amick and Kerns all made key free throws towards the end. Tyler Stoffer played well throughout the game. Pirate rebounding was a major factor in the win. The Pirates move on in the tournament with a 66-52 victory.

Pirate points vs. Chelan:
Wegner 20, Gage 19, Kerns 8, Weston 8, Amick 6, Holert 5, Stoffer, Williamson