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Pirates Defeat Bellevue Christian in Tight Game, Move on to Semifinals

Mar 4, 2010
by Jay Williamson
John Gage rises above the defense for 2 points.
The Vashon Pirates pulled away at the end and defeated the Bellevue Christian Vikings 54-48 in a tight quarterfinal contest at the 1A State Tournament in Yakima's SunDome. The evenly matched teams rarely were more than 3 points apart during most of the game. In the opening quarter both teams seemed tense as several close shots were missed. A lot also had to do with the spirited defense played. Quinn Holert got Vashon on the scoreboard with a three-point shot and Matt Kerns soon followed with his own three. The quarter ended with Vashon leading 8 to 6. The scoring pace picked up in the second quarter. Bellevue Christian star guard David Downs led the Vikings with several three-point shots and close defense despite playing with two fouls. A steal by Matt Amick led to a three-point basket from big man John Gage. Elias Weston also hit a big three-point shot and Amick scored a basket. But the Vikings answered every basket with one of their own and led at halftime 22 to 20.

As in the first quarter, Holert started the Pirate scoring in the second half with a quick bucket. Both Holert and Alex Wegner had steals in the quarter leading to Pirate points. Holert made a layup off of a nice assist by Weston. Wegner grabbed an offensive rebound for a basket and a foul for a three-point play the old fashioned way. But the Vikings also made their shots and a three-point basket at the third period buzzer gave them the lead 35-34.

As the fourth quarter started fans from both schools were on their feet cheering loudly. Bellevue Christian made an early three-point basket to grab a four-point lead, one of their largest. But a 7-0 run keyed by a Gage jumper and another three-point basket by Holert gave the Pirates a 43-40 lead. Holert made a nice alley-oop basket on a drive, but a Downs three-point basket pulled the Vikings to within a bucket at 45-43. Gage pulled down a big offensive rebound, was fouled and made both free throws. The Pirates defense shut down the Vikings, for the most part, the rest of the way, and both Weston and Gage made key free throws down the stretch to seal the win. The team made 10 of 13 free throws in the second half, a major reason they are moving on to play nemesis Cascade Christian in the semi-finals. Corey Williamson came in toward the end of the first and third quarters to give Gage some critical rest, and Tyler Stoffer played his usual solid ball as a sub throughout the game.

Pirate points vs. Bellevue Christian:
Gage 19, Holert 14, Weston 10, Wegner 5, Kerns 4, Amick 2., Stoffer, Williamson