Win Over Life Christian Eagles Puts Pirate in 2nd Place

Jan 31, 2011
by Glenna Mileson
Last week, the Vashon High School boys’ basketball team took to the road and came home with a 67-62 victory over the Life Christian Eagles and a 30-61 loss to the Cascade Christian Cougars. The win over Life Christian puts the Pirates in second place in the league while Cascade Christian retains the league title and Life Christian drops to third.

Dressed in black uniforms, instead of the usual green, the Pirates came to the Life Christian gym in Tacoma ready to battle. The Eagles put the first points on the board and led the game for half of the first quarter. A traveling call and a foul on the floor before the shot kept the first two Vashon baskets from counting. But, the Pirates would not be denied and the game took a turn when Kyle Bakker came in for the Pirates to lay it in for two of his season high 12 points. The Pirates ended the first quarter with a 20-16 lead.

The Eagles continued to fight back. They started off the second quarter by putting on the pressure and converting off of turnovers to score 10 while the Pirates put up only 2. The Eagles soared ahead to a 26-22 lead. But the Pirates adjusted and brought it back to a 28-28 tie game by the time they headed into the locker room at half time.

Both teams returned to the floor with intensity while the cheering from the fans in the small gym grew louder and stronger. Ben Whitaker stole the ball on Life Christian’s first possession and hit Hamzah Griffin who was sent to the line after being fouled on the shot. The Eagles answered with 2 and Alex Wegner came back with 2 for the Pirates. The lead changed hands five times before Whitaker hit three shots in a row to put Vashon ahead 36-34. The Pirates held onto the lead to end the third with a 48-45 score.

The physical battle continued on the court in the fourth with both teams being in the bonus. The Eagles shot back into the lead, then the Pirates, then the Eagles and then the Pirates pulled out ahead again. But, with just over a minute left, the Eagles sank a 3-pointer to bring the game back to within three. Whitaker followed with a drive for two, but the Eagles answered with another 3-pointer to narrow the spread to 2 points. Whitaker missed his next shot, but Bakker put it back for two. Wegner finished by sinking a freethrow.

Wegner led the scoring with 30, followed by Bakker with 12 and Whitaker with 11. Griffin had 7 and Tyler Stoffer had 3. Adrian Arceo and Dan Lofland had 2 each.

Two days later, the Vashon boys were down in Puyallup to face the Cascade Christian Cougars, the 2010 1A Champions. Cascade put in the first bucket, but Alex Wegner answered it with a basket “and one” for Vashon, after being fouled on the shot. But the Pirates wouldn’t score again until the end of the quarter when Wegner hit one of two free-throws and they ended the first quarter with only 4 points to the 10 scored by the Vikings.

The scoring draught continued into until midway through the second quarter when Hamzah Griffin made it 5 on the scoreboard after sinking a free throw. Bakker put in 4 more points and Wegner added 6, but by half time the Pirates were down 15-30.

The defensive pressure from the Cougar guards created high Pirate turnovers. Combined with hot outside shooting, Cascade Christian had the game advantage. Pirate defensive efforts kept 2010 MVP Cody Shackett to only 12 points (after he had put up 48 against Life Christian the previous week), but his teammates Ty King and TJ Tuttle combined for 31. Pirates lost 30-61, but remain in second place.

Wegner led the scoring with 18. Bakker had 6, Arceo had 4, Griffin and Whitaker had 1 each.

The Pirates played the Orting Cardinals last night at home. The final home Vashon basketball game of the season and senior night will be Friday at 7:00 against the Charles Wright Tarriers.

Glenna Mileson is a Pirate Parent.  Article is posted courtesy of The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber where she is a contributor.