Pirates Lasso Cowboys for Victory

Feb 13, 2011
by Glenna Mileson
The Vashon High School boys’ basketball team brought home a 56-30 win over the Chimacum Cowboys on Tuesday, February 8, to seal their uncontested second place spot in the Nisqually league with a league record of 9-3. They earned a bye in the first round of the Tri-district playoffs.

It was the kind of game a team can easily overlook, a game that the Pirates were expected to win. With a one game lead over the 3rd place team they had beaten twice, it wasn’t a “must win” game for the Pirates.
It’s a long ride up to Chimacum, just outside of Port Townsend. The gym is small and dark and it was Senior night for the Cowboys. Local referees officiated the game. Sometimes little things shift the balance. Sometimes the unexpected can happen.

But, the game got off to a quick start with Alex Wegner putting in two on the Pirate’s first possession. Tyler Stoffer stole the ball on the Chimacum possession to score two more from the free throw line after getting fouled on his drive to the hoop. Chimacum sunk their first two off of a Pirate foul. Then Wegner followed with another two from the line. The score held at 6-2 until over half way through the quarter until Hamzah Griffin dropped in two, followed by a 3-pointer from Chimacum to keep it close with Pirates leading 8-5. Wegner answered with a dunk on the next Pirate possession and Vashon scored 7 more before Chimacum sunk 3 free throws at the end of the quarter to give them 8 on the scoreboard, but the Pirates held a 17-8 lead.

Game momentum changed in the second quarter. With six calls against them while the Cowboys had none, combined with two turnovers and three missed shots, the Pirates were unable to convert on their first eleven possessions while Chimacum added 4 to their total. Wegner finally hit for 2, but Chimacum followed with another 3-pointer. Jeff Rauma added one, but Chimacum put in 2 more and once again it was a 3-point game. Wegner finished the half with a drive for 2 followed by one from the line after being fouled on the shot and Vashon held a narrow 23-17 lead at the half.

The boys were clearly frustrated going into the locker room. They knew they needed to make changes.

“I’m proud of them,” said Coach Andy Sears, “by the time I got into the locker room, they weren’t complaining. They were just talking about adjusting.”

A disciplined team came back on the floor for the third, taking care of the ball and putting up 9 unanswered points. Chimacum could only add a total of 7 in the quarter while Vashon sank 16 and the Pirates pulled out to 39-23 lead.

Vashon continued to widen the gap in the fourth to a 47-25 lead, allowing the starters to come out and give other players some time on the court. Matthew Dick drove in for 2. Then, buoyed by the chants of “Diesel, Diesel” from his teammates on the bench, he followed it with a 3-pointer. The Pirates finished with a 56-30 Victory.

Wegner finished with 24 points, Griffin - 9, Bakker - 6, Dick - 5, Stoffer - 4, Whitaker - 3, Hazzard – 2, Arceo - 2, Rauma - 1.

Having earned a bye in the first round, the boys play Kings in the 2nd round of the Tri-district play-offs at the Vashon gym on Tuesday, February 15th.

Win or lose, they will play in Round 3 on Thursday, February 17, at a site to be determined. Two wins or a win and a loss and will advance the team to Round 4 on Saturday, February 19, in Lynnwood.

Five teams from the Tri-District advance to the 16-teams State tournament. Due to a change in tournament format this year, the state tournament will be loser-out.

The first round will be played locally on February 25th & 26th. Eight teams will move on to play in Yakima. Game schedule will be posted on as the tournament progresses.

Glenna Mileson is a Pirate Basketball parent.  This article is posted courtesy of the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber where she is a contributor.