Pirates Defeat League Rivals, Seattle Christian and Chimacum

Jan 25, 2008
by Charlie Pieterick
Max Burnam drives to the basket past Seattle Christian's defenders. The Vashon Pirates won 59-47.
The Pirate boys’ basketball team notched two more Nisqually 1A/2B wins last week to stay in contention for a 4th consecutive league title.  On Tuesday, they defeated league rival, Seattle Christian 59-47, and on Friday, they dominated Chimacum, 61-40.

If familiarity breeds contempt, then it is no wonder that games between the Pirates and the Seattle Christian Warriors are spirited and intense competitions.  The two teams see each other several times throughout the year in league and tournament play.  The two coaches, Vashon’s Andy Sears and SC’s Roger DeBoer, are both well-known for getting the most out of their players and teams.  Like most good rivalries, the two teams always show up ready to play their best game.

So when the Pirates traveled to Seattle Christian last week, they were not surprised by the Warriors’ aggressive style of play.  However, they did seem surprised at how tough SC was able to play down low against the taller Pirates.  SC repeatedly outmuscled the Pirates in grabbing boards and wedging inside for scores.  Responding to this, the Pirates launched a series of three’s from the perimeter.  All were wide of the mark until Sophomore Matt Kerns finally buried the dagger at the first quarter buzzer to give the Pirates a slim 13-11 margin.  

Coach Sears exhorted his team over the first break to “…track the ball! Go get the ball!  If they keep getting second chances we’re in a whole world of hurt!”  The Pirates responded to Sears in their battles for the ball.  More importantly, the Pirate guards and wings began attacking the middle, forcing the Warriors to drop off the Pirate big men.  This opened the two of them, John Gage and Charlie Hoffman, to dump in 9 consecutive points between them, and give their Pirates a 31-21 half-time lead.

Having found this inside-outside balance, the Pirates continued to exploit it throughout the second half.  Seattle Christian was never able to get closer than 10.

Pirate Points:  Gage 24, Timm-Skove 9, Burnham 7, Hoffman 6, Kerns 6, Pieterick 4, Calhoun 3, Stoffer, Holert.  FT=10/21 (48%).

Having beaten the Cowboys in a 61-40 rout at Chimacum earlier this year, the Pirate home court win on Friday was no surprise.  What was a surprise was how much the Cowboys had improved in the interim.  The Cowboys showed a discipline which was lacking the first time around, probably a result of the return of two senior players who had missed the earlier contest.  But the Pirates still had too much horsepower for the Chimacum team.  

The Pirates struck first, when senior Justin Calhoun hit a 3 from the corner on the first possession.  Following up with a flurry of three additional first quarter long balls, the Pirates could not distance themselves from the tenacious Cowboys. By the end of the first quarter, they held a slim, 16-13, margin.  However, early in the second period, Pirate John Gage skied high for a jam off a fast break.  This pumped up his team and launched them on a 13-2 run.  Having thus showed their stern to the Cowboys, the Pirates sailed off with the eventual win.

Pirate Points:  Timm-Skove 15, Burnham 10, Gage 10, Kerns 6, Calhoun 5, Pieterick 5, Hoffman 4, Stoffer 2, Wegner 2, Weston 2, Holert, Jacobovitch.  FT=11/15 (73%)

The Pirates will have played Cascade Christian by the time this comes out.  The Cougars are the only team to have defeated the Pirates this season, in a 58-56 nailbiter at VHS.  A VHS victory will have given the Pirates sole possession of the Nisqually 1A/2B lead.  The next (and last) Pirate home game is against the Orting Cardinals on Tuesday, February 5th at 5:15PM.