No Gold for Pirates. Take 8th in State.

Mar 6, 2011
by Glenna Mileson
In the world of 1A basketball, playing in the Yakima Sundome in March is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Under the new tournament format introduced by the WIAA, Vashon was one of only eight teams to play on the Sundome courts this year instead of sixteen as in previous years.

The Vashon boys faced Chelan, the 1st seed from Districts 6/7, on Thursday night in their first game of the tournament and lost 44-57. They went on to play Onalaska, the 1st seed from District 4, on Friday and lost in a 48-50 nail-biter.

Coach Andy Sears was clearly proud his team’s accomplishments, an unranked team making it to the final eight.

“Look at how far this team has come,” he said, “we had a lot of new faces and they worked extremely hard. I’m just really happy for these guys, getting to the Sundome.”

For the Chelan Goats, it was personal when they faced off against the Pirates. Vashon was the team that knocked them to the loser’s bracket last year when they had been the overwhelming favorite to win it all.
While the Vashon defense out-rebounded Chelan 41 to 33, the Goats scored 20 points off Pirate turnovers. The Pirates shot only 14 % in the second period and were down 12-27 at the half. Vashon started hitting in the third to come back to win the quarter and narrow the margin to 25-36. The Pirates made it a battle in the fourth, but the Goats came away with the victory.

“When you’re playing great teams, the margin for error is slim,” said Sears.

Scoring for the Pirates: 23-Wegner, 8-Griffin, 7-Whitaker, 4-Bakker, 2-Lofland.

The Onalaska Loggers came into the tournament with a 19-1 regular season record. Adrian Arceo hit an early 3-pointer, but the Loggers made two fast-break layins and put Vashon behind 8-13 at the end of the first. The Pirates kept it close in the second and ended the half trailing 19-26, then closing the gap to 31-35 at the end of the third.

The Pirates hit 62% from the field in the fourth, but the Loggers answered with four of the six treys they would have in the game. With less that 10 seconds left in the game and down by five, Bakker shot and hit the first 3-pointer of his career just as the shot clock buzzed to keep the Pirates’ hopes alive. But, Onalaska came away with the win.

Scoring for the Pirates: 24-Wegner, 9-Bakker, 4-Griffin, 3-Arceo, 2-Stoffer, 2-Whitaker, 2-Lofland, 2-Hazzard.

“Bakker had a nice game,” said Sears, “and Jesse and Matt gave us good minutes when we got in foul trouble. Hamzah came through like he has all season.”

“Alex had a great tournament. He carried the team and made some tough baskets to give us some second chances,” he continued, “He had over 100 points in the tournament.”

Wegner holds the honor of being in the starting line-up of a state tournament team for all four years of his high school career.

“And Adrian, that’s a great story,” said Sears, “It was really special seeing him grow, working his way into the starting line-up after not being on a team since middle school.”

Wegner was named to the 1A State All-tournament first team.

Wegner was also named to the Nisqually All-league first team. Hamzah Griffin and Adrian Arceo were given honorable mention. Coach Sears was voted Nisqually League Coach of the Year by his peers.