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Feb 21, 09

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Pirates Notch Key Win Over Cascade Christian

Jan 27, 2009
by Charlie Pieterick
John Gage shoots for 2 of his 18 points over the Cascade Christian Cougars.
The Vashon High School boys’ Pirate basketball team notched a key win against a strong Cascade Christian Cougar basketball team last week.  The Cougars came into the game only one game behind the Pirates in the Nisqually 1-A league.  By beating the Cougars for the second time this season, and taking care of the Orting Cardinals later last week, the Pirates have all but locked up a 5th consecutive Nisqually League crown.  They will insure sole title to the crown by winning any one of their three remaining league games.

There is probably nothing more dangerous than a wounded Cougar.  They can be fierce, moody, and unpredictable.  The Cougars who prowled the Pirate gym last week were still smarting from the win taken by the Pirates earlier in January. 

The Pirate student booster section, “Green Wave,” showed up wearing white to encourage their team to “white out” the visitors.  Pirate manager, Christian “A.C.” Hasson, scowled as he surveyed the Cougar ranks from his end of the court during warm-ups.  It looked as if he was culturing the antipathy his team would need in order to prevail in what would surely be a closely fought contest.  He then infected each of his crew with the virus during a fiery triade from the center of the customary pregame team huddle.  Off to battle!

Vashon got some good looks early in the game but was plagued by cold shooting.  Defensively, they pushed the Cougars, forcing them into several turnovers.  The sharp-shooting visitors were able to connect enough to keep pace, however, and forced 5 lead changes in the quarter which ended with the Pirates up, 13-10.

The Pirates continued to pressure the Cougars defensively and began to find their offensive rhythm.  They opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run.  But just when it looked like the Pirates had their opponents on the ropes, the Cougars hit two consecutive three pointers to get back within 4.  By the half, the Pirates held a 28-22 edge, largely on the back of big man John Gages 14 points.  Gage would finish with a game high 18. 

The Cougars looked crisper than the Pirates coming out of the half-time break and by 5:39 had tied the score at 28-all.  Pirate Coach Andy Sears called a time out to refocus his team.  His boys responded and immediately got the ball into bigman Gage for two on a short turnaround.  Chris Pieterick reported in and immediately hit a 3 pointer off an Alex Wegner screen from the top of the circle.  On the next Cougar possession, Pieterick took a charge to force a critical Cougar turnover.  Meanwhile, Thomas Timm-Skove attacked the hoop for points on several classy spin moves into the paint.  By the end of 3, Vashon had the lead back to 37-32.

Both teams played with urgency coming out in the fourth.  But the Pirates struck first blood when Charlie Hoffman delivered a dagger from the left corner for 3.  That was followed by Gage blocking a Cougar shot and a Gage assist to Matt Kerns cutting along the baseline for another 2 for a 10 point margin.  At last, some breathing room for the Pirates!  And, in the end, a hard fought 49-43 win.

Pirate Points vs Cascade Christian:  Gage 18, Timm-Skove 10, Chris Pieterick 7, Burnham 5, Kerns 4, Hoffman 3, Wegner 2.