On to State!
Feb 21, 09


The Pirates Overcome Kings

Feb 27, 2009
by Charlie Pieterick
February 27, 2009 - Alex Wegner cuts through the Kings defense for a layup.
The game against the King’s Knights in Friday’s TriDistrict semi-final, was not pretty.  The Knights are a storied team with a long history of state tournament success.  King’s was still smarting from last year’s TriDistrict Tournament overtime loss to the Pirates, when Gage stepped out to sink a buzzer beating 3 pointer and prevented King’s their customary state tournament appearance.  

King’s clearly hoped to neutralize Gage’s presence in this game by beating him up inside. The Pirates countered with attacks on the basket by wings Thomas Timm-Skove and Alex Wegner whenever Gage was not free. When King’s closed the driving lanes, Vashon worked it back into Gage, who still managed to power-up 6 first quarter points and grab a passel of rebounds to lead the Pirates to an 18-9 first quarter lead.

The well-coached Knights adjusted to the Pirate’s attack over the quarter break.  They plugged the paths to the basket, forcing Wegner into two quick charging fouls.  Timm-Skove would later pick up his own.  Meanwhile, King’s found the bottom of the basket for 3 to start a run at the Pirates that narrowed the margin to 3 midway through the quarter.  But the Pirates recovered on the back of Gage’s continued domination of the boards and a step-out 3, not unlike last year’s dagger.  Vashon took a 27-16 lead into the half.  

King’s recommitted to neutralizing Gage’s inside presence during the second half.  Heavy contact underneath kept the Pirate big man away from the basket and allowed King’s to open on a 7-2 run.  They closed within 3 late in the quarter and kept the Pirate margin to 34-28 by the quarter break.  

Wegner got into early foul trouble fifteen seconds into the fourth quarter when he picked up his fourth foul.  Matt Kerns, subbing in for Wegner, made his mark on the game by sinking a 3 pointer on his first touch.  On King’s next possession, Timm-Skove cleanly stole the ball and raced up court.  Unfortunately, on his dash to the basket, he was ruled to have gone through a King’s defender and was called for the charge.   

From this point, at the 7-minute mark, until under the 2-minute mark, the game took on a chaotic flavor.  Mounting tension made both teams tight and resulted in an exchange of turnovers and missed shots.  Neither team scored again until Wegner sunk both ends of a one-and-one at the 1:44 mark to put the Pirates up 39-30.  

But the Knights had one more run left, and narrowed the score to 39-35 with 53 seconds remaining.  Chris Pieterick, fouled after a late steal, made both freethrows to seal the 42-35 Pirate win.  

Pirate Points vs King’s: Gage 13, Timm-Skove 8, Wegner 7, Pieterick 5, Hoffman 3,  Kerns 3, Holert 2, Burnham 1.