Vashon Pirates Defeat the Cascade Christian Cougars

Dec 18, 2009
by Charlie Pieterick
Matt Kerns sailed through the air for 2 points.
On Friday, December 18, the VHS Pirate boys’ basketball team defeated the scrappy Cascade Christian Cougars 59-50.

Pirate fans came out in force to support their team against the Cougars. Cascade Christian is thought by most to be the biggest obstacle to a Pirate 6th consecutive league title. The Green Tide student boosters and VHS pep band turned out in white, whipping up hopes for a Pirate “white out”.

John Gage controlled the opening tip for Vashon and kept the Pirates in the game during the first quarter by grabbing monster rebounds and scoring all of the Pirates’ points. Tentative shooting by both teams, kept the scoring low, with Cougars up 13-9 at quarter’s end.

Cascade Christian threatened to blow the game open early in the second period, nudging their lead to 7. Costly Pirate turnovers were punctuated by moments of Pirate brilliance. Quinn Holert flushed a 3 pointer off a kick-out pass. Matt Kerns laid in an acrobatic dipsy-doodle on a baseline drive. When Gage collected his 3rd personal foul at the quarter’s midpoint and had to come out, the Pirate faithful gulped.

But the bench responded. Corey Williamson anchored the post. Matt Amick, playing terrific defense, stuffed a Jonnie Washburn lay-in off the glass. Veteran wing Alex Wegner elevated his game as floor leader. Kerns found the bottom of the basket on the first of 3 treys he would have for the night. By the end of the half, the Pirates were back up, 24-23.

Coming out of the half, the Pirates began defending with their legendary intensity. They moved better on offense, creating seams for drives toward the rim. But the Cougars responded and battled the Pirates point-for-point. Gage picked up his fourth foul and had to sit out the late 3rd and early 4th quarters. Behind Wegner’s charge, Vashon clung to a 40-37 margin at the quarter break.

Things began to click for the Pirates in the fourth period. Defensive pressure and 3 pointers by Kerns and Elias Weston pushed the Cougars back on their heels. By the half way point, the Cougars had run out of steam and the Pirates cruised to a satisfying 59-50 victory.

“I don’t think that’s how we would have drawn it up,” remarked a visibly relieved Pirate coach Andy Sears after the game. “I thought our bench really stepped up and provided some good minutes. We got the lead on them when we had our reserves in there, which is great.” Sears also lauded the defensive effort as “something we can hang our hat on, because that’s where (our success) starts.”

The Pirates have a holiday break before heading to Yakima for the Sundome Shootout on December 29th and 30th. They then host Steilacoom in a non-league game at VHS on January 2nd at 7:00 PM.

Pirate Points vs. Cascade Christian:
Gage 21, Wegner 18, Kerns 11, Holert 6, Weston 3, Amick, Stoffer, Williamson.