Vashon Freezes Out Cashmere

Dec 29, 2009
by Jay Williamson
Matt Amick gets 2 points through the back door.
On December 29 and 30, the Vashon boys varsity team made a triumphant return to the gymnasium where they won their first ever state championship last year. Fourteen boys and fourteen girls teams participated in the 2009 Sundome Shootout in Yakima on these two days.

Vashon's first opponent was Cashmere, a central Washington 1A team. Cashmere played spirited basketball and kept the game close for the first half. Vashon helped its opponent by displaying loose ball handling and lackadaisical passing resulting in many turnovers. In the first quarter, all of Vashon's points were scored by two players, John Gage and Alex Wegner with nine points each. Vashon played strong defense, including five blocked shots by Gage, and the team held Cashmere to 13 points for an 18 to 13 lead at the end of the quarter. The same pattern persisted in the second quarter with Vashon's defense holding Cashmere to seven points and turnovers keeping Vashon from taking advantage. The half ended with Vashon leading 27 to 20. Again Gage and Wegner dominated the Pirate scoring with Quinn Holert making the only other basket for Vashon during the quarter.

As snow began to fall heavily outside the “Sundome”, Vashon came out of the halftime break with a change in strategy. Instead of the guards and forwards attempting three pointers (of which Vashon was only 2 of 12 for the game), the Pirates started to drive to the basket to take advantage of the Cashmere players collapsing their defense on Gage. This created scoring opportunities for other players including Matt Amick and Elias Weston who had four points each in the quarter. Other players scoring baskets in the third period were Tyler Stoffer, Dan Lofland and of course Wegner and Gage. Corey Williamson came in for Gage, getting several rebounds. The quarter ended with Lofland putting in an offensive rebound for a basket and Vashon extending their lead to 45 to 30. A rested Gage took control in the fourth quarter, scoring 9 points as Cashmere had to defend other players and the Pirates got him the ball in the low post. All team members making the trip were able to play including Hamzah Griffin and Jesse Hazzard, who took a hard charge as the game came to an end. The final score was Vashon 67 Cashmere 41. Gage dominated in the paint and ended up with 9 blocked shots for the game.

Pirate Points vs. Cashmere:
John Gage 25, Alex Wegner 18, Elias Weston 7, Matt Amick 4, Dan Lofland 4, Tyler Stoffer 3, Matt Kerns 2, Christian Hasson 2 and Quinn Holert 2.