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Vashon Quiets the Life Christian Eagles

Jan 12, 2010
by Wendy Gage
Elias Weston leads the fast break for 2 of his season-high 17 points.
A school's character is revealed in how they usher in their basketball games.
On Tuesday, Life Christian's announcer directed everyone to stand while a lone electric guitar twanged the national anthem. Before fans could sit, their star player, #23 Drew Curry, gave a short prayer. Chants bellowed by Eagle fans touting red, white and blue clashed with cheers from Pirates wearing green and gold. Meanwhile, sixteen Life Christian cheerleaders repeatedly executed a complicated throw-the-shortest-girl-into-the-air routine perfectly as fans streamed into the cramped Tacoma gym. Finally the anticipated moment arrived: tip off.

Vashon starters, Gage, Holert, Kerns, Wegner and Weston led the battle. Gage's tip went easily to Wegner, but a Pirate turnover allowed the Eagles to score first. Vashon struggled to find its offensive rhythm while the Eagle’s defense triangulated Gage. When Vashon's passes finally started hitting their mark, the Pirates' flag began to rise. Weston dropped in two points before a referee called the Eagles into account. When Tyler Stoffer entered the fray, he immediately contributed by blocking a shot. Fans roared with approval as Holert, Wegner and the Eagle's Curry rained a quick succession of three-pointers. Kern's slice to the basket was matched by an Eagle two. Stoffer's confident pass to Gage was repaid with a quick return, and Stoffer scored two. With one minute remaining, Hamzah Griffin joined the Pirate effort. At the end of the first quarter, Vashon had a narrow lead, 17-14.

Life Christian's Curry ignited the second quarter by sailing two three-pointers through the hoop. An overshot Eagles pass landed in a garbage can near the bleachers. No points. After carefully wiping the ball, the referee put it back into play. Weston and Gage scored and Kerns was fouled. His free throw tied the game 24 -24. The Eagles added a basket before Wegner's three-pointer relit Vashon's fuse. Christian Hasson was welcomed aboard with less than two minutes remaining. Vashon was ahead 36-31 at halftime.

In classic Pirate fashion, Vashon thundered into the third quarter. While Eagles defenders maypoled around Gage, Holert slipped to the basket for two. Following another three-pointer by Wegner, Coach Sears called a time out with 5:25 remaining. As more Pirates passes hit their mark, a cloud burst of Pirate points lit up the scoreboard. An injury timeout was called with 1:30 left on the clock, and Life Christian's Jordan King was helped off the court. Weston drained another two-pointer as the buzzer ended the third quarter. Vashon surged to a double-digit lead, 62-51

The Pirates looked frustrated early in the forth quarter. Moves Vashon characteristically executes with ease were lumbering. Team members fought over and fumbled rebounds and easy lay-ups fell short. The Eagles were hungry for a win and weren't about to give an inch, especially to Gage. Life Christian's first quick basket of the quarter was followed by fouls called on Kerns and Weston. Coach Sears sent in Dan Lofland. With five minutes left in the game, the Eagles were scoring bonus points. Not to worry, the Pirates weren't done. Before the Pirates started playing keep-away, Kerns and Holert each hit three pointers. Vashon won 76-62.

Pirate Points vs. Life Christian Eagles:
Weston 17, Gage 16, Wegner 14, Holert 13, Amick 7, Kerns 6, Stoffer 3, Griffin, Hasson, Lofland