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Pirates Slip By the Kings Knights

Jan 18, 2010
by Charlie Pieterick
John Gage powers to the rim over the Kings defense.
The Pirates survived a close call against the state’s 7th ranked Kings Knights in a showcase game at the MLK Hoopfest.

The game against Kings was knotted at 53 each when Pirate point guard Elias Weston stepped to the line to shoot two freethrows. Weston had just taken an inbound pass with 6.2 seconds on the clock and raced full court for a lay-in attempt. Fouled on the play, and with only 1.3 ticks left, Weston calmly hit both shots for the 55-53 win.

The game was close throughout, with neither team able to get more than a one digit lead on the other. The Pirates appeared a bit overanxious in the early going. Forcing Kings into several turnovers, they turned the ball over themselves on the resulting breakaway plays. Meanwhile, Kings’ burned Vashon four times on 3 pointers, to take a 31-29 lead into the half.

The Pirates put together a 10-3 third quarter to regain the lead. This included a key defensive stop at quarter’s end. They would push the lead to 7 point early in the fourth, but the Knights roared back behind their long ball shooting.

Gutsy play by two Pirates should be acknowledged. Alex Wegner came into the game on a heavily-taped fresh ankle sprain, determined to make his customary contribution. John Gage was active all game under the basket, including blocks, rebounds, a steal, strong moves to the hoop, and the taking of a hard charge. The determination of these two players defined the Pirate will to win this contest. For his efforts, Gage won the Player of the Game award.

Pirate Points vs. Kings:
Gage 31, Wegner 10, Kerns 6, Weston 5, Matt Amick 3, Quinn Holert, Hamzah Griffin, Tyler Stoffer.