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Pirates Attacked by Cascade Christian Cougars

Jan 28, 2010
by Don Olson
The energy of the Black Tide was a highlight of the game.
The score would not indicate this was a close game, but with less than three minutes remaining, it became one. More about that later, the whole story needs telling.

In a packed Gym, with standing room only, and nearly as many Vashon Pirate fans present as Cougars, we witnessed two very different halftime games. Had Charles Dickens seen the game he might have turned to his familiar phrase with a slight modification, “it was the worst ‘first half ‘of times, and it was the ‘nearly the best second half’ of times”.

The score at the end of the first quarter was Cougars 15, Vashon 4. Everything the Cougars threw at the basket went in, and most were three-point shots. To the contrary, everything from three point shots, to short shots, to layups would not drop for the Pirates. The Cougars had their usual defense against John Gage with a defender in front and back coached to provide maximum irritation. Poor Pirate shooting was further distressed by three errant passes and turnovers while in-bounding the ball under the Pirate hoop. With 1.6 seconds on the clock at the end of the first quarter, Cougar Washburn took a shot from beyond the half court line that touched only net. It was not a pretty sight, and foretold what the night would be like.

It was not until five minutes into the second quarter that Matt Kerns finally knocked down a three to bring the score to Vashon 7, CC 20. Quality Pirate shots continued to hit a lid on the basket, fortunately foul shots dropped in. At half time, with the score Vashon 15, Cascade Christian 33, the Pirates were experiencing their largest halftime deficit of the year, 18 points. Would a halftime discussion change things?

The start of the second half found both teams a bit sloppy. The Cougars had cooled off. Pirate ball handling and defense was restored, but neither team was dominating. With the clock at 5:18, third quarter, Vashon 18, CC 40, the Cougars had stretched their lead to 22 points, largest of the night. At the start of the fourth quarter Vashon was down 18 points and things started to change. Wegner was driving to the basket. Gage was hitting his shots. Cougars were turning over the ball and missing free throws. With the Clock at 3:33 the score was Vashon 45, Cascade Christian 49, a 4-point difference. The Cougar crowd had quieted down. The Pirate fans were thinking; can this be, a tie, overtime, a win? The Pirates got the ball back on an errant Cougar in-bounds pass. With the clock showing less than thee minutes the Pirates were looking for a quality three point shot or an easy two. Wegner took the shot, it didn’t go in and he was fouled, shooting for two. The first shot went in, now the Pirates were down only three points with a chance to be down by 2 if the next free throw dropped. Then we heard a Referee whistle blow. A free throw lane infraction was called, stepping over the line before the ball hit the basket. The free throw was taken off the scoreboard and the ball turned over to the Cougars. Momentum was lost. Regaining control of the ball meant fouling and every free throw opportunity was converted into Cougar points. The Cougars got an easy layup on an inbound pass play. Thus the 15-point difference at game end and the first conference game loss of the year. Good teams can have nights like this. Every Pirate fan left with a feeling of pride that our boys never quit giving 100%.

Pirate Points vs. Cascade Christian:
Gage 13, Holert 13, Wegner 9, Kerns 6, Amick 2, Weston 2, Hasson, Stoffer, Williamson