When Vashon Island’s Sam Schoenberg found the ball bounding his way in overtime, he wasn’t going to miss his chance for the second time in a week.
The senior couldn’t convert an opportunity to help Vashon overcome Lindbergh in a 46-43 defeat on Monday. But not Wednesday at 1A Nisqually league rivals Cascade Christian.
With the Pirates leading the Cougars by one in overtime, a missed shot ricocheted off the rim and right to Schoenberg behind the arc with 1:22 left to play.
“It could be anyone taking that shot … it just happened to be in my hands at that time,” Schoenberg said.
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Schoenberg let loose what turned out to be the game-clinching bucket, and Vashon defeated Cascade Christian, 49-44, in overtime to secure the Pirates at the top of the league. Vashon (12-3) improved to 4-0 in 1A Nisqually play, while Cascade Christian (5-8) fell to 2-2.
“We both have really hostile environments at both gyms … we’re know each other really well,” Schoenberg said. “It’s always a big game as today we were fired up for it. It was a little (bit) of a nail-biter, but I’m really glad that we able to crunch it out.”
Schoenberg finishes with 12 points (3 for 4 from the floor) while Vashon captain and leading scorer Sam Yates added 16 of his own.
Vashon built a four-point lead heading into halftime, 21-17, before Cascade Christian turned it on in the second half.
Led by the scoring bursts of Cougars senior Jesse Howells (14 points, 6 for 12) and Andrew Tigges (nine points, 4 for 6), Cascade Christian was able to jump Vashon for the lead by the end of the third, 32-31. With 28 seconds left in regulation, Yates cut through the Cougars defense and put in a left-handed layup to put Vashon ahead, 42-40.
“If we executed, then we had a chance to win the game. But that’s been our problem all year,” Cascade Christian coach Jerry Williams said. “I thought took too quick of shots. We had a three-point lead, and we actually had a couple of stops where we could have extended the lead. I thought we came down and took too quick of shots on offense.”
Howells quickly maneuvered to the baseline before hitting a turnaround hook to force overtime.
“They are always fantastic games, for about a decade quite honestly,” Vashon coach Andy Sears said. “We didn’t play particular well, but I give them a whole lot of credit because they played us tough, and they’re tough to play against — they were always tough to play against tonight.”
Cascade Christian struck first in the extra period when Grayson Jones hit a jumping hook, then Vashon came to life.
The Pirates were hot in overtime as Edgar Polkat opened their scoring with a steal but was fouled on the breakaway layup. Polkat hit his free throw before Yates gave Vashon the lead after Cascade Christian layup.
Howells missed a contested shot on the Cougars’ end, and that set up Schoenberg’s game-clinching shot.
“I’m just happy that I made that shot, as I missed the game winner at the ShoWare Center against Lindbergh,” Schoenberg said. “I’m glad I got it back.”
“When you get road wins, they’re always great. And then league road wins are fantastic,” Sears said. “We’re excited (but) we’re really fortunate to come out of here with the win.”
Schoenberg finished off Cascade Christian with a free throw to close out the win for Vashon.