Pirates set sail on new season with 73-53 win over Ottawa

Senior Jaron Briggs made a dunk off a fast break in the second half of Piper’s season-opening win over Ottawa. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Piper Pirates basketball team won its home opener Friday against Ottawa 73-53.

Jaron Briggs hit two three-pointers in the first quarter to establish his presence outside, but the Cyclones were able to keep pace, and finished the quarter tied at 14.

Piper started to pull away in the second quarter, outscoring the Cyclones by 10. Ottawa had only two made baskets in the quarter, but made 8 of 12 free throw attempts. Piper made three 3-pointers, one each from Colin Vigil, Gannon Roth, and Alex Ivanuska.

The third quarter was a slugfest of defense. There were 25 combined shots from the free throw line, and the frequent whistles slowed the game. The atmosphere on the court was becoming chippy, and the referees dispensed offsetting technical fouls at one point to get the teams’ attention.

The Pirates got the better of the third-quarter scrap, thanks in part to two 3-pointers from Roth, and they ended the quarter with a 56-40 advantage.

Vigil and Roth both struck again from the outside in the fourth quarter, and the Pirates extended the lead to 20 at the final whistle.

Jaron Briggs led the Pirates with 26 points, including 10 of 13 from the free throw line. Gannon Roth added 17 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers. Alex Ivanuska scored 11.

Now 1-0, the Pirates will play next week in the Huhtamaki Hardwood Classic, held by De Soto High School. The opening game will be against Olathe Northwest at 6:30 p.m.  Tuesday.

Jaron Briggs, who goes by the nickname “Day Day,” brought a large and enthusiastic cheering section in matching T-shirts. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Head coach Steve Wallace talked to his team during a timeout in the second half. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Junior Colin Vigil went up for a shot. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Senior Alex Ivanuska split two Ottawa defenders to get to the basket. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Freshman Lantz Walton came into the game late in the fourth quarter. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Ottawa junior Jake Titus stripped the ball from Piper senior Blake Porter. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

The Piper dance team performed at halftime. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Senior Jaron Briggs took a short jumper in the lane. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Senior Jaron Briggs was swarmed by the Ottawa defense. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Sophomore Gannon Roth took a three-point shot. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

The Piper cheerleaders celebrated at the end of the game. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

 

Junior Colin Vigil cut to the basket. (Photo copyright 2021 by Brian Turrel)

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