La Conner and Cedarcrest both effectively used full court presses to put away the visiting Coupeville High School girls basketball team last week.
The Braves defeated the Wolves 53-27 Thursday, Dec. 6, and the Red Wolves won 62-24 Friday, Dec. 7, in the conference opener.
La Conner’s pressure helped it zip to a 17-2 first-quarter lead.
Coupeville coach David King said, “What really hurt us all game was not taking care of the ball. In the first half we turned it over 19 times and 35 total for the game. We are rushing and not being patient. Many of the turnovers were us just not taking care of the ball or trying to fit a pass in when there wasn’t a place to make a pass.”
After the rugged first quarter, the Wolves settled in and played even with the Braves in the middle two periods, trailing 28-10 at the half and 37-20 going into the final period.
Hailey Hammer scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the second and third quarters to help the Wolves keep pace.
Lauren Escalle finished with five points, Amanda Fabrizi and Makana Stone three each and Bessie Walstad two.
While the La Conner press hurt the Wolves early, Cedarcrest’s took its toll in the second half when the Red Wolves out scored Coupeville 37-7.
The Wolves handled Cedarcrest’s pressure for the most part in the first half, according to Smith. The Red Wolves went up 14-6 in the first quarter, and the gap remained eight at the break, 25-17.
King said, “Cedarcrest turned up their pressure on the press to start the third, this sped up the game and caused us to play faster than we wanted and caused us to turn the ball over for easy layups for the Red Wolves.”
The turnovers also limited Coupeville’s shooting opportunities as Cedarcrest outscored the Wolves 17-2 in the period.
Cedarcrest continued to press in the fourth quarter, the Wolves continued to struggle and the Red Wolves out scored Coupeville 21-5 in the final frame.
King said his team played “great help defense” throughout the game, but was stung by the press and Cedarcrest’s fast break.
He was pleased with the defensive effort of Fabrizi and Stone on Susan Kenney, one of the area’s top scorers.
Hammer led Coupeville with eight points and 10 rebounds. Stone finished with six points, seven rebounds, three blocks and four steals.
Escalle had six points, Jai’Lysa Hoskins three and Bree Messner one.
King said, “On our offensive end we are starting to get more open shots, we just need to continue shooting and more will fall.”
He added, “Our effort is there from the start of the game until the final buzzer. Once we minimize our turnovers we will get more shots up.”
Coupeville (0-1, 1-3) played at Lakewood (0-1, 2-2) Tuesday and now hosts South Whidbey (0-1, 3-2) at 5:15 p.m. tomorrow.