After letting the games at Sultan Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Friday Harbor Thursday, Dec. 20, slip away in the fourth quarter, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team wasn’t about to let it happen again. The Wolves used a 19-0 run in the second half to defeat visiting Orcas Island 39-31 Saturday.
Coupeville and Orcas Island (3-2) took turns controlling the quarters; the Wolves’ total domination of the fourth was the difference.
The Vikings took charge early, going up 14-4. The second quarter belonged to Coupeville as it out scored Orcas Island 10-2, making it 16-14, Vikings, at the break.
The third was Orcas’ turn and it upped its lead to 27-20 going into the fourth period.
The fourth was all Coupeville as the Wolves out scored the Vikings 19-4 to reverse the trend of recent fourth-quarter melt downs.
Breeanna Messner led the final-frame assault with 10 of her 12 points. She hit a pair of threes and pulled in several key offensive rebounds during the run, according to coach David King. Bessie Walstad helped fuel the spurt with a block that led to a fast-break lay-in that ignited the Coupeville offense.
Walstad finished with 12 points and six rebounds, Hailey Hammer had seven points, Makana Stone four, Rhiannon Ellsworth two and Haley Marx two.
King said, “It took us to the middle of the third quarter to get back to playing basketball.”
He said the Wolves were playing hard early but kept misfiring on good shots in the lane.
“We preach to the kids that defense is the key,” King said. “When we make stops it helps us get out and run.”
Sultan outscored Coupeville 13-7 down the stretch to eke out a 30-27 win after trailing 20-17 early in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves had a chance to tie it at the end. On an inbounds play from half court with 3.9 seconds left, Lauren Escalle’s three-point shot was tipped and Sultan escaped.
The first quarter belonged to Coupeville, the second to the Turks.
Hammer scored twice to help the Wolves lead 8-2 after the first period. Coupeville’s fast break was creating scoring opportunities and the damage could have been greater but “the ball wouldn’t fall” on some chances, according to King.
Sultan (2-2, 2-7) did one (or two) better in the second quarter, out scoring Coupeville 8-0. King said, “Our defense wasn’t there like it had been earlier in the game and we were out of rhythm in our offense.”
He added, “Sultan didn’t come at us with much pressure from the defensive end, we just didn’t allow ourselves to be patient on offense, and when we got open shots we rushed them. Many times it was a one and done; we weren’t aggressive at going after offensive rebounds.”
After trading dominating quarters, things evened out in the third. With six points coming from Walstad, Coupeville entered the final period up 18-17.
Walstad finished with eight points, Stone seven, Hammer four, Amanda Fabrizi four, Escalle two and Messner two. Stone had six rebounds and Messner five.
King said, “Overall, we just didn’t come ready to play and go home with a win. We played hard, but our energy level wasn’t used at times in the right places. We are young and it showed in the game.”
Friday Harbor (1-5)claimed its first win of the season 34-23 by blanking sluggish Coupeville in the fourth quarter.
The game was close until the fourth period as the Wolverines led 13-12, 18-15 and 24-23 at the quarters.
King said, “In the fourth we came out flat at both ends of the court and didn’t score a point.”
He added, “Defense wasn’t there like it was our first six games. And offensively we slowed things down and played passive basketball.”
Walstad and Hammer led the Wolves with seven points each. Stone scored four, Escalle three and Jai’Lysa Hoskins two.
Coupeville (2-2, 4-5) gets back into Cascade Conference play at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, when first-place Archbishop Murphy (4-0, 6-1) comes to town.