The Coupeville High School boys basketball team lost at home to Sultan Tuesday, Dec. 18, and at Friday Harbor Thursday, Dec. 20, but the loss at home to Orcas Island Saturday may be the most bitter.
The Vikings defeated Coupeville 66-61 in an oddly officiated game, and the passionate Coupeville crowd let the referees know.
The Wolves were whistled for 31 fouls to the Vikings’ 13. That resulted in a 23-for-28 night at the line for Orcas Island to just 6-for-10 for Coupeville.
A Viking player took a swing (and missed) at a Wolf and was not ejected, according to coach Anthony Smith. Another received two technical fouls and was not ejected.
Smith said, “I don’t like to blame officials, but it was a differently called game. There was no rhythm; every five seconds there was a call.”
One Coupeville player, Nick Streubel, fouled out and four others finished with four fouls. Monitoring the foul situation also kept the Wolves from finding a rhythm, Smith said.
Coupeville played well early, running to leads of 21-14 after the first-quarter quarter and 32-28 at the half.
The third quarter was the turning point as the Vikings (3-1) out scored Coupeville 25-13 and took a 53-45 margin into the fourth.
Smith said, “We couldn’t do anything in the third quarter.”
Scoring, for once, wasn’t a problem for Coupeville as it doubled its usual per game average. Aaron Curtin led the way with 12 points, Ben Etzell had 10, Drew Chan nine, Streubel eight, Aaron Trumbull seven, Carson Risner six, Caleb Valko five, Morgan Payne two and Anthony Bergeron two.
Jack Gates piled up 36 points for Orcas Island and Jake Zier had 21.
The 61-point effort kept Coupeville in the game, and, for once, it wasn’t a lopsided loss. The moral victory, however, was tainted by the atmosphere of the game.
Smith said, “This one will stick with me for a few days.”
In the 52-16 loss to Sultan, Smith said his team’s field goal percentage was “bad.”
Smith, who did not have the official statistics available, said, “We were 4-for-20-something, or maybe 4-for-30-something.”
What ever the total, it wasn’t nearly good enough as the Wolves failed to score more than six points in a quarter.
After a decent start -- the two teams were tied at six after the first quarter -- things started to turn for the worse for the Wolves as the game progressed.
Smith said although his club scored only four points in the second quarter, it played well and would have gone into the locker room down by only eight but a Turk drilled a three at the buzzer.
Down 21-10 at the break, the Wolves fell behind 36-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Smith called the game “frustrating,” and added, “You have to take little victories.”
He cited the final quarter of the previous game with South Whidbey and the first two against Sultan as positives: “We have to build on that and believe.”
The Wolves played good half-court defense against the Turks, but the offense, through the lack of execution and off-mark shots, couldn’t keep pace, Smith said. He added that the Wolves still struggle in transition defense.
Trumbull and Streubel each scored six points for Coupeville; Valko had four.
A dismal second half led to a 68-27 loss at Friday Harbor as the Wolverines outscored the Wolves 30-6 after the break to claim the non-conference win.
Smith said, “They were way more aggressive than we were.”
He noted that cold shooting wasn’t the only problem, as turnovers again haunted his club. In reference to the mistakes, he said, “I don’t even want to go there.”
One positive, Smith said, was a more consistent half-court defense.
Friday Harbor (3-3) led 16-6, 33-21 and 48-24 at the quarters.
Etzell scored 11 points; Streubel, Trumbull and Valko scored four each; and Josh Wiley and Chan had two apiece.
Coupeville (0-4, 0-9) goes to Everett to face Archbishop Murphy (2-2, 2-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2.