Several strong story lines punctuated the Coupeville High School boys basketball team's thrilling 59-57 win at Lakewood Friday, Jan. 24.
The victory began a busy schedule for the Wolves, who play four games in six days. After winning at Lakewood, Coupeville lost 73-33 at home to first-place King's Saturday, Jan. 25.
Coupeville goes to South Whidbey at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in an important conference matchup. Then Friday Harbor (7-8) visits at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, for a non-league game.
Now the story lines…
• The win at Lakewood kept the Wolves' postseason hopes alive and amped up an already emotionally-charged game with rival South Whidbey Tuesday.
• Coupeville rallied from nine points down for the win.
• The bench played a vital role in the win as three starters fouled out.
• The Wolves broke a 37-game Cascade Conference losing streak with the win.
If Coupeville hopes to qualify for district, a win at South Whidbey is paramount. A loss won't mathmatically eliminate the Wolves but will throw its hopes into the "slim to none" pile.
Two of the three 1A schools in the league earn district berths. King's (9-1, 14-2) is in. The final slot will go to South Whidbey (2-7, 3-12) or Coupeville (1-9, 3-12).
The Falcons beat the Wolves 67-53 Dec. 17.
Coupeville needs the win to pull even with South Whidbey in the standings and even the first tiebreaker, which is head-to-head competition.
After Tuesday, Coupeville has only three league games remaining.
In Friday's win at Lakewood, the Cougars scored eight points at the foul line in the opening quarter to go ahead 16-14.
Coupeville knotted the score at 24 at half.
Anthony Bergeron pumped in 11 points in the third quarter, countering 12 points on four three-pointers by the Cougars' Ryan Alford, to push Coupeville to a 41-39 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Lakewood jumped ahead by nine, then the Wolves roared back behind six points from Bergeron and four each from Wiley Hesselgrave and Matt Shank.
A free throw by Joel Walstad gave the Wolves a two-point lead in the final seconds and the defense came up with a stop to secure the win.
Reserves Shank and Walstad lifted the offense with 12 and six points respectively while starters sat in foul trouble.
Bergeron scored 23 points to pace the attack. The quick senior, who usually scores by slashing to the rim, knocked down three three-balls to fuel the comeback.
Hesselgrave, Aaron Trumbull and Nick Streubel each scored six points.
"Great team effort; good team win," coach Anthony Smith said. "The bench stepped up."
"I'm really happy for the seniors," he added.
King's (9-1, 14-2), ranked third in the state 1A poll, had little trouble with Coupeville, which was emotionally spent after the tense Lakewood win.
The Knights, using an effective full-court press, led 26-6, 42-12 and 62-24 at the quarters.
Gavin O'Keefe scored 10 points, Hesselgrave nine, Bergeron four, Morgan Payne three, Streubel three, Walstad two and Trumbull two.