Both games followed the same pattern and both resulted in losses for the Coupeville High School boys basketball team.
The Wolves fell behind early, mounted a late but too-short rally, and lost twice, first 62-51 at South Whidbey Tuesday, Jan. 28, then 62-55 to visiting Friday Harbor Wednesday, Jan. 29, in a nonleague game.
The loss to South Whidbey was the most damaging, essentially knocking the Wolves out of the postseason.
"We battled, we always do," Coupeville coach Anthony Smith said. "We played tough, but give them credit, they played well."
"We just need to put four quarters together," he added. "We have got to come out for 32 minutes."
Smith noted that his team plays in two gears. Not until they fall behind early do they shift into second and then "it is too late."
South Whidbey (3-7, 4-12) bolted to a 20-8 first-quarter lead, pushed the lead to 20 in the second quarter and then went into the locker room up 36-21.
With six points from Wiley Hesselgrave and four each from Anthony Bergeron and Aaron Trumbull, the Wolves were within 10, 47-37, heading into the last eight minutes.
With the help of a three-pointer by Joel Walstad and five points from Hesselgrave, Coupeville sliced the lead to five, 54-49, late.
The Falcons hit 7 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Wolves.
Hesselgrave scored 16 points, Bergeron 13, Gavin O'Keefe six, Walstad four, Trumbull four, Morgan Payne four, Matt Shank two and Nick Streubel two.
Parker Collins scored 22 for the Falcons.
Against Friday Harbor, Coupeville was again down by 12, 21-9, after the first quarter.
Bergeron racked up nine points in the second quarter and Coupeville cut a little into the margin to trail 33-23 at halftime.
The Wolves could have trimmed the gap to four midway through the third period but missed three consecutive free throws. From that point the Wolverines scored nine straight to go up 47-31 going into the final frame.
Coupeville scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and used a 10-point run (fueled by six points from Streubel) to get within six, 55-49, with 1:36 left.
Friday Harbor (8-8) hit five of six free throws in the final 37 seconds to hang on.
C.J. Woods was a thorn in the Wolves' side all night, scoring at least six points in every quarter and finishing with 31.
Bergeron ended up with 20 for the Wolves. Streubel, who had two fouls in the first minute of the game and sat the remainder of the first half, finished with 15 points, nine in the fourth quarter. O'Keefe added nine points, Hesselgrave, who also missed much of the game with foul trouble and an injury, had seven and Walstad four.
Coupeville (1-10, 3-13) goes to Sultan (6-4, 9-7) at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.