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Wolves split 2, head to postseason | Girls basketball
After splitting its final two regular season games, it's on to the playoffs for the Coupeville High School girls basketball team.
The fifth-seeded Wolves (5-9, 9-11) open the double-elimination, eight-team district tournament at fourth-seeded Mount Baker High School (10-10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Deming.
The second round is at 7 p.m. Thursday at the home of the higher seed. The winner and loser of the Coupeville-Mount Baker game takes on its counterpart from the game between first-seeded Lynden Christian (17-3) and eight-seeded Meridian (4-16) Thursday .
The top four teams from district advance to the tri-district tournament.
Coupeville coach David King likes how his team is playing now, especially the contributions from the reserves: "The last two-three games our bench, McKayla (Bailey), Monica (Vidoni), Wynter (Thorne) and Carlie (Rosenkrance), are providing us good minutes and getting the others much needed rest. This has been a big boost for our team, and if we continue to play as a team, we will be very competitive against anyone we face in the postseason."
"The starters and Julia (Myers), our super sub, are jelling well on defense and in our half-court offense," he added.
Coupeville rounded out the regular season by defeating the Cascade Conference's weakest team, Granite Falls, 43-20 at home Friday, Feb. 8, and by losing at the league's strongest club, King's, 61-37 Saturday.
The win over Granite Falls (0-13, 1-18) was all about defense. The Wolves held the Tigers to single digits in every quarter, leading 10-4, 23-7 and 31-13 at the conclusion of the first three periods.
Coupeville took an early 6-4 lead, then the Tigers did not score again until the final minute of the first half. Granite Falls' first three field goals were three-pointers, and it did not hit a two-pointer until the 2:51 mark of the third quarter.
The Wolves honored seniors Amanda Fabrizi and Breeanna Messner before the game, and the two responded by giving Coupeville an offensive lift.
Messner scored all six of her points in the first quarter to get the offense rolling, and Fabrizi kept it going by scoring a career-best 20 points.
Madeline Strasburg added six points, Makana Stone four, Monica Vidoni four, Kacie Kiel two and MaKayla Bailey one.
Kimmy Martinez, with three three-pointers, led the Tigers with 13 points.
Coupeville struggled with King's press, allowing the Knights to zip to a 6-0 lead and then a 15-9 first-quarter advantage. The press continued to cause problems in the second period, and King's led 29-17 at halftime.
The Wolves settled down in the third quarter and were outscored only 13-12 by the sixth-ranked Knights (14-0, 17-3).
Fabrizi and Strasburg each scored four points in the third quarter and Messner added a steal that led to a fast-break hoop to help the Wolves keep pace.
Vidoni hit back-to-back buckets in the fourth quarter but the Wolves couldn't cut into the Knights' lead.
"If we can minimize our turnovers, the score is a lot closer and who knows how the ball bounces then," said King.
Defensively, he liked his club's effort, particularly Kiel and Messner, who each held their opponent to five points less than they scored against Coupeville in a game earlier this season.
Stone tallied six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks; and Strasburg had nine points, five rebounds and four assists.
Fabrizi scored seven points, Messner five, Vidoni four, Myers two, Bailey two and Kiel two.
Three players scored in double figures for King's, led by Karly Hubbard with 11.