Boys basketball: Rally falls short, Coupeville falls to Falcons

A fourth-quarter rally fell short and the Coupeville boys basketball team dropped a 50-44 game to visiting South Whidbey Tuesday, Jan. 4.

The Falcons (3-1, 5-4) hung on to second in the Cascade Conference with the win while the Wolves dipped to 0-4, 1-9.

The two clubs battled through a close first half with Coupeville leading after one 10-8 and at the break 19-18. The Falcons then took off in the third and held a 36-29 cushion going into the fourth quarter.

South Whidbey pushed its lead to 11 in the final period, then Coupeville coach Randy King switched to a zone defense and began to press.

The Falcons began hurrying their shots and missing, and they turned the ball over under the pressure defense, enabling the Wolves to cut the lead to two with just under two minutes left.

South Whidbey's Riley Newman, who hurt Coupeville all night, then saved the Falcons by hitting an improbable three. He followed that with another trey to secure the win.

Ben Hayes carried Coupeville in the first half when he scored 12 of his team-high 16 points. Hunter Hammer took over in the second half and drained 13 of his 15 points after the break.

Newman burned the Wolves for 29 points, including netting 16 of South Whidbey's 18 first-half points on 17 shots.

Ian Smith scored eight points for Coupeville, Dalton Engle three and Tyler King two.

Coach King said, "I feel like we are improving." The Wolves, who have struggled this year at the foul line, hit eight of 12 against the Falcons and committed just 13 turnovers.

He added, "We are right on the edge -- it's coming."

Coupeville travels to Granite Falls (0-3, 0-9) Friday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m., and then returns home Tuesday, Jan. 11, against Sultan (1-3, 4-4) at 7.

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