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Boys basketball: Wolves earn weekend split
After ripping Lakewood 54-35 on the road Friday, Jan. 14, the Coupeville boys basketball team lost to visiting Sultan 66-54 Saturday, Jan. 15.
The split set the Wolves' Cascade Conference record at 2-4 after the first round, 3-9 overall. Coupeville's primary goal is to catch King's (4-3, 5-5) in the league standings. The Wolves can help their cause when the two schools meet Friday, Jan. 21, in Coupeville at 5:15 p.m.
Coupeville and King's are the only 1A schools in the conference, and the one that finishes highest in the final standings receives an automatic berth in the tri-district tournament.
Before the Wolves and Knights clash Friday, Coupeville goes to Cedarcrest (4-2, 7-5) Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.
In Coupeville's game with Lakewood, the Wolves aimed to shut down the Cougars' high-scoring Tre Haslom, who entered the game averaging nearly 24 points a game.
Using a zone-man combo defense, and with Dalton Engle handling the brunt of the defense on Haslom, the Wolves accomplished their mission. Engle "pretty much wore his jersey," Coach Randy King said.
Coupeville limited Haslom, a 6-5 senior who played for Oak Harbor his freshman season, to nine points, and only two in the first half as Coupeville sprinted to a 27-13 lead.
King said the "kids came ready to play." He added that the varsity players were further inspired by watching the JV team pull out an overtime win over the Cougars. "The evening started out on a high note," he said.
Hunter Hammer scored 19 points Coupeville. Ben Hayes added 14, Tyler King nine, Ian Smith six (and seven rebounds), Neville Miranda four and Engle two.
The Wolves committed only eight turnovers in the win.
Friday night's effort caught up with the Wolves as they "ran out of gas," coach King said in the Saturday loss to Sultan.
The Turks outscored the Wolves 25-8 in the final period to nab the win.
The teams were tied 11-11 after the first quarter and Coupeville led 28-24.
Behind Hayes 12 third-quarter points, the Wolves pushed the lead to 46-41 after three.
Theo VandenEkart exploded for 12 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to carry the Turks.
Coach King said, "For the most part, we just wore down. We were a quarter short, there was no gas in the tank.
He added, "Sultan got on a roll in the fourth quarter and we couldn't stop them. We were right there but couldn't finish the story."
The Wolves got double-doubles out of Hayes and Hammer. Hayes finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Hammer netted 13 points, pulled down a monstrous 19 rebounds and chipped in with five blocks.
Tyler King scored 10 points, Smith seven, Miranda two and Engle one.