Boys basketball: King's stops cold-shooting Wolves

King’s outscored the Coupeville High School boys basketball team 16-4 in the fourth quarter to upend the host Wolves 56-36 Friday, Jan. 21.

Coupeville trailed by only five, 37-32, with a minute left in the third quarter. King’s then scored eight points in less then three minutes to jump to a 13-point lead. The Wolves, trying to get back into the game quickly, started to shoot from long range early its possessions but was ice-cold from the three-point line. Meanwhile, the Knights continued to score at their end and finished the game on an 11-0 run to bury the Wolves.

The outcome may have been decided long before the Knights’ fast finish.

Coupeville’s Hunter Hammer picked up three fouls early and spent eight minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half on the bench.

The complexion of the game changed once he left the floor.

Hammer protected the back side of the Wolves’ defense and controlled the boards, helping to limit the Knights to one shot per possession. The 6-7 post also was the focus of the Knights’ defense, helping to open up floor for his teammates.

When Hammer entered the game for the first time in the second half with 3:38 left in the third quarter, he quickly picked up his fourth foul. Although he remained in the game, he had to be less aggressive at both ends of the floor and was less effective.

Things went Coupeville’s way early when they were at full strength. Behind 11 points by Ben Hayes and five from Hammer, the Wolves led 16-13 after one quarter.

Both teams shot poorly in the second quarter, particularly Coupeville with Hammer on the bench. King’s lead 23-20 at halftime and 40-32 after three quarters.

The Wolves shot just 29 percent (14 of 48) from the floor and only 49 percent (three of seven) from the line. They also hit just one three ball to nine for the Knights. Kings shot 41.6 percent (20 of 48) from the field and 70 percent (seven of 10) from the line.

Coupeville coach Randy King said, “It wasn’t the turnovers. (Coupeville had only seven.) We just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop.”

Hayes finished with 21 points, Hammer eight, Ian Smith four and Tyler King three.

Things don’t get any easier for the Wolves (2-7, 3-11) as they travel to first-place South Whidbey (8-1, 12-3) Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 5:15 p.m. The Falcons are led by the league’s top scorer, Riley Newman. Newman, who recently scored 46 points against Sultan, averages 25 points per game.

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