Wolves bite Wildcats 63-60

A fast start and some clutch free throw shooting in the waning minutes helped spell victory.

In between, the Coupeville High School boys basketball team staved off a 9-0 Oak Harbor run at the start of the fourth quarter in Saturday’s annual matchup between the Class 1A and Class 4A Whidbey Island rivals to defeat the Wildcats 63-60.

The non-league victory was a real confidence builder for the Wolf Pack (4-2), who were riding a two-game losing streak coming into the game and had dropped their first Cascade League game of the season, 50-42, to South Whidbey Thursday evening.

“That was fun,” Coupeville coach Randy King said. “We had to weather a couple of storms and we had some moments where we got a little rattled, but we got it together.”

The Wolves blistered the net with four 3-point baskets in the first quarter to race out to a 20-15 lead and stayed hot to open the second quarter.

With 4:09 on the clock in the second period, a basket by Zepher Loesch gave Coupeville a 29-17 lead.

“We stayed strong and that’s what we needed to get a win,” Loesch, who finished the game with 12 points, said. “We did a nice job of staying intense the whole game instead of letting up like we did in the past few games.”

Oak Harbor fought back late in the second quarter with a 3-point

basket by Beaux Haley and a pair of baskets by Rodrick Rumble to cut the lead to 33-28 at halftime.

Rumble scored 14 points for the Wildcats.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats kept chipping away at the lead and a Rumble basket with 30 seconds remaining made the score 44-42 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.

Coupeville went ice cold from the field at the start of the fourth quarter and the Wildcats put together a 9-0 run to take a 51-44 lead with 5:20 remaining.

After a time out, the Wolves got free throws from Alex Evans and James Smith, a basket by Brian Miller and a 3-point Smith bomb and just like that, Coupeville was back in front, 52-51.

“It was awesome to beat Oak Harbor,” Evans said. “We didn’t panic like we did against South Whidbey. We kept our heads and

put some shots in the hoop when we needed them.”

Evans finished the game with 13 points and Smith scored 14.

Eric McCardle tied the game hitting 1-of-2 from the line, but the Wolves answered with a 7-0 run to take a 59-52 lead.

With 42 seconds remaining, Bryce Schulle hit a long 3-point basket and then nailed a second trey with 30 seconds left to shave the lead to 60-58.

However, Kramer O’Keefe hit 1-of-2 from the line and Smith hit two more charity shots with 13 seconds left.

“I was happy with the way we played defense tonight,” Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington said. “We contested every shot and blocked out well. They just shot the ball tremendously well on us.”

Schulle had a chance to tie the score but missed from 3-point range and Rumble’s attempt at the buzzer also sailed wide.

Schulle scored 14 points for the Wildcats and McCardle had 13 points.

“That last shot Bryce hit looked a lot like the one he missed right at the end. He had another good look at the basket,” King said. “Then Rumble gave them another opportunity, but he also missed.”

“That was a tough one to lose,” Washington said. “We talk at practice about competing and we came out and competed tonight. Coupeville is just a good basketball team.”

Miller was the fourth player in double figures for Coupeville with 11 points.

Oak Harbor returns to WesCo North action hosting Everett in a 7:30 p.m. game Friday.

Coupeville hosts Friday Harbor in a 4:15 p.m. game Friday.

Coupeville 63, Oak Harbor 60

Oak Harbor 15 13 14 18 — 60

Coupeville 20 13 10 18 — 63

Oak Harbor (60) — Rodrick Rumble 7 0-0 4, Bryce Schulle 4 4-6 14, Eric McCardle 5 1-2 13, Robert Brooks 2 2-2 6, Jake Rouser 3 0-1 6, Beaux Haley 2 0-0 5, Tre Halsom 1 0-1 2, Jay Stout 0 0-1 0. Totals 24 7-13 60.

Coupeville (63) — James Smith 3 6-6 14, Alex Evans 3 5-6 13, Zepher Loesch 3 5-7 12, Brian Miller 4 3-4 11, Kramer O’Keefe 3 2-4 8, Cody Peters 2 0-0 5, J. D. Wilcox 0 0-0 0, Jason Bagby 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 21-28 63.

Three-point goals — Oak Harbor 5 (McCardle 2, Schulle 2, Haley); Coupeville 6 (Smith 2, Evans 2, Loesch, Peters). Turnovers — Oak Harbor 6, Coupeville 15. Total fouls — Oak Harbor 23, Coupeville 17. Fouled out — none. Technical foul — Coupeville book.

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