The last year and a half for the Coupeville High School boys basketball team has been a tough go and full of rugged defeats, but the 66-61 loss at home to Orcas Island Saturday, Dec. 22, may be the most bitter.
It was oddly officiated, and the passionate Coupeville crowd let the referees know.
The Wolves were whistled for 31 fouls to the Vikings’ 13. That resulted in a 23-for-28 night at the line for Orcas Island to just 6-for-10 for Coupeville.
A Viking player took a swing (and missed) at a Wolf and was not ejected. Another received two technical fouls and was not ejected.
Coupeville coach Anthony Smith said, “I don’t like to blame officials, but it was a differently called game. There was no rhythm; every five seconds there was a call.”
One Coupeville player, Nick Streubel, fouled out and four others finished with four fouls. Monitoring the foul situation also kept the Wolves from finding a rhythm, Smith said.
Coupeville played well early, running to leads of 21-14 after the first-quarter quarter and 32-28 at the half.
The third quarter was the turning point as the Vikings out scored Coupeville 25-13 and took a 53-45 margin into the fourth.
Smith said, “We couldn’t do anything in the third quarter.”
Scoring, for once, wasn’t a problem for Coupeville as it doubled its usual per game average. Aaron Curtin led the way with 12 points, Ben Etzell had 10, Drew Chan nine, Streubel eight, Aaron Trumbull seven, Carson Risner six, Caleb Valko five, Morgan Payne two and Anthony Bergeron two.
Jack Gates piled up 36 points for Orcas Island and Jake Zier had 21.
The 61-point effort kept Coupeville in the game, and, for once, it wasn’t a lopsided loss. The moral victory, however, was tainted by the atmosphere of the game.
Smith said, “This one will stick with me for a few days.”
Coupeville (0-4, 0-9) goes to Everett to meet Archbishop Murphy (2-2, 2-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2