It’s never a good time to have players out sick, but the Coupeville High School boys basketball team was missing two ailing starters at Lakewood Tuesday, Jan. 15, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.
The Cougars (3-6, 5-10) defeated the short-handed Wolves 60-33.
Coupeville broke a 33-game losing streak in its previous game and was hoping the momentum of the win would lift them by Lakewood. But with leading scorer Ben Etzell and running mate Aaron Curtin out, coach Anthony Smith had only seven players available, and one of those had just one quarter of eligibility after playing three periods in the JV game.
To compound matters, Aaron Trumbull played only nine minutes because of foul trouble and still led Coupeville with 10 points.
“He was having the game of his life,” Smith said, “and they fouled him out.”
The Wolves, energized by Saturday’s victory, played the Cougars tough in the first quarter, trailing only 14-13. Lakewood’s Paul Coleman hit two big threes in the second period, and “it had a domino effect,” Smith said, and Lakewood led 33-22 at halftime.
“We played well all the way to halftime,” Smith said, “but we had no gas after halftime.”
Stumbling in the third quarter has been a problem all season for the Wolves, and it continued at Lakewood as the Cougars went on a 13-2 run.
This time the problem wasn’t turnovers; it was fatigue and not getting shots to drop. Coupeville had only 10 turnovers in the game, the lowest total in two years.
“We played them tough,” Smith said. “If we had our normal substitution rotation we could have played with them.”
Anthony Bergeron scored six points for Coupeville, Carson Risner five, Caleb Valko four, Nick Streubel four, Morgan Payne three and Drew Chan one.
Coupeville (0-9, 1-14) hopes to be full strength when it journeys to rival South Whidbey (1-8, 3-12) for a 5 p.m. game Friday, Jan. 18.