A disputed call in the final seconds ended the Coupeville High School girls basketball team's comeback effort in a 47-42 loss to visiting Sultan Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The Wolves entered the fourth quarter up by one, 29-28, but Sultan (5-6, 5-12) took control midway through the period as the Coupeville fouls began to mount. The Turks led 44-38 with one minute left, but the Wolves weren't through.
Amanda Fabrizi, who scored seven of her game-high 15 points in the final frame, hit a jumper to make it 44-40. After a defensive stop, Fabrizi struck again. This time she was fouled on a drive and drained two free throws to slice the gap to two with 16 seconds left.
Coupeville then got the turnover it needed -- at least that is what it thought -- when Sultan failed to inbound the ball in five seconds. However, another official overruled the decision, saying the Sultan coach called timeout before the violation.
After the timeout, Sultan inbounded and Coupeville fouled. The Turk hit both free throws, then added another with six seconds remaining.
Sultan took an early lead in the game, but the Wolves moved the ball effectively on offense, and behind Fabrizi's four points, evened the count at 8 at the end of the first quarter.
Sultan led 21-16 at halftime.
Coupeville coach David King said, "We didn’t close out low throughout most of the first half, and this helped Sultan get open shots and drives to the basket."
He added, "What really hurt was our turnovers. We had three unforced turnovers in the quarter that slowed our momentum. We just threw the ball away without much defensive pressure and the Turks capitalized."
Coupeville committed 14 turnovers in the first half to the Turks' seven. The Wolves had only eight turnovers in the second half, and taking care of the ball and a pressure defense helped Coupeville outscore Sultan 13-7 in the third period.
King said, "We talked at halftime that we needed to pick up our defensive pressure, continue to block out and keep moving the ball on offense. Right on cue, our defense picked up to start the third and we went on a 13-2 run to take the lead. We went into a man press to start the third and this caused turnovers and some fast breaks."
Fabrizi scored four points and Bessie Walstad three to spur the Coupeville rally.
King said Fabrizi played "her best game of the season."
"She was taking the ball to the basket with confidence all night," he said, "and when she was open, she shot with confidence."
Early foul trouble limited her minutes which "prevented her from having an even greater impaction the game," King said.
King said, "Overall, I was pleased with how we played. When we got down, we didn’t let it affect us and we kept fighting and playing hard the whole game. This was the type of team effort that we need to play to be successful."
In addition to lauding Fabrizi's effort, King praised Jai'Lysa Hoskins' work on the boards (11 rebounds) and Walstad's overall strong game (six points and five rebounds).
Hailey Hammer and Lauren Escalle scored five points each, McKana Stone, back after an illness, finished with three and Hoskins had two.
King said, "Having Makana back is going to be a big lift the next few weeks. We have missed her defensive presence, rebounding and being able to handle the ball on offense."
Coupeville (3-8, 5-12) will try to break a six-game losing streak at first-place Archbishop Murphy (10-1, 13-3) at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. The Wolves play their final home game at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, with last-place Granite Falls (0-11, 1-16).