After playing King's tough the first time through the schedule, Coupeville High School girls basketball coach David King thought his club had a chance to upset the Knights the second time around. A strong start by King's, however, dashed those ideas in the Knights' 59-32 win in Shoreline Friday, Feb. 1, in the final game of the regular season.
Coupeville (4-10, 6-14) starts the district tournament at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at Lynden Christian (17-3).
King's (10-4, 13-7) loves to press and the Wolves handled the pressure well when the two teams met Jan. 8 (a 41-33 King's win).
This time, however, turnovers from the press haunted Coupeville in the first quarter as the Knights jumped ahead 12-4.
King said, "When we did break the press the defensive pressure by King's got us to rush on our shots. We just didn't have a good flow in our half-court offense."
The Wolves settled down in the second period and played their "best basketball in the game," King said.
Coupeville received a boost from Madi Strasburg who "brought energy on both ends of the court," King said. Strasburg scored three points and Makana Stone four and Coupeville trailed 25-16 at halftime.
King said the Wolves felt good being down by only nine after the shaky first quarter.
Coupeville ran into a different problem in the third quarter. Its defenders were slow in closing out on shooters and the Knights sank three three-pointers to push its lead to 41-24.
King said, "Once we let the lead increase above 14 our offense started pressing to try and make something happen."
The pattern of the third quarter was repeated in the fourth and Coupeville was unable to make a run.
The Knights also benefitted from shooting 14 more foul shots than Coupeville, hitting 11 of 21 to the Wolves two of seven.
King said although the Wolves' execution was lacking, their effort wasn't: "The one thing about this team is the effort they give every night from the tip to final buzzer."
He pointed out hustle plays by Bree Messner and Lauren Escalle led to baskets late in the game even though the game was out of reach.
Stone finished with eight points and eight rebounds. Strasburg had five points; Amanda Fabrizi, Messner and Bessie Walstad four each; Escalle, Hailey Hammer and Haley Marx two each; and Jai'Lysa Hoskins one.