Wolves bite Falcons in the end

"Last season the coupeville girls' varsity basketball team averaged 43 points per game. On Friday evening the Wolves scored 43 points ... in the first half. Led by Brianne King's 21 first-half points, the Wolves mauled the South Whidbey Falcons 43-26 in the first two quarters - 31 of which came in the second quarter. The Wolves went cold in the second half until the final minute of the game when they put the Falcons away, 61-55. The most important of Kings 24 points were her last. With 56.7 seconds left on the clock and the teams knotted at 53, King, who had not made a basket in the second half, received a pass from Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby and drained a three-pointer. With the score tight and a packed house, Coupeville's gym was rockin' with every shot following. The Wolves would not relinquish the lead again.We were getting excited and frustrated and when they brought the pressure on we knew we had to pull it back together, said Tracy Taylor, who had five points in the game against South Whidbey's 6-foot center. The fourth quarter was a nightmare for Coupeville fans and players as the Wolves failed to score a single point in the first seven minutes while South Whidbey scored 14 consecutive points.I knew we would just come back because it was just there, said Taylor. We had it tonight.They had a lot of good looks but the shots just were not falling, said Oldham. Our style of play lends itself to streaks. We are trying to extend those streaks and narrow the gaps between the streaks. We just didn't get a streak until the end of the fourth quarter. The second half started with the Falcons double teaming any Coupeville player that received the ball. The tactic worked, as the third quarter scored was a deadlock at 10. But the double teaming wouldn't shut down the Wolves until the fourth. They were just playing really good defense and it was hard to get open to get a shot off, said King. Once we did get a shot off they weren't rolling. South Whidbey came out with great pressure and we didn't handle it well at first, said Oldham. During the second quarter King was in a zone that only the likes of Michael Jordan and Larry Bird enter. King scored 15 points hitting almost everything she shot. One of the things I like the most about Brianne is that scoring for her is not an ego thing, said Oldham. She is always the most surprised when we tell her how many points she made. I told the team at the half that the jump shot is a fickle friend and in the first half it was her best friend.The 5-foot-7 sophomore took advantage of the tight officiating, going 6-for-6 at the line. King also hit three three-pointers in the first half. I think a lot of us were just open in the first half of the game, said King. I'm open a lot and Ashley is a good passer and she finds me. King's hot hand in the first half was so captivating to the crowd that on her only shot of the third quarter the crowd came to its feet when she jumped to take a shot. Ellsworth-Bagby led the team in assists with four and hit for 12 points during the game.The game began like it ended, with Coupeville making mistakes, turning the ball over and missing shots. The Falcons started the game on an 8-0 run. Six of the eight were scored by center Hilary Wick, who led the Falcons as she invaded the paint and pounded the key for 24 points. One spectator made the comparison to Shaquille O'Niel, and it wasn't too far off. It was a struggle on the defensive end trying to keep the big girl out, said Taylor.According to Oldham, Wick almost came to Coupeville to play ball for the Wolves. The transfer of Wick was so close to happening that her family had dinner with the Wolves' coach. Oldham told Wick that if basketball was the only reason she wanted to come to Coupeville than she shouldn't make the move. Her mom works for us, said Oldham. I talked with her folks and said that if the only reason she was going to come to Coupeville was basketball, she shouldn't. If Hilary was playing for us that would give us an element that we don't have right now, which is size. COUPEVILLE 61, SOUTH WHIDBEY 55South Whidbey 10 16 10 19 - 55Coupeville 12 31 10 8 - 61South Whidbey: K. Robinson 6, Gabelein 18, Gutzmer 3, Watson 2, Poolman 1, Wick 24, Johnson 1. Coupeville: E. Young 4, Townsdin 2, Ellsworth-Bagby 12, L. Young 1, Lamb 1, King 24, Shelly 5, Taylor 5, Warder 4. 3-point goals: King 4, Shelly 1. JV score-South Whidbey 50, Coupeville 29. Records: Coupeville 1-1. South Whidbey 0-1. "

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