Sports

Wolves taken off life support in LaConner

"As the ball sailed through the air off the finger tips of LaConner guard Kevin Day, the gymnasium was silent for the first time since the game began. But Coupeville fans, players and coaches exploded with cheers as the sound of the basketball bouncing off the rim and hiting the floor must have felt like defibulator paddles shocking the Wolves playoff hopes back from the dead. The missed three pointer by Day was an attempt to tie the game at the buzzer, as Coupeville defeated the 7-3 second-place Braves, 56-53. There was so much relief it was euphoric, said Coupeville junior Sean Callahan.While the ball was in the air I was just frozen, said Coupeville sophomore Brad Sherman.The three-point attempt by Day was his fifth on the night. Day had hit three jumpers from beyond the arch, two of which each tied the game. The win keeps the Wolves chances for a post season birth alive, but the team must win their remaining two games to get in.I will tell you though to hear those kids on the bench, they did not want to lose that ball game, said Coupeville head coach Randy King. They were all fired into it and they came through like they should.This is huge because now if we win out we are not fourth and we can keep going, said Coupeville senior Noah Roehl. During the first 12 minutes of the game the Braves had no answer for Coupeville junior Chris Good as he poured in 16 points and pulled down five boards to lead the Wolves to a 37-27 half-time lead. I just went strong to the rack to see if I could help the team, said Good. I just didn't want to foul because I have been fouling out of the past few games.The second half started with LaConner chipping away at the Coupeville lead, as LaConner's full-court press and tenacious defense slowed the Wolves offensive attack. The Braves crawled to within three points heading into the fourth. The final quarter went back and forth, as the Braves managed to tie the contest with six minutes remaining. They really changed up there defense during the second half and made it difficult for us to score, said King. The Braves frustration of having to come back from a 16 point second-quarter defecite to tie the game and then fail to take the lead, bioled over during the fourth. LaConner's Brandon Luvera was called for a technical foul after arguing a call by an official that he fouled Good on his way to the basket. The resulting technical foul shots along with a three pointer by the Wolves senior guard Ty Blouin, gave Coupeville six straight points and the lead by three. The Wolves, who never trailed during the game also hit 7-of-8 free throws from the stripe. The six consecutive points put the Braves further behind than the 30 seconds left permitted them to come back from.We just wanted it, said Good. We want to go to districts and we have seniors stepping it up big time now.One senior that the Wolves will need to have playing at full strength is 6-foot-4 Pat Bennett, who played for the first time since his injury on Jan. 19 against Darrington. Bennett is expected to play at full strength Friday as the Wolves take on ATM at home. Coupeville's final game of the regular season will also be at home, against Concrete, Feb. 12. Between ATM and the Lions, both teams have a combined in-league record of 1-18. Coupeville 56, LaConner 53Coupeville 21 16 9 10 - 56 LaConner 13 14 16 10 - 53Coupeville: Good 18, Callahan 8, Bennett 4, Roehl 4, Sherman 8, Blouin 10. LaConner: Day 18, Luvera 2, Johns 17, Edwards 8, Winkes 2, Tjersland 6. Three-point goals: Blouin 3, Sherman 2, Day 3, Johns 1, Edwards 2. You can reach sports editor Matt Phelps at sports@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611. "

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