Wolves fall in Island tussle

Coupeville’s Chris Good rises for a shot attempt in the first half of the Wolves’ 61-52 loss to the South Whidbey Falcons in the opening game of the 2001 South Whidbey Holiday Classic. Good led all scorers with 23 points on the night. - Matt Moss
Coupeville’s Chris Good rises for a shot attempt in the first half of the Wolves’ 61-52 loss to the South Whidbey Falcons in the opening game of the 2001 South Whidbey Holiday Classic. Good led all scorers with 23 points on the night.
— image credit: Matt Moss

The Coupeville boys basketball team was unable to retain a third-quarter lead as the host South Whidbey Falcons rallied for a 61-52 win in the opening round of the 2001 South Whidbey Falcon Classic.

"We started kind of slow,” said senior forward Sean Callahan after the game. “Our defense held up most of the game but we got in trouble on offense except for a couple of streaks. We missed a lot of layups, things just weren't dropping."

Coupeville started quickly. Junior guard Casey Clark hit a three and senior Chris Good scored from the inside as the Wolves and the Falcons traded early buckets. Junior Brad Sherman drilled a jumper near the end of the first quarter to give Coupeville a 19-17 lead at the end of the period.

Sherman and Clark continued to give the Wolves good guard play in the second. Clark got two of his nine points on a nice driving layup from the right side that knotted the score at 25-25.

South Whidbey then went on a run to end the first half. Behind the play of 6-foot-6 senior Tim Gabelein, who finished the game with 18 points and 15 boards, the Falcons opened up a 10-point lead. The Falcon run was capped by junior Travis Tornga’s three-pointer at the buzzer making the score 39-29 to end the half.

Coupeville rallied to start the second half. The Wolves scored nine straight points to make the score 39-38 and force a Falcon timeout. Minutes later, Callahan hit a three-pointer to give the Wolves a 44-42 lead. The lead was short lived when Gabelein came right back and nailed a shot for the Falcons. South Whidbey then scored three straight buckets to take a 50-44 lead into the final quarter.

South Whidbey was able to take control in the fourth period, moving their lead to 12 at one point. With the Falcons pulling away, Callahan hit a driving layup that brought Coupeville to within 10 with less than two minutes left. With time for one last run, the Wolves couldn’t seize the momentum and the Falcons were able to keep their lead. Sherman hit a three at the buzzer to make the final score 61-52.

Callahan was disappointed with the loss to their island rivals from the south and felt that the Wolves should have done better.

"We didn't play the way we should have played,” he said. “Except for Seattle Christian, most of the losses this season have been our fault. We got up for South Whidbey, I would want to play them again – anyway, anywhere, any time."

Good once again led the Wolves in scoring. The 6-foot-3 senior had a game-high 23 points in the contest, including one three-pointer. Good had to be careful in the final period after picking up his fourth foul with eight seconds left in the third period.

The loss sent the Wolves into the consolation game where they faced Sequim for the second time this season (results will be published in Saturday’s edition of the News-Times). Coupeville lost to Sequim 51-48 on Dec. 14.

The Wolves host Friday Harbor on Friday as they move into Northwest A League play for the first time. Callahan is anticipating seeing some old rivals.

“I'm looking forward to playing Orcas,” he said about the team that kept the Wolves out of the district tournament last season. “I want us to win league, but I'm really looking forward to playing them. Beating Orcas would be big."

South Whidbey 61, Coupeville 52

At South Whidbey H.S.

Coupeville – 19 10 15 8 – 52

South Whidbey – 17 22 11 11 – 61

Coupeville: Clark 9, Sherman 12, Roundy 2, Callahan 6, Good 23. SW: Spivakov 7, Turner 11, Tornga 13, Ellis 2, Gabelein 18, Coleman 6, Adams 4. 3-point FGs: Turner 2, Tornga 3, Clark 1, Sherman 2, Good 1. Records: Coupeville: 4-3 overall. SW: 2-5.

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