Wolves suffer league loss

Visions of an undefeated season in the Northwest A/B came to an abrupt halt for the Coupeville girls basketball team Friday night.

Hampered by cold fourth-quarter shooting and foul trouble, the Wolves suffered their first league loss, 51-43, at home to Shoreline Christian.

“I thought we panicked in the last part there,” CHS head coach Greg Oldham said. “We would make a mistake and compound it by fouling.”

Those fouls were without question the difference.

Tied 40-40 with 2:40 left in the game, the Crusaders took a one-point lead, 41-40, on a free throw from freshman Ann Barrick. The made free throw opened the floodgates at the foul line for Shoreline Christian, which hit its next 8-of-11 attempts to close out the contest.

The Wolves, on the other hand, couldn’t buy a basket from the field or the free throw line. In the final five minutes, CHS went 1-for-12 on shot attempts and 1-for-6 from the free throw line.

Prior to its fourth-quarter collapse, Coupeville appeared sharp on defense and offense.

The Wolves exploded out of the gate, taking a 22-11 lead at the 6:20 mark of the second quarter helped by two three-pointers from Brittany Black and one each from Taniel Lamb and Whitney Clark.

The Crusaders, however, didn’t let Coupeville’s offensive explosion get them down.

Behind the play of sophomore Colleen Woods, Shoreline chipped away at the Wolves’ lead, going on an 18-2 run over the final six minutes of the first half. Woods scored 13 points in the rally, including two deep three-pointers to beat the shot clock, for a 29-24 halftime lead.

Coupeville slowed its offense down at the start of the third quarter and put the clamps down on Woods. Lamb was a key factor in shutting Shoreline’s leading scorer down, holding her to just three shot attempts and two points over the next two quarters.

“If the coach would have been a little smarter and put her on her the whole time we may have never lost the lead,” Oldham said. “I knew before Taniel was a good defender, now I know she is a great defender.”

Brittany Black had a breakout game for the Wolves, scoring a season-high 17 points. Sister Lexie Black tallied 11 points and four rebounds.

Despite being shut down in the second half, Woods led Shoreline with a game-high 21 points.

The loss bumped Coupeville to 8-1 in league and 9-6 overall with five games left to play. A loss by Friday Harbor on Saturday assured the Wolves a district playoff berth and no worse than second in the Northwest A division. The magic number for a league title is now two games, meaning any combination of Wolfpack wins and Concrete losses, assures CHS first place and an automatic bid to the state tournament.

“We definitely want to finish first and I like our chances,” Oldham said.

The second place finisher in the Northwest A league will have to travel to Seattle Christian, Feb. 24 for a four-team tournament. The winner moves to state, three other teams are out. The first place Northwest A team goes to La Conner Feb. 24 for a four-team non-elimination state seeding tournament.

Shoreline Christian 9 20 6 16 — 51

Coupeville 13 11 12 7 — 43

Scoring — Coupeville: B. Black 17, L. Black 11, Clark 7, West 4, Lamb 3, Davis 1. Shoreline Christian: Woods 21, Van Hal 9, Barrick 6, Fertello 6, Hodges 5, De Koekkoek 4.

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