Wolves clinch early state berth

Talk about a weight off the shoulders.

Two weeks left in the regular season and the Coupeville girls basketball team already knows it will be going to the state tournament.

The Wolves secured first place in the Northwest A division Tuesday night, defeating Orcas Island 55-49 on the road.

The win, coupled with a loss from Concrete, assured CHS will finish the top A school in its division, which means an automatic bid to Yakima in March.

“I think this might be the earliest anyone has ever known they’re going to state,” CHS coach Greg Oldham said.

In past years the Wolves would have had to battle through a tri-district tournament, but realignment changed that this year. CHS will still compete for a district title Feb. 24-25, but the tournament is just for seeding at state.

Coupeville earned its early ticket to Yakima with the help of its perimeter players and a spark off the bench Tuesday night.

Sloppy play early resulted in a 33-28 halftime deficit to Orcas Island.

Oldham, however, credited the outside shooting of Brittany Black, Whitney Clark and Taniel Lamb, along with hustle off the bench from Beth Mouw, Janiece Jenkins and Courtney Williams, in keeping the Wolves in the contest.

“They came in and helped keep the ship afloat,” he said.

The Wolves came out a more effective team in the second half, executing their offense to go up 46-42 by the end of the third quarter.

Taniel Lamb helped seal the deal, scoring seven of the Wolves nine fourth-quarter points. She hit 5-of-6 free throws in that span, while the rest of the team was 0-for-7.

At 9-1 in league and 10-6 overall the Wolves play their next game Tuesday, Feb. 1 at last place La Conner.

The final regular season game for CHS is scheduled for Feb. 11, which means there will be two weeks prior to the district seeding tournament.

Oldham, however, isn’t concerned about the lay-over.

“It will almost be like having a pre-season training camp again,” he said.

Coupeville 11 17 18 9 — 55

Orcas Island 16 17 9 7 — 49

Scoring — Coupeville: B. Black 16, Lamb 13, Clark 13, Davis 8, Mouw 3, L. Black 2.

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