Coupeville gets stiff challenge in first round

Coupeville head coach Greg Oldham had videotape on every possible state opponent except two.

It figures one of those two, Liberty Bell of Winthrop-Twisp, was drawn as the Wolves’ first-round opponent in the Class A state basketball tournament that begins today, March 2 at the Yakima Sundome.

The slight setback, however, didn’t effect Oldham, who drove halfway across the state and back Sunday night, swapping video in Cashmere with a Liberty Bell coach.

“I spent eight hours behind the wheel of a car,” he said.

Although Oldham wasn’t able to speak much about his opponent as of Monday afternoon, he knows they will be a tough task.

“They’re traditionally from what is a very tough conference,” Oldham said.

Liberty Bell, who ended the regular season ranked fourth in the state, slumped off a bit during its district tournament, finishing second to Lake Roosevelt, who they lost two games to. They enter the state tournament with an 18-7 record.

Liberty Bell will no doubt be a formidable opponent, but Oldham knows anything can happen early in the state tournament.

“If you’re playing a team you think might be better than you, you want to face them on the first day when they might be a little rusty,” he said.

The two teams tip off in the last game tonight, at 9 p.m. The tip off is far better than a 9 a.m. draw, but it can also be rough having to sit around all day and wait. In order to keep themselves busy the Wolves will visit two Yakima-area schools as part of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association ‘Teaming Up’ program where they will talk to kids about basketball and the importance of education.

“We’ve had really great experiences with this in the past,” Oldham said. “We were the most requested team this year.”

The state tournament is double-elimination and continues through Saturday, March 5 at the Sundome.

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