Cowboys wrangle wolves 74-65

Coupeville coach Randy King came to a realization after a 74-65 loss to 2A Chimacum on Tuesday night — his team still has a lot to learn.

“We’re still young, we’re still making a lot of mistakes,” he said. “We need to improve on our communicating, that’s something the younger kids have trouble with.”

Of the 11 players in the Wolfpack lineup, five are sophomores and two are juniors with little varsity experience.

That inexperience was exposed Tuesday as Coupeville struggled with its offensive and defensive consistency.

A lack of open shots and ability to apply defensive pressure put CHS in a tough spot by the fourth quarter.

“It was hard to assert ourselves tonight,” King said. “They had strong kids on the perimeter and they handled our guard pressure pretty well. In fact they went right through us a couple, three four times.”

Trailing 61-46 with 5:46 to go, however, the Wolves finally started to click. Sparked by the play of senior guard J.J. Marti and sophomore guard James Smith, Coupeville went on a 12-2 run over two minutes that put them within five, 63-58, with 3:22 remaining. Marti scored five points in that run and Smith also scored five, including a three pointer.

“We ran some pretty nice offense on occasion, I mean we had some beautiful interior passes,” King said.

That was as close as the Wolves got, however, as Chimacum was focused at the free throw line down the stretch. The Cowboys hit 11-of-14 (78 percent) free throws in the fourth quarter and 19-for-24 for the game. The Wolves only had eight attempts from the free throw line for the entire game.

“We couldn’t get to the right guy to foul,” King said of the final minutes.

The Wolves had early flashes of success that provided them a first-quarter advantage. They held a 12-10 lead at the 2:52 mark of the first quarter, but that was the last lead they had. Chimacum went up 35-28 at halftime and held a 50-42 lead by the end of the third.

The Cowboy’s Michael Casal led all scorers with 28 points. Coupeville senior Mike Bagby had a team-high 20 points, followed by Marti with 18.

The loss bumped the Wolves to 3-5 overall. They are 1-1 in the Northwest A/B and have only league games remaining the rest of the season. After two weeks without a game CHS returns to play at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3 against Shoreline Christian.

“We’re going to stay after it,” King said. “With a week of practice, hopefully we’ll bounce back pretty strong.”

Chimacum 18 17 15 24 — 74

Coupeville 14 14 14 23 — 65

Scoring: Coupeville-Bagby 20, Marti 18, Miller 10, Smith 10, O’Keefe 5, Larson 2. Chimacum-Casal 28, Evasick 18, Freitas 16, C. Worley 6, N. Worley 4, Peterson 2.

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