Great wall of Coupeville

It doesn’t take long.

From the moment they step off the bus and into their opponent’s gym the Coupeville girls basketball team is already playing a game: a mind game.

“We tend to all walk into different gyms all together,” senior Brittany Black said. “It’s nice coming in and having the other team look at you like ‘wow you guys are huge.’”

The 1A Wolves possess a rarity at any classification of girls basketball with four players, Black, senior Jennifer Bailey, junior Sarah Burgoyne and sophomore Shawna West, over six-feet tall.

Although they’ve all been on the court as varsity players at one time or another, this is the first time the self-proclaimed “Wall of Tall” quartet has played an entire season together.

Black started for last year’s eighth-place state team. Bailey sat out last season to focus on volleyball, while Burgoyne and West both spent significant time on the junior varsity team.

This year’s collaboration of height is especially rewarding to first-year CHS coach Geoff Kappes.

“It is a nice luxury to have,” he said.

In Coupeville’s Northwest A/B league it’s rare to see another team with even one girl over six feet.

“I feel pretty confident when I’m out there…,” Burgoyne said. “I just feel huge compared to the other girls.”

In order to gain an advantage over opponents Kappes has done some experimenting, recently putting all four on the court at the same time.

“I have Britt play guard and then I just use a three post set, which is really nice,” he said.

The move paid off in Coupeville’s last league game against Darrington when on one possession, the Wolves secured six offensive rebounds before putting in a score.

“It just provides a lot of match-up problems for other teams,” Kappes said.

According to Kappes, the only real problem with the group is that they just haven’t played that much together.

“They’re getting used to each other on the floor,” he said. “They’re moving that process right along.”

In seven games this season the Wolves are 2-5 overall, but more importantly 2-0 in league. The “Wall of Tall” has combined for nearly 22 points, 26 rebounds and six blocks per game.

A part of the quick transition is that the four get along great.

There is one light-hearted argument that remains constant, however. Just who is the tallest?

It’s agreed among teammates that at 6-foot-2, Bailey takes that honor. The CHS roster, however, has her listed at 6-foot-1, along with Black and Burgoyne, while West is listed at 6-foot.

“Everyone else got inches added to them and I did not,” Bailey joked.

After Bailey, arguments of who is the next tallest are a regular topic of conversation.

“On picture day we’re supposed to have the tallest to shortest and we’re always like this,” said Burgoyne, with her back arched while on her tip toes.

Burgoyne, however, claimed the height argument wasn’t really that big of a deal to her. She said with Black and West it’s a different story.

“They’re always duking it out,” she laughed.

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