Wolves cruise past Crusaders

Two weeks without a game and the Coupeville Wolves were chomping at the bit to play someone, anyone.

“We’ve been practicing for over a week without a game,” CHS head coach Randy King said. “I think they were getting tired of playing against each other.”

The Wolves’ eagerness to hit the court showed on Tuesday when in their first game since Dec. 20, they dismantled league opponent Shoreline Christian 73-53.

“Yeah, it did (feel good),” King said. “We showed up here to play, ready to go.”

And there was no question Coupeville was ready to go as it controlled the tempo of the game offensively and defensively right from the tip.

Six-foot-six sophomore Brian Miller got CHS off to a hot start, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter and helping the Wolves to a 16-3 lead at the end of one.

“He got a great start,” King said. “He got the ball right where he wanted and he hit his shots.”

Also key to the fast start was the defense. Seniors Mike Bagby and J.J. Marti locked down the Crusaders’ top two offensive players, James Vermeer and Grant Brandal. Bagby’s constant harassment of the point guard, Vermeer, led to nine first-half turnovers, while Marti held the top scorer Brandal to just four points in the first half.

“That was a great start,” King said. “That’s just what we want to do to opponents.”

Coupeville kept its intensity up through the entire first half, taking a 33-16 lead into the locker room.

The Wolves, who shot 45 percent for the game, continued to get good looks in the second half to maintain their lead.

“I liked the shots we got too,” King said. “That helps when you get those kind of looks.”

Bagby, who averages 22 points per game, came alive in the second half. After scoring just eight in the first, he rattled off 21 in the second half for a game-high 29 points.

“Mike was just lights out from the floor,” King said.

Coupeville’s largest lead of the game was by 27 points, which they reached on four separate occasions in the fourth quarter. Shoreline Christian pulled within 12 early in the third quarter, but that’s as close as they got.

With the win Coupeville moved to 2-1 in the Northwest A/B and 4-5 overall. The Wolves are on the road for three straight league games, starting with last night’s contest at Orcas Island. They travel to Concrete and La Conner, before facing Friday Harbor at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17 at CHS.

Shoreline 3 13 18 19 — 53

Coupeville 16 17 19 21 — 73

Scoring: Coupeville-Bagby 29, Miller 16, O’Keefe 9, Smith 7, Marti 6, Larson 4, Kelley 2. Shoreline Christian-Brandal 18, Groen 14, Wahlman 8, De Yager 5, Vermeer 3, Weiford 3, Buck 2.

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