The Coupeville High School boys basketball team played three good quarters against visiting South Whidbey Tuesday, Dec. 17, but the third was a killer.
The Falcons came out of halftime and outscored the Wolves 24-10 in the third period to claim the critical win.
Coupeville coach Anthony Smith said, "I am not sure why, but we were gassed in the third quarter. It was just a total meltdown."
"Put an asterisk next to it," he added. "It was a rivalry game and it has playoff implications." It was also a game between two teams seeking their first win.
Not much went right for the Wolves in the third. Their own mistakes, ragged transition defense and poor shooting, combined with a successful South Whidbey press and the Falcons' hot hand, resulted in the woeful eight minutes.
The two teams fought through a close first half. South Whidbey, boosted by Brandon Asay's 12 points, led after the first quarter 16-15.
Nick Streubel bulled his way to six points for the Wolves and five other teammates scored in the quarter to keep pace.
In the second, Wiley Hesselgrave fired in six points and Coupeville limited South Whidbey (1-2, 1-6) to only two field goals (both three-pointers) to take a 30-27 lead into halftime.
Things turned sour in the third period as the Falcons pulled away.
For the game, Streubel collected 12 points, Anthony Bergeron 11, Aaron Trumbull 10, Morgan Payne six, Joel Walstad six, Hesselgrave six and Matt Shank two.
Asay finished with 24 for the Falcons.
Smith lauded Streubel's "consistent game," and he liked how his club committed only seven turnovers in the first half.
Smith said his players "will get there" and "give them credit," they aren't the same group that struggled to score 40 points in a game a few years ago.
Coupeville (0-3, 0-5) heads to Orcas Island (0-2) for a 7:15 p.m. game Friday, Dec. 20.