3rd-quarter slump sinks Wolves in district opener | Girls basketball

Coupeville's Makana Stone knocks down a jumper against Mount Baker Tuesday.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

The Coupeville High School girls basketball team scored the first basket of the second half to take its first lead of the game but would score only once more in the decisive third quarter and lose 56-46 to Mount Baker Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Deming in the first round of the district tournament.

With the loss, the fifth-seeded Wolves (9-12) play an elimination game against eighth-seeded Meridian (4-17) at home at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

If Coupeville defeats Meridian, it will play at 7 p.m. Friday in a winner-to-tridistrict, loser-out game at the loser of Thursday's match between third-seeded Blaine (15-6) and second-seeded King's (18-3).

Fourth-seeded Mount Baker (11-10) threatened to pull away several times in the first half. The Mountaineers jumped to a 15-7 lead, then Bree Messner hit a three-ball and assisted on a hoop by Kacie Kiel. After a Mount Baker score, Amanda Fabrizi drained a three-pointer and the Wolves trailed by only two, 17-15, at the end of the first quarter.

Mount Baker again started to pull away, but with the help of six points from Makana Stone, the Wolves came back to within one, 26-25, at halftime.

Maddi Strasburg scored 10 seconds into the second half and Coupeville had its first lead. It would be its last. The Mountaineers scored nine straight before Messner made it 35-29 with 3:44 left in the period. The Wolves, who had great shots but couldn't connect, would not score again in the period and trail 40-29 heading into the last quarter.

The Mount Baker lead hovered around 10 points the rest of the way. Stone scored eight points in the quarter and the Wolves received three-pointers from Messner, Strasburg and Carlie Rosenkrance but couldn't dent the margin.

The Mountaineers connected on 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep the Wolves from coming back.

Stone finished with 18 points, Messner eight, Strasburg six, Fabrizi five, Rosenkrance three, Julia Myers two, Wynter Thorne two and Kiel two.

Emily Brandland scored 20 points for Mount Baker, which played without it leading scorer, Emily Yost, who was out with a broken wrist.

“We played pretty well, for the most part, except the third quarter,” said Coupeville coach David King.

He said his team wouldn't take Meridian lightly even though it defeated the Trojans 46-34 Dec. 7.

“I don't think there will be a letdown; they don't want the season to end yet,” he said.

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