Coupeville dumps Concrete in season opener

In traffic under the boards, Coupeville’s Jessy Caselden, 11, battles Concrete senior guard Natasha Smith, 22, for a defensive rebound in Tuesday’s game.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
In traffic under the boards, Coupeville’s Jessy Caselden, 11, battles Concrete senior guard Natasha Smith, 22, for a defensive rebound in Tuesday’s game.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

There were a few cases of nerves on the court at Coupeville High School Tuesday evening when the Wolves took on Concrete in the first girls basketball game of the season.

The Wolves have a young team with many first-year players on the roster and after a slow first half, got their offense in gear and defeated the Lions 41-31 in a non-league game.

“I thought we were a little timid in the first half,” coach Blake Severns said. “We played four freshmen tonight and they were very nervous, and we also have a couple of seniors who were playing in their first varsity game ever.”

Coupeville held a 17-14 lead after the first half of play and then scored 13 points in the third quarter to begin pulling away.

Megan Smith scored a game-high 15 points to pace the Wolf Pack attack.

“I was confident going into this game,” the junior point guard said. “We came out strong and finished strong.”

Junior Marie Hesselgrave had the hot hand in the third quarter and finished the game with eight points.

“I made a couple of baskets and I had a nice three-pointer, my first one ever,” she said.

Hesselgrave’s three-point basket late in the third quarter gave the Wolf Pack offense a big boost to up the lead to 11 points after the Lions had shaved the margin to single digits.

One of the big keys to Coupeville’s new transition style of offense being successful is a tough defensive game plan.

Against Concrete, the Wolves utilized an aggressive, pressing defense that gave the Lions trouble the entire game and resulted in a number of turnovers that led to scoring opportunities.

“They were an aggressive, pretty athletic team,” Severns said. “They were getting after us and

got us back on our heels, but we

adjusted and did a great job down the stretch.”

After pushing the margin to

10 points, 31-21, after three quarters of play, Smith knocked down her second 3-pointer to put Coupeville up by a commanding

17 points, 39-22, with 4:40 remain-ing in the game.

At that point, Severns emptied

his bench and put the reserve players on the floor.

Senior Mandi Murdy, playing in her first varsity game, said she thought the team played pretty well.

“I was pretty nervous at first

and then I got more confident,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement with this team already and we’re only going to get better.”

Junior Courtney Boyd scored four points for Coupeville and

freshman Cassidi Rosenkrance also hit a pair of two-point baskets.

Coupeville spread its scoring attack around with Katie Smith, Jessy Caselden, Murdy, Amanda Manker and Courtney Arnold all hitting for two points.

Natasha Smith had 10 points for Concrete and teammates Kelsey Barnett and Taylor Lee scored eight points apiece.

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