4th-quarter explosion carries Wolves past Klahowya / Girls basketball

Coupeville’s dormant offense woke up in the fourth quarter and the Wolves clubbed the Klahowya girls basketball team 36-21 Thursday, Feb. 1, in Silverdale.

The Wolves, down 20-16, outscored the Eagles 20-1 in the final frame to move one game out of first place with one game remaining.

Coupeville (5-3, 7-13) hosts Chimacum (4-4, 7-11) at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in the regular season finale, while Port Townsend (6-2, 8-10) plays Klahowya (1-7, 4-14). A Coupeville win and a Port Townsend loss will lift the Wolves into a tie with the Redhawks and secure Coupeville’s fourth consecutive Olympic League title.

Port Townsend beat Coupeville twice in three games and own’s the conference’s top seed into next week’s district tournament.

The winner of the Coupeville/Chimacum game will earn the No. 2 seed and the loser the third.

Coupeville 36, Klahowya 21

The Wolves’ offense sputtered until the fourth quarter. Klahowya led 4-2 after one period, then with the help of 5 points from Ema Smith, the Wolves led 11-9 at halftime.

The Eagles, with 8 points from Chelsea Smith, regained the lead, 20-16, going into the fourth quarter.

Heading into the final period, Coupeville was only 3-for-8 from the foul line. In the fourth, the Wolves hit all six of its tries, and all were one-and-one opportunities.

Ema Smith scored 8 points in the big quarter, including four foul shots.

Kyla Briscoe added two free throws to go along with two hoops, one a three-ball, and Lindsey Roberts chipped in with two-point and three-point field goals.

The offense uprising was ignited by the defense.

“It all started with our press and defensive effort,” coach David King said. “We got a couple of steals and easy buckets to start the fourth, (and) then caused a couple of more turnovers. That got our half-court defense ramped up and helped us settle down on offense. The jumpers we were missing in the first half all of a sudden looked smooth and put up with confidence. They started falling in bunches.

“We only had four players score, but each player contributed in this victory. Defense doesn’t always show up in the stats, but all nine players contributed at some point to our success in the third and fourth quarters. Sarah (Wright) topped everything off at the end of the game. With five seconds left and the game in hand, a Klahowya player tried to take the ball the length of the court for a lay up. Sarah wasn’t having any of that; (she) stood her ground and caused an offensive foul as the final buzzer sounded.”

King noted the reserves helped steady the Wolves when the Eagles threatened to pull away in the third period.

“We had a couple unforced turnovers and played sloppy, which Klahowya quickly converted into easy baskets and took a 20-13 lead,” King said. “While we looked to be heading into a tailspin we went to our bench quickly and often trying to find a flicker of light. Chelsea (Prescott), Allison (Wenzel), Avalon (Renninger) and Hannah (Davidson) did just that with their effort and defense. They helped slow Klahowya.”

Ema Smith recorded 13 points, six steals and six rebounds; Roberts collected 10 points and seven rebounds; Briscoe had 9 points, five steals and four assists; and Scout Smith scored 4 points,

Chelsea Smith finished with 11 points for the Eagles.

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