Sultan spoils Senior Night for Coupeville girls

Sultan spoiled Senior Night for the Coupeville girls basketball team as it defeated the Wolves 53-46 Tuesday.

It was the final regular season game on the Coupeville court for four players, Courtney Boyd, Marie Hesselgrave, Ashley Manker and Megan Smith, and two members of the cheer squad, Jordan Akins and Sarah Marley.

The Wolves, however, do have one more home game; they will host the first round of the district playoffs next Wednesday.

Sultan (9-2, 12-5) used two runs, one 11-0 and the second 10-0, to get by the Wolves. Coupeville (5-8, 10-9) overcame the first but ran out of time to make up the difference in the second.

Smith hit a hoop with 5:07 left in the second quarter to give Coupeville a 15-11 lead. It took over five minutes and 11 Sultan points later before Manker sank a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the half. By then the Turks led 22-18.

When Manker scored the first bucket of the fourth quarter, the Wolves were within one, 33-32. Sultan then put together its 10-0 run, and the Turks still held a 49-37 lead with less than a minute to go.

The Wolves missed three straight free throws before Manker connected from the foul line with 50 seconds left. Smith turned two Sultan turnovers into two 3-pointers and the Wolves were now down just five, 49-44, with 29 seconds left.

Bianca O’Hara saved the Turks by hitting four free throws to preserve the win.

O’Hara, the league’s leading scorer with a 19.5 average, scored 10 straight Turk points midway through the game and finished with 22. Coupeville coach Blake Severns said, “We did exactly what we wanted to do (in defending her), but she hit some tough shots.”

Sultan got an unexpected lift from Brandi Johnson. She entered the game with an average of below six points but scored 20.

Smith led Coupeville with 22 points and six steals. Manker had seven points, Kendra O’Keefe six, Hesselgrave five (and a team-high five rebounds), Katie Smith two, Cassidi Rosenkrance two and Courtney Arnold two.

Severns was pleased with his team’s play. Sultan has lost only two league games, both to state-ranked Archbishop Thomas Murphy. He said, “At times we played really well against a quality team.”

The Wolves close out the regular season on the road Friday, Feb. 12, at Lakewood against the winless Cougars.

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