Kyla Briscoe knocked down a three-point shot with three seconds remaining to help the Coupeville High School girls basketball team win 33-30 at Chimacum in a battle for first place Friday, Jan. 19.
Coupeville (4-2, 6-11), Chimacum (3-3, 6-9) and Port Townsend (4-2, 6-9) all entered play Friday tied for first in the Olympic League. Port Townsend defeated Klahowya (1-5, 3-12) 33-28 to keep pace with Coupeville.
The four teams play each other one more time over the next two weeks.
First up for Coupeville is a home showdown with Port Townsend at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. The Wolves lost 38-32 at Port Townsend Dec. 12 and then eked by the Redhawks 40-39 at home Jan. 9.
Coupeville 33, Chimacum 30
The Wolves avoided a few disasters over the final 30 seconds to set up Briscoe’s big shot and claim the win.
Chimacum tied the game at 30 with 29.5 seconds remaining, and Coupeville coach David King called timeout to clarify how his club would attack the Cowboys’ press.
After inbounding the ball, the Wolves avoided one defensive trap but a second resulted in a jump ball. Fortunately, the possession arrow pointed in Coupeville’s favor. King used another timeout to set up the final play. An errant pass nearly blew up the plan, but Lindsey Roberts ran down the loose ball at mid-court and fired to Briscoe, who was coming off a nice screen by Scout Smith.
Briscoe swished the game winner, Chimacum missed a full-court desperation shot and the Wolves collected the critical win, avenging an early loss to the Cowboys.
In that previous game, a 28-20 win for Chimacum, Coupeville committed 43 turnovers against the Cowboys’ defensive pressure.
“We knew we needed to improve this area to get a win,” King said. “That first game it seemed like they were a team playing with smoke and mirrors. Sometimes it felt like they had seven or eight players on the court at once. So we worked to correct some things for tonight.”
This time around, Coupeville handled the pressure well in the early going and trailed by only two, 8-6, after the first quarter.
Things began to come unraveled in the second period – Coupeville finished with 21 first-half turnovers — and Chimacum led 18-11 at the break.
“After halftime we wanted to get back to what made us successful to start the game and just chip away at the lead,” King said. “We wanted to get back to Coupeville basketball.”
“Our press break and minimizing turnovers along with a hustling defense got us back in the game quickly,” he said.
The Wolves scored the first 8 points of the second half to take the lead, 19-18. Roberts had 5 points in quarter, including a three-point play.
Chimacum recovered to lead 23-21 going into the fourth quarter, and the game remained close the rest of the way.
A bucket by Chelsea Prescott and two free throws from Sarah Wright gave Coupeville a 27-25 lead.
A hoop by Smith and a foul shot from Briscoe put the Wolves up 30-27. The Cowboys’ Grace Yaley then drilled a three-pointer to tie the game to set up the frantic finish.
“All eight players brought passion and didn’t want to go home without getting a win,” King said. “Allison (Wenzel), Ema (Smith) and Hannah (Davidson) may not have scored for us, but what they did on the court contributed to the win.
Allison pulled down three offensive rebounds and had a nice assist. Ema, playing on a bum ankle that keeps getting tweaked, pulled down nine rebounds and had two assists and blocks. Hannah brought strength and grabbed a rebound.”
Wright scored a career high 13 points to lead the offense and added seven rebounds. Roberts finished with 9 points and 13 rebounds.
Scout Smith “had one of her better games,” according to King, and finished with 3 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Briscoe had 6 points and two steals, and Prescott scored two points.
“Kyla, Lindsey and Sarah are playing really well right now,” King said. “All three have increased their output since Mikayla (leading scorer Elfrank) went down. I’m asking a lot of these three along with the others.
“This year, this league is a tough battle each game. Tonight was our night, and the big shot by Kyla sealed it. But it’s also making three more free throws — two- and three-point shots made were equal. It’s never quitting and believing if we play Coupeville basketball we give ourselves a chance to win.”