Ramping up its defensive pressure, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat host Orcas Island 42-41 in overtime Friday, Dec. 30, in a non-league game.
The Wolves (2-0, 6-3) now turn their attention to defending their Olympic League crown when they travel to Port Townsend (2-0, 5-3), who is tied with Coupeville for the conference lead, for a 6 p.m. game Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Orcas Island (5-2) raced to an 18-8 first-quarter lead.
After surrendering the big opening quarter, Coupeville’s defense limited the Vikings to no more than 8 points in any other period.
The Wolves scored the first 5 points of the second quarter but Orcas recovered and led 26-17 at the break.
Then the Wolves went to a man-to-man press after halftime that forced some turnovers and created transition opportunities that helped Coupeville crawl back in the game.
“We wanted to disrupt what they were trying to do and it seemed to work; it created some havoc,” Coupeville coach David King said.
Kalia Littlejohn had five steals, most coming after halftime, to trigger the fast-break offense.
The Wolves also dominated the offense boards after the break, picking up much-needed second-chance opportunities. For the game, Coupeville collected 28 offensive rebounds, 23 in the second half.
Lindsey Roberts grabbed nine offense boards (13 total) and Kailey Kellner eight (15 total).
Coupeville trailed 33-26 going into the fourth quarter.
While the defense was limiting the Vikings to 5 fourth-period points, Mia Littlejohn drained a three-ball, Roberts hit two hoops and Kellner added another to help the Wolves send the game into overtime.
Orcas Island scored first in OT, then Kalia Littlejohn countered for Coupeville. From that point, it was a free-throw shooting contest, and the Wolves won sinking 2-of-4 (coming from Mia Littlejohn and Kellner) while the Vikings connected on only 1-of-4.
Kellner’s foul shot turned out to be the winner, coming with 10 seconds remaining with the score tied at 41.
The inability to convert inside shots and from the foul line hampered the Wolves throughout the game. Coupeville was 3-for-11 from the key in the third and fourth quarters and 11-for-26 from the foul line in the game.
Regardless of the offensive struggles, a positive, according to King, is the ability of everyone to contribute offensively. Eight different Wolves scored and at least four scored in each quarter.
“Seems like this year, from game to game, we have different players stepping up on the offensive end,” King said. “Today it was Lindsey and Kalia.”
Roberts led the team with 10 points to finish with a double-double. Kalia Littlejohn came off the bench to score 7. Mia Littlejohn added 6; Lauren Rose 5; Tiffany Briscoe, Mikayla Elfrank and Kellner 4; and Kyle Briscoe 2.
Kalia Littlejohn completed her strong all-around game with six rebounds, three offensively, and two assists. Elfrank had six boards, four at the offensive end.
“Even though we seem to struggle in the first half, the players aren’t quitting,” King said. “We talked about getting back into the game with our defense. It’s great seeing the fight and will to win games like this.
“It truly was a team win.”