Coupeville defends title in Tip Off Classic / Girls basketball

Defending the crown it won in 2015, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team captured the Tip Off Classic in Friday Harbor this weekend.

The Wolves defeated Seattle Academy 44-31 Friday, Dec. 2, and Friday Harbor 34-31 Saturday, picking up a pair of wins over state-tournament teams that combined for a 37-9 record last winter.

Lindsey Roberts hit a three-pointer in the final seconds to help Coupeville win the championship game over the host Wolverines.

Coupeville can now turn its attention to defending another title, the Olympic League.

The Wolves (2-1) host Chimacum (1-1) at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Klahowya (2-0) at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the first two conference games.

Coupeville 44, Seattle Academy 31

The Wolves “came out on fire,” according to coach David King, pumping in 19 first-quarter points to the Cardinals’ 10. Mikayla Elfrank and Mia Littlejohn led the surge with 7 and 6 points.

“We looked to run at every opportunity we could,” King said. “We ran the lanes well and looked to feed the ball ahead.

“One thing that did slow us down offensively was at times being too aggressive, (which led to) errant passes and turnovers.”

After the quick start, Coupeville cooled in the middle periods when Seattle Academy outscored the Wolves 6-5 in each quarter.

“In the second and third quarters we let Seattle Academy hang around with some sloppy play and not playing with the energy we had in the first,” King said. “At the start of the fourth we went back to what was working well — an aggressive defense and (looking) to run.

Kailey Kellner led the fourth-quarter charge, recording all 10 of her points in the period. She also had 11 rebounds and five assists in the game.

Overall, King said, his team “came ready to play” and “shared the ball offensively.”

The Wolves also had an outstanding afternoon on the boards, hauling in 48 rebounds. Elfrank (12) and Roberts (10) joined Kellner with double-digit totals.

Littlejohn finished with 7 points and 7 assists.

Lauren Rose added 6 points, Roberts 4, Tiffany Briscoe 4 and Kalia Littlejohn 2.

Those who did not “stuff the stat sheet,” King said, “played their roles very well.”

Coupeville 34, Friday Harbor 31

Roberts’ buzzer-beater were her only points in the game, but they were enough to give the Wolves the title.

She also joined Briscoe, Kellner and Elfrank to help the Wolves hold their own in the key against the taller Wolverines, King said.

Coupeville couldn’t replicate the quick start it posted against Seattle Academy and trailed 5-4 after the first quarter.

Kellner scored six points in the second period but the Wolves were still down at the half, 15-13.

“The first half was a lot of one-on-one play for us,” King said. “This led to poor shots, and we didn’t give ourselves a chance to get offensive rebounds.

“We didn’t play good enough to be leading, but just well enough to know if we made a few changes after halftime, we could regain the lead and come away with a win.”

One point of emphasis during the break was sharing the ball, and an assist by Elfrank to Briscoe on a fast break gave the Wolves the lead late in the third period.

Coupeville’s defense, which forced three shot-clock violations in the game, limited the Wolverines to 2 points in the third period, and Coupeville took a 20-17 lead.

Coupeville was hampered in the fourth quarter by an injury (dislocated finger) that sent Kellner to the hospital midway through the final period. (Kellner should be good to go this week, King said.)

Friday Harbor tied the game late, then Elfrank scored off a steal. The Wolverines knotted the game again, setting up Roberts’ game-winner at the end.

Kellner scored 12 points and collected eight rebounds before her exit; Elfrank was next for the Wolves with 8 points and 6 boards. Mia Littlejohn had 5 points, Roberts 3 points and 5 rebounds, Lauren Grove 2 points and 5 rebounds, Rose 2 points and Briscoe 2 points.

“Our guards (Grove, Rose, Mia Littlejohn and Kalia Littlejohn) had a good game from a defensive standpoint,” King said.

The Coupeville junior varsity also beat Friday Harbor, shutting the Wolverines out in the first quarter on the way to a 29-20 win.

Hannah Davidson scored 15 points, Scout Smith 6, Avalon Renninger 4, Emma Mathusek 2 and Nicole Laxton 2.