Coupeville grinds out win over Chimacum / Girls basketball

Putting together a gritty, blue-collar performance, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team won its 22nd straight league game 42-33 at Chimacum Friday, Jan. 6.

The win also ended a six-game road swing for the Wolves (4-0, 8-4). They will finally get to play at home for the first time in exactly a month when they host Sequim (5-5) in a non-league game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. Then it is back to the road with two more non-conference games before returning home and to Olympic League play at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, with Klahowya (0-3, 3-7).

Coupeville coach David King said the win over Chimacum “was a very steady game for us, and we did what we had to to grind out a win.”

The Wolves built what appeared to be a comfortable lead, 35-23, midway through the fourth quarter, then the Cowboys scored 7 points in 20 seconds and promptly got back into the game.

The Wolves, however, were unfazed by the sudden streak of misfortune.

“We could have let that get us down, but this team is resilient,” King said. “(We) brushed it off and regrouped and went back to work playing our brand of basketball.”

Kailey Kellner drilled a three pointer, then 5-foot-3 Kalia Littlejohn attacked the hoop, driving through 6-foot Alice Yaley for a three-point play.

Coupeville, which has had trouble hitting free throws this season, also made six of nine from the stripe in the fourth quarter to hold off the Cowboys.

Chimacum led 13-10 after one quarter, then Coupeville led 20-18 after halftime and 27-23 after three quarters.

Mikayla Elfrank filled in the stat sheet with 5 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.

Kellner was “steady all night,” according to King, with 7 points and nine rebounds, grabbing a handful of key boards in the final eight minutes.

Mia Littlejohn guided the offense with 13 points, including hitting a pair of three-balls in the game and three free throws during crunch time; she added three assists.

“We did struggle defensively to shut down Mechelle Nisbet,” King said. Nisbet led all scorers with 18 points.”

“On the good side, defensively we kept their post player Alice Yaley silent,” he said. Yaley failed to score.

“Our post players, Lindsey, Tiffany (Briscoe), Mikayla and Sarah (Wright) did a great job defending her and limiting her opportunities. Our wings helped out with doubling down at times.”

King praised Grove’s work on the boards and her intensity, said Wright “played her best quarter (third) of the season,” which included diving the retrieve a loose ball, and Elfrank “came in and really lit a fire on the defensive end” in the second period.