A strong second half and clutch free throws carried the Coupeville High School girls basketball team to a 46-41 win at Concrete Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The Wolves erased an 8-point halftime deficit with a big third quarter and then hit a bucket and four consecutive foul shoots in the last minute to overtake the Lions for the non-conference win.
Coupeville (2-0, 5-3) heads to Orcas Island (4-1) at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, for another non-league game and the fourth of six straight road games.
The Wolves trailed by as many as 10 in the first half and 25-17 at intermission at Concrete, then outscored the Lions 15-4 in the third quarter to lead 32-29.
Concrete (0-4) scored with a minute remaining in the game to go up 41-40, then Kailey Kellner answered with a hoop to give the Wolves the lead.
On two consecutive possessions, the Coupeville defense created Lion turnovers, forcing Concrete to foul.
Mia Littlejohn and Mikayla Elfrank calmly drained a pair of one-and-ones to put the Lions away.
After falling behind 13-8 in the first quarter and 25-17 at halftime, Coupeville was able to catch Concrete by slowing Jaycelyn Knipers and not fouling.
Knipers scored 8 points in each of the first two quarters but went scoreless in the third.
Coupeville committed 15 fouls before the break and allowed the Lions to make six of 17 free throws.
“We came out in the third with some fire on the defensive end and created some tough shots and turnovers for Concrete,” coach David King said. “This led to some quick buckets for us and closed the 8-point gap in the first few minutes.”
Kailey Kellner scored 5 points, Lauren Grove 4 and Kyla Briscoe and Mikayla Elfrank 3 each in the high-scoring quarter. Briscoe’s points came from a three-pointer on an assist from Kellner.
Knipers kept Concrete in the game with 10 of the Lions’ 12 fourth-quarter points and finished the night with 26 points.
The Wolves, however, were able to counter with 14 points spread over five players.
Coupeville was missing three players, including starter Lindsey Roberts, who is ill.
“At various times, players stepped up,” King said. The Briscoe sisters, Tiffany and Kyla, and Sarah Wright “probably had their best games of the year,” he said. Ema Smith saw her first varsity action and “gave us some good minutes and hustle,” according to King.
Tiffany Briscoe recorded a team-high five steals, and she and Wright led the club with seven rebounds each.
Kellner and Elfrank each added six rebounds and 9 points.
Lauren Grove scored a season-high 10 points to lead the offense. Wright finished with 6, Kyla Briscoe 5, Tiffany Briscoe 3, Lauren Rose 2 and Littlejohn 2.
“We have some good moments and some lapses on both ends of the court,” King said. “If we want to continue to be successful we have to learn from our mistakes, not let the other team or other outside distractions affect our play. When we share the ball, we had 11 assists on the night with seven coming in the explosive second half, we are a good offensive team.”
Kellner topped the assist list with four. Grove, Kyla Briscoe and Kalia Littlejohn had two each.