After suffering a nightmarish loss four days earlier, the Coupeville High School boys basketball team bounced back for a dream win, clipping visiting Port Townsend 44-41 in overtime Tuesday, Dec. 12.
The Wolves struggled through a one-sided, humiliating setback Saturday at South Whidbey but recovered for the victory over the Redhawks, putting together several comebacks in the process.
The key comeback was recovering mentally from Saturday’s loss. That was followed by a remarkable rally in the fourth quarter Tuesday. The Wolves trailed Port Townsend 35-22 with 5:19 left in the game before going on a 16-3 run to send the game to overtime.
In OT, Coupeville’s Hunter Smith scored first, then Kaiden Parcher completed a three-point play to give Port Townsend the lead, 41-40, with 50 seconds remaining.
Smith took the ball to the rim for a hoop with 35 seconds left.
The Redhawks had three attempts in their next possession before Coupeville’s Jered Brown scooped up a loose ball and was fouled.
Brown hit both free throws with 5.1 seconds left to finish the scoring.
Coupeville’s defense didn’t allow Port Townsend to get off a shot after Brown’s makes.
“That’s a monster win, especially after those two losses” Coupeville coach Brad Sherman said. “I am really proud of the kids. This was huge — how they responded to the rough weekend.”
The emotional game included two technical fouls called on Port Townsend, and Sherman was pleased how his kids “kept their composure — the credit goes to the kids on the floor.”
Before the late comebacks, Coupeville produced one in the first half. Port Townsend built a 12-4 lead, Coupeville sliced it to 12-11 at the end of the quarter and then eventually tied the game at 17 late in the second. The Redhawks led 20-17 at the half and 27-20 after three periods.
The fourth-quarter surge started at the foul line for Coupeville.
Down 35-22, Joey Lippo hit a free throw, then Smith, with the help of a “T” on PT, added three more.
The Redhawks converted, then Ethan Spark added two more from the stripe, and Coupeville trailed 36-28 with 3:43 left.
The Wolves started pressing, and Port Townsend struggled with the aggressive defense.
A diving save by Hunter Downes (who aided the Wolves with a handful of key rebounds) led to a Smith basket, then Smith scored again on a put back after a steal.
The Redhawks scored to make it 38-32 with 1:40 remaining.
Smith sank a free throw, then after steal, Spark drilled a three to get the Wolves within two, 38-36.
Smith dove to snare a loose ball, and then he followed the save with a jumper in the key to knot the game with 48 seconds remaining.
PT had four shots in its final possession but came up empty.
Smith led all scorers with 26 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter and 4 in overtime. Spark had 8, Lippo 6, Brown 2 and Kyle Rockwell 2.
The 6-3 Rockwell came off the bench to give the Wolves a strong defensive presence in the post, recording three blocks.
Port Townsend won the junior varsity game 59-48 in spite of 34 points and 10 three-balls by Coupeville’s Mason Grove.