Fast start not enough to carry Wolves to win / Girls basketball

The Coupeville High School girls basketball team scored more points in the first quarter than the entire second half, and that helps explain the Wolves’ 35-19 season-opening loss at Blaine Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The Wolves led 8-2 after the first quarter and 13-3 midway through the second but scored only 6 points the rest of the way.

Blaine trimmed the lead to 14-12 at the half. Coupeville managed only 2 points in the third period and the Borderites took a 23-16 lead going into the final period.

The Wolves used up so much nervous energy in the first half, according to coach David King, they “didn’t leave enough in the tank for the second half.”

“We came out sluggish and flat footed” after the break, he said. “This led to easy buckets for Blaine. We couldn’t stop their baseline drives all night.”

The Wolves’ offense also suffered after halftime.

“We played horizontal instead of vertical and attacking the basket. We shot poorly from the charity strip. This seems to be a Coupeville girls bugaboo that’s carried over from seasons past.”

Coupeville sank only two of eight free throws.

“We left a lot of points at the rim all game long,” King added. “Without watching film, I would say we missed eight-to-10 point-blank shots on either post-up moves or rebound put backs.”

King said he liked the defensive effort in the first half when the Wolves came out in a zone “and prevented open looks for Blaine.”

He also liked the team’s effort to push the ball on offense, but said his club needs to minimize turnovers and shoot a better percentage.

The Wolves committed 17 turnovers and shot only 29 percent from the field.

He praised the play of reserve Allison Wenzel, who, when called on, gave the Wolves “a big lift each time” by “diving for loose balls and playing tough defense.”

Mia Littlejohn scored 5 points; Lindsey Robert 4; Kailey Kellner 3; Wenzel, Kalia Littlejohn and Lauren Rose 2; and Sarah Wright 1.

Mikayla Elfrank grabbed seven rebounds; Roberts added six.

Ashley Dickerson scored 13 points for Blaine.

Coupeville plays in the Tip-Off Classic in Friday Harbor this weekend. They meet Seattle Academy, an 18-4 team last year, at 2 p.m. Friday. Friday Harbor faces Seattle Lutheran later that night. The winners and losers square off on Saturday.

The Wolves’ first home game is also the Olympic League opener when Chimacum visits at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.