Struggling to get its offense going, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team lost twice over the weekend, falling 39-35 to visiting Sequim Friday, Dec. 8, and 42-22 at South Whidbey Saturday.
Coupeville scored in double digits in only one of the eight quarters and is still seeking its first win after five games.
The Wolves open defense of three straight Olympic League titles when they go to Port Townsend (0-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Sequim 39, Coupeville 34
Free throws are supposed to be just that, free points. Coupeville, however, didn’t take advantage of Sequim’s generosity. Coupeville made only one of 10 in the fourth quarter as it was frantically trying to rally for the win.
For the game, Coupeville was 9-for-23; Sequim hit seven of 15.
Coupeville trailed 9-6 after the first quarter, then fell behind 13-6.
With the help of 6 points from Lindsey Roberts, one hoop coming off a nice pass from Scout Smith, Coupeville got back into the game.
Kalia Littlejohn went coast-to-coast against the Sequim press to give the home team a 19-18 lead with just under a minute left in the half.
Sequim answered with a bucket to take a 20-19 lead into halftime; Coupeville would never lead again.
The visitors led 30-26 after three quarters.
Coupeville picked up its offensive pace in the fourth quarter, forcing Sequim to foul.
Coupeville, however, continued its season-long woes at foul stripe.
“We are doing a good job of attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line,” coach David King said. “We just aren’t converting them into points.”
Turnovers were also an issue in the game, according to King. The mistakes aren’t “allowing our offense to get into a rhythm.”
There were some brights spots.
“We put up a good second quarter,” King said. “Our second half was a fight, and it was our press and Kalia (Littlejohn) leading that charge. Lindsey (Roberts) played tough in the post.
“I was pleased with our press, especially as the game played out. We got better and caused some turnovers.
“I am proud of their fight and never quit attitude. I believe these early season opponents are helping us get better despite not coming away with the win. We just need to believe in our abilities and not force things.”
Littlejohn finished with 9 points, seven steals and two assists. Mikayla Elfrank had 9 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Roberts scored 11 points, and Scout Smith, Kyla Briscoe and Ema Smith had 2 each.
South Whidbey 42, Coupeville 22
It took about a minute for the Wolves to scored the game’s first 6 points, all from Elfrank.
The senior wing scored off an offensive rebound then on back-to-back turnovers.
The remaining 31 minutes belonged to South Whidbey.
The Wolves scored just 1 more point in the quarter and the Falcons recovered to lead 10-7. It was 19-11 at halftime and 29-16 at three quarters.
“All of the praise goes to South Whidbey for the game,” King said. “They didn’t let the first minute or two phase them. They stuck to their game plan and deserved the win.
“Maybe we are coming into each game over confident, but right now we are struggling to play to our strengths. Once we get down we start pressing and making bad decisions.”
King lauded the inside defensive play of Ema Smith and Sarah Wright, who were guarding much taller opponents. Smith had a block and forced an offensive foul.
Elfrank topped Coupeville in scoring with 8 points. Littlejohn had 5, Wright 4, Scout Smith 3 and Briscoe 2.
Elfrank and Roberts each grabbed seven rebounds, and Elfrank added four steals.
“Turnovers are really hurting us offensively,” King said. “Most are unforced on our part. (We are) just not making the correct pass or throwing the ball away. We are also allowing outside things to get under our skin.
“We have our first league game on Tuesday against a tough opponent in Port Townsend. Monday we have to make corrections to be able to compete and come home with a win.”