Overcoming a shaky first half, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team defeated visiting Chimacum 41-28 in the Olympic League opener Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The Wolves outscored the Cowboys 23-10 in the second half to win their 19th-consecutive conference game.
Tied 22-22 midway through the third quarter, Coupeville went on a 10-1 run to take control. The Wolves, who have struggled at the foul line this season, sank six consecutive free throws (two each from Mikayla Elfrank, Tiffany Briscoe and Lauren Rose) during the surge.
Five points from Mia Littlejohn and buckets by Lauren Grove, Rose and Elfrank in the fourth quarter cemented the win.
Coupeville limited Chimacum to only two field goals, which came 12 minutes apart, in the second half.
“I told them at the half we were going to pick up the defensive intensity,” coach David King said. “We went to a man-to-man, and the girls played hard.”
Although Coupeville put in an uneven first half performance, it got off to a great start, hitting its first three shots.
Kailey Kellner swished a three from the right corner, then Littlejohn found Briscoe open under the basket for two easy hoops, and the Wolves led 7-2.
From there, Coupeville went over eight minutes without scoring.
Chimacum led 9-7 at the quarter and pushed the lead to 12-7 when it opened the second period with a three-point play.
Littlejohn finally ended the scoreless streak with a three-pointer, and Kellner grabbed a missed free throw and scored on a put-back to knot the game at 12.
Baskets by Kellner and Littlejohn (another three) sandwiched around a foul shot by Rose helped the Wolves go into the halftime tied at 18.
King said he liked the play of Littlejohn, who scored 13 points and put in a strong all-around game.
Kellner finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds; Elfrank added 6 points and 6 boards; and Grove had 2 points and 4 assists.
Six points from Briscoe and 5 from Rose rounded out the scoring.
Mechelle Nisbet scored 12 points to lead the Cowboys (0-1, 2-2).
Coupeville (1-0, 3-1) continues league play when Klahowya (0-1, 2-1) visits at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.
Saturday, South Whidbey (0-2) comes to Coupeville for a 7 p.m. non-league game.