Using a pressure defense and up-tempo attack, Meridian raced by the host Coupeville High School girls basketball team 60-32 Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the season opener.
The Trojans outscored the Wolves 34-15 in the middle periods to put the game away.
Overall, Meridian’s aggressive defense paid off. It sped up the game, something Coupeville was trying to avoid, according to coach David King, and forced the Wolves into 27 turnovers.
The Wolves prepared for the Trojans’ press, King said, but had problems with Meridian’s quickness and “in-your-face defense.”
It took awhile for the Trojans’ defense to pay off. Their aggression resulted in 15 first-half fouls and the Wolves were shooting one-and-ones in the opening quarter.
Twelve of Coupeville’s 20 first-half points were from the foul line, where it had 21 attempts.
The Wolves drew many of the fouls on hard drives to the hoop.
For the game, Coupeville was 16-for-28 at the line; Meridian was 5-for-8.
Chelsea Prescott scored 5 points to help the Wolves stay close, 11-9, in the first quarter.
Coupeville trailed by only 4, 21-17, midway through the second period before the Trojans went on a 10-3 run to go up 31-20 at the break.
The Wolves had a “short bench,” according to King, and his players “started to run out of gas” late in the half.
Meridian opened the second half by forcing three turnovers that led to easy buckets and the Wolves never recovered, trailing 45-24 heading into the fourth period.
“Fatigue set in the fourth for us,” King said, and Meridian outscored the Wolves 15-8.
With starter Ema Smith unable to play, the Wolves had only seven full-time varsity players. The bench also included two junior varsity players, who were available to play just one quarter each.
King saw some positives in the loss: “We battled and fought until the end. For a first game, we showed some poise and players stepped up for us.
We do need to cut down on our turnovers and look to increase our assist total.
Meridian had a height advantage on us, but we fought for every rebound.”
Lindsey Roberts led Coupeville with 8 points. Prescott had 7, Scout Smith 5, Hannah Davidson 4, Avalon Renninger 4 and Nicole Laxton 4.
Renninger added six rebounds, while Prescott, Davidson and Roberts collected five each.
Prescott also had three assists.
Coupeville (0-1) hosts Bush at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.