The Oak Harbor and Coupeville high school girls basketball teams got off to slow starts in their games and their seasons, losing on the road Monday, Nov. 27.
Oak Harbor fell 38-24 at Lakewood and Coupeville lost 43-31 at Bellingham in the 2017-18 openers.
Each will play their home openers Wednesday. The Wildcats host Mountlake Terrace at 7:15 p.m. and the Wolves entertain Blaine at 7.
Lakewood 38, Oak Harbor 24
The Wildcats suffered through a cold shooting night, hitting just 18 percent.
The Cougars jumped to a 31-10 halftime lead, thanks in part to an Oak Harbor defense that was “a bit shaky,” according to coach Jon Atkins.
“I knew we were a better defensive team and challenged our girls to show it in the second half.”
Led by the efforts of Mikaela Cortez and Sam Hines, the Wildcats held Lakewood to only 7 points after the break.
The Wildcats began the second half on a 14-3 run, trimming the deficit to 34-24 but couldn’t get any closer.
Jordan Wood-Pina led the offense with 6 points, followed by Miranda Wilson (5), Jasmine Ford (4), Mia Littlejohn (4), Hines (2), Cortez (2) and Emily Gouge (1).
Littlejohn added six rebounds and three assists.
“We have to do a better shooting,” Atkins said, “but I was really impressed by the way we fought back in the second half.”
Bellingham 43, Coupeville 31
The Raiders raced to a 14-4 first quarter lead and the Wolves never recovered.
Coupeville cut the gap to seven at the break, 20-13, but was outscored 13-5 in the third quarter.
“I knew it would be a battle,” coach David King said. “I got to see a little of their play on Saturday. They reminded me of my teams the past three-four years —— hustle, defensive pressure and a never-quit attitude.
“Their shooting is better than ours at this point, so coming into the game we had to play our normal hard-nosed defense, along with playing through the extra pressure on our offense. The opposite played out in the first and third quarters.”
The Wolves were slow to rotate on defense, took ill-advised shots and struggled with turnovers, King said.
Coupeville settled down in the fourth quarter as it “ramped up” its defense and made better decisions on offense, according to King.
The Wolves cut the deficit to 39-31 with 30 seconds remaining, but it was too little, too late.
Mikayla Elfrank topped Coupeville with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Kalia Littlejohn added 6 points, Kyla Briscoe 5, Scout Smith 3 and Lindsey Roberts 3.
Roberts also had five rebounds and two steals.