Although the Coupeville High School girls basketball team failed to win its fourth consecutive Olympic League title, it overcame a drain of players to capture second place, capping off its 2017-18 regular season with an important 36-29 win over visiting Chimacum Saturday, Feb. 3.
The Coupeville/Chimacum game was a battle for the second seed into the district tournament. By winning, the Wolves will have to play only one loser-out play-in game before advancing to the four-team, double elimination portion of the tournament. Chimacum now has to win two in a row to reach the final four.
Coupeville opens the tournament at home at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, against the third-place team from the Nisqaully League in a loser-out contest. The winner advances to play the Nisqually champion at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Bremerton High School.
Three teams will earn regional tournament berths.
Coupeville completed the Olympic League season with a 6-3 mark (8-13 overall) and one game behind Port Townsend (7-2, 9-10), who wrapped up the title with a 39-36 win over Klahowya (1-8, 4-15) Saturday.
Coupeville will leave the Olympic League for the North Sound Conference next school year and with a 33-3 record over its four-run in the league.
This year’s effort in conference play was noteworthy considering the Wolves entered the season with only one returning starter, then lost two, including its leading scorer, during the season.
Coupeville 36, Chimacum 29
“The girls were very energetic and kept that intensity and energy the whole game,” coach David King said. “The players stepped up and played one of our best and most complete games.”
It will be no surprise to those who followed the Wolves this year that Saturday’s win was keyed by the Wolves’ defense.
Coupeville came out of halftime with a 20-18 lead, and then behind an harassing press and tough half-court defense, blanked the Cowboys while scoring 10 straight points.
Chimacum was able to whittle away at the lead, getting within four, 33-29, late in the game.
The Wolves’ defense shutout Chimacum the rest of the way while the offense converted its free throws, led by Ema Smith with six in the final period.
Smith and Lindsey Roberts each scored 10 points to pace the Wolves. Sarah Wright added 7, Kyla Briscoe 5 and Scout Smith 4.
Roberts also recorded 13 rebounds and four steals; Briscoe collected five steals and three assists; Wright grabbed 12 boards and Ema Smith seven.
The Cowboys hurt their cause by making only 8 of 25 free throws; Coupeville was 9-for-22.