Ailing Wolves earn feel-good win / Girls basketball

A few of the members of the Coupeville High School girls basketball team were under the weather, but the Wolves had the right medicine to defeat Klahowya 35-25 Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Silverdale.

Starter Tiffany Briscoe missed the game because of injury and two other starters, Mia Littlejohn and Lindsey Roberts, among others, did not feel well, but that didn’t stop Coupeville from winning its 20th consecutive Olympic League game.

Coach David King said that Briscoe noted that “we won because of heart.”

“I agree 100 percent with Tiffany,” he said. “Not only was it heart, but we gutted out a very slow-paced game and were determined to make enough plays to win.”

King said both teams had players who were ill, and “it’s that time of the year, and players need to dig deep and figure out a way to get a win.”

“Mia has been one that it’s really taken a toll on,” he added. “She gave everything she had tonight in limited minutes along with Lindsey and a few others.”

Fortunately for Coupeville, it has a deep bench, and the reserves took advantage of the opportunity of extended minutes.

Kalia Littlejohn was a “spark plug” and “helped bring our energy level up,” according to King.

Kailey Kellner and Mikayla Elfrank, King said, added to the internal fire that helped carry the Wolves to the win.

Kyla Briscoe and Charlotte Langille scored their first varsity points, and the Wolves also got “good minutes” from reserves Allison Wenzel and Sarah Wright.

One of the most important signs of growth by his team, King said, came at halftime. When the coaches entered the locker room, the players, led by Tiffany Briscoe, were already discussing their play and what they needed to do to improve.

“This was a big step for them,” King said. “Recognizing what needed to be fixed and what was working well.”

The teams were tied at 7 after the first quarter, then Kellner scored 5 points and grabbed several key rebounds to help the Wolves take an 18-13 lead at half time.

Five different Wolves scored in the third period, and Coupeville pushed its advantage to 28-16 heading into the final quarter.

Kellner finished with 12 points, Elfrank 7, Kalia Littlejohn 4, Lauren Grove 3, Mia Littlejohn 2, Lauren Rose 2, Langille 2, Wright 2 and Kyla Briscoe 1.

The Wolves also had five players with five or more rebounds: Elfrank 10, Kellner 8, Wenzel 6, Kalia Littlejohn 5 and Roberts 5.

Elfrank added four steals; Kyla Briscoe had three.

“We see glimpses of a team that can play tough defense and one that shares the ball to get teammates good looks,” King said. “It’s fun to watch when we are doing these things. We still have a ways to go, but the players are seeing things differently this year, and that’s a great sign.”

The Coupeville junior varsity team overcame a 1-point first quarter to defeat Klahowya 26-19. Hannah Davidson scored 10 points, Wright 6, Ema Smith 4, Scott Smith 3, Avalon Renninger 2 and Nicole Laxton 1.

Coupeville, now 2-0 in conference and 4-2 overall, travels to unbeaten Bellevue Christian (5-0) for a non-league game at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16.