The South Whidbey High School boys basketball team slipped by host Coupeville 76-65 in a spirited rivalry game Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The Falcons (7-1, 15-3) were a bit too spirited and picked up three technical fouls in the game. They were able to overcome the emotional outbursts to collect the win and remain in second-place in the North Sound Conference.
The fifth-place Wolves (1-6, 5-11), who have won 10 fewer games this year than the Falcons, gave South Whidbey all it could handle. They now have two league games remaining to move into fourth-place and secure a spot in the district tournament.
Coupeville hosts Granite Falls (1-7, 3-16) at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and travels to Sultan (2-5, 4-13) at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. The three teams are battling for the final two berths into the postseason.
The North Sound Conference’s fifth-place club will have to top the Northwest Conference’s fourth-place team in a play-in game to reach the district tournament.
Coupeville coach Brad Sherman said if his team produces the same “toughness and energy” in its final two conference games it displayed against South Whidbey, it will “finish the year strong.”
The Wolves beat Granite Falls 60-42 and lost to Sultan 57-52 earlier this year.
South Whidbey 76, Coupeville 65
A dry spell in the third quarter doomed the Wolves.
After Hawthorne Wolfe scored the first basket of the second half, Coupeville went four minutes without scoring and the South Whidbey went on a 9-0 run to take a 52-37 lead.
The Wolves cut gap top 10, 52-42, with two minutes left in the period, and the deficit hovered around 10 points the remainder of the game.
Getting 10 points from Xavier Murdy and 8 from Mason Grove, Coupeville led 21-20 after one quarter.
Seven different Falcons scored in the second period, and South Whidbey led 43-35 at the half.
The lead was 13, 60-47, after three quarters.
Koa Davison scored 7 points to help the Wolves outscore the Falcons 18-16 in the fourth period.
Grove kept Coupeville close with timely scoring throughout the night, finishing with a team-high 20 points. Murdy and Davison added 11, Sean Toomey-Stout 7, Wolfe 5, Ulrik Wells 4, Gavin Knoblich 4, Jered Brown 2 and Jacobi Pilgrim 1.
Five Falcons scored 9 or more points, led by Nick Young with 21.
“I though we played well against a very good basketball team,” Sherman said. “Defensively, I thought we played especially tough.”