Wolves’ all-around strong effort leads to win / Girls basketball

At the end of a long email describing his team’s 34-29 win at Mount Vernon Christian Friday, Jan. 13, Coupeville High School girls basketball coach David King remarked, “I wrote a book again.”

His wife and assistant coach Amy King responded, “It was a book-worthy game.”

Indeed. The Wolves outscored the Hurricanes by 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the comeback win.

David King described the many plot lines of the contest: the steady execution of the game plan, the hustle plays, the investment of each player and the clutch defense, rebounding and shooting.

They all added up to the “best effort for a full 32 minutes” this season.

“It’s all about finding a way to stay within striking distance, ramping up the defensive pressure and making the plays down the stretch to pull out the win,” King said.

Down 26-21 heading into the final quarter, the comeback was spurred by a disruptive man-to-man press that limited the Hurricanes to 3 fourth-period points.

The press created turnovers and transition baskets. Nine of the Wolves 14 steals came in the second half.

Offensively, the Wolves started to perk up after scoring only 11 points in the previous two periods combined. They were ignited by a hustle play by Sarah Wright, who jumped out of bounds to give Coupeville another scoring opportunity.

Five different players scored for the Wolves in the fourth quarter, led by Kailey Kellner and Mia Littlejohn, who each hit three-balls.

Mikayla Elfrank drove into the key and sank a four-foot jumper to give Coupeville the lead, 31-29, with 18 seconds remaining. Kalia Littlejohn added two free throws moments later to cement the victory.

“We have been playing consistent and steady the last three games,” King said. “In this non-league game we were able to get all 12 players in and all 12 contributed to the win.

“We had the two hustle plays, but we had so much more than that. Kalia, Mia, both Laurens (Grove and Rose) and Kyla (Briscoe) played defense the right way and caused issues for MVC. Our posts, led by Tiffany (Briscoe) and Lindsey (Roberts) — Tiffany had her best game on the season — along with Sarah, Allison (Wenzel) and Ema (Smith), did a fantastic job all night. Kailey and Mikayla are hybrids and brought their defensive presence in the post and on the guard play.”

King also noted that Kellner and Grove “gutted out the game” even though they were under the weather.

Coupeville led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter but trailed 20-16 at halftime.

Kellner finished with 10 points and eight rebounds; Kalia Littlejohn recorded 8 points and six steals; Elfrank finished with 5 points and four rebounds; Mia Littlejohn, Rose and Tiffany Briscoe each had three points; Grove added 1 point and six rebounds; and Roberts had 1 point, five rebounds and three steals.

Coupeville (9-3) plays its seventh consecutive road game when it goes to North Mason (2-11) at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, for a non-leaguer.