A nice-looking season for the Coupeville High School girls basketball team came to a not so pretty end when the Wolves dropped a loser-out, district tournament game 52-24 to visiting Meridian Tuesday, Feb. 11.
It was two-and-out in the postseason for Coupeville after putting together a solid 12-5 record during the regular season.
Meridian’s long-range shooting and take-no-prisoners defense was the difference. The Wolves played well in spurts but struggled to convert shots when they safely navigated through the Trojans’ pressure.
Spurred by creating Coupeville turnovers, Meridian started the game on a 12-1 run.
The Wolves mustered only five free throws in the first quarter and trailed 17-5 at the end of the period.
The Trojans started the second quarter by hitting a pair of three-balls (they made nine in the game) and led 23-5. Over the final six minutes of the half, Coupeville played its best ball.
The Wolves’ defense cooled the hot-shooting Trojans and their offense took care of the ball. By halftime, Coupeville trimmed the score to 27-15. The Wolves could have made a deeper cut into the deficit, but their shots kept rimming out. Scout Smith led the effort with 5 points and a nice assist to Anya Leavell.
Coupeville’s Hannah Davidson opened the second half with a free throw and the Wolves were within 11, 27-16. From there, cool-shooting Coupeville got even colder, going into a deep freeze as Meridian ended the quarter on a 17-0 run to put the game away.
The young and talented Trojans — they have only one senior and one junior on their roster — now move on to face Cedar Park Christian in the next round of the district the tournament.
“They (Meridian) come from a good league,” Coupeville coach Scott Fox said. “They are battled-tested. Little mistakes determine whether you win or lose, and they don’t make those mistakes.”
Meridian and the three other Northwest Conference schools have won five of the eight district games. In those five wins, the margin of victory was 49 points. Coupeville’s 28-point loss to Meridian was the closest game.
The North Sound Conference’s three wins (two by champion King’s) have been by an average of 9 points.
The Wolves finished the season with a 12-7 record. The loss also ended the career of four seniors — Smith, Davidson, Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer.
Fittingly, Wurzrainer celebrated her birthday by recording Coupeville’s final points in the final minute.
“Our seniors played their hearts out,” Fox said. “They were our backbone and our leaders; I relied on them for everything this year.”
As a whole, he liked how his club “fought hard” in the Meridian game and “gave a much better effort than last night (a loss to Nooksack Valley).”
“The kids came out ready to play and it was fun to watch,” he added.
“They are learning how to play the game of basketball.”
The highlights of the season, according to Fox, were seeing his players “get it” and the players’ understanding that they can create offense with a good defense.
Smith finished the game with 7 points. Davidson had 5; Maddie Georges 4; Chelsea Prescott, Leavell and Wurzrainer 2 each; and Audrianna Shaw and Carolyn Lhamon 1 apiece.
Avery Neal led Meridian with 15.