The Coupeville High School boys basketball season came to an end last night, but not before the Wolves put up a fight against heavily favored Bellevue Christian.
The Vikings stopped the host Wolves 66-54 in loser-out District 3 play-in game Thursday, Feb. 9.
Bellevue Christian came into the game with three times as many wins as Coupeville, including a 66-38 thumping of the Wolves back in December.
“A heck of an effort,” Coupeville coach Anthony Smith said. “We battled to the last second. We played hard, that is our MO.”
When the teams met earlier this winter, BC raced to an 18-2 first-quarter lead.
Not this time. The spirited Wolves got the Vikings attention early and finished the first period in a 9-9 tie.
Brian Shank scored twice in the period, including off a court-length pass from Ethan Spark for the quarter’s final points.
Hunter Smith scored seven of his nine second-quarter points during an 11-2 Coupeville run that gave the Wolves a 24-19 lead. BC bounded back to take a one-point cushion into the break, 27-26.
The Vikings (10-11) played nine players in the first half to Coupeville’s six, and the Wolves were a step slower in the third period when Bellevue Christian exploded for 22 points and a 49-39 lead.
“We got down by 10 in the third, and that was our legs — we got tired,” coach Smith said. “We couldn’t get the stops when we needed to; they made us work on defense.”
Hunter Smith pumped in 10 points in the fourth quarter, but the Wolves could get no closer than eight. The Vikings hit their free throws at the end to silence any Coupeville (3-17) comeback.
Smith finished with 29 points, Gabe Wynn 8, Shank 6, Joey Lippo 5 (including a half-court bucket at the final buzzer), Spark 4 and Steven Cope 2.
Ken West tallied 16 for the Vikings, including five at the foul line. For the game, BC hit 17 of 28 free throws; Coupeville made only four of 13.
“I am proud of my team,” Smith said. “We had a very good year. Maybe not with the wins, but we became a very close, tight team through our team dinners and bonding, JV included.”