Julia Myers, eyeballin’ fools whose shots she will have to block. It’s what Judy does. (John Fisken photo)
Wynter Thorne had a season-high nine in Friday’s road win.
They found their shooting touch quickly.
One game after struggling to put up 19 in an entire game, the Coupeville High School girls’ basketball squad poured in 17 in the first quarter Friday at Orcas Island and never let up, romping to a 59-49 non-conference win.
“Our offense got back on track in a hurry from our previous game,” said a relieved Wolf coach David King.
The victory was the third in the last four games for CHS, and sent it into the Christmas break at 5-3 overall, 1-0 and tied for first in 1A Olympic League play.
Coupeville will be off for 10 days, not returning to the court until it hosts Vashon Island Dec. 29.
Shrugging off the long trip to Orcas, and the loss of two starters who fouled out in the fourth quarter, the Wolves rode the hot hand of Makana Stone, who poured in a season-high 22.
CHS needed all those points, as Stone’s total combined with Julia Myer’s 11 produced a dead-heat with Orcas’ best player, Hannah Brunner-Gaydos, who torched the Wolves for 33.
With the Viking sharp-shooter dropping in 22 of those points in the second half, Orcas was able to stay close.
The Wolves then lost Hailey Hammer to fouls with 5:18 to play, before Myers joined her three-and-a-half minutes later.
With starter Madeline Strasburg still out with an injury, Coupeville has just eight varsity players, making it less than desirable to lose two.
“We need to improve our defense,” King said. “We now have a little over a week to re-dedicate our defensive effort before we play Vashon.
“We are taking too many chances and not beating the offensive player to a spot. We are either a step too late on going for a steal or jumping at fakes and getting out of position,” he added. “This is putting the other four players on the court in a tough spot and giving the offense opportunities to score easy baskets or get to the free throw line.”
Coupeville finished the night with 22 fouls, with Stone one whistle away from joining Hammer and Myers on the bench.
Playing smart, though, she stayed out of trouble and came up big in crunch time.
“All game Orcas was in a diamond and one defense, putting a much shorter player on Makana defensively,” King said. “Makana was able to post these players up at times to score inside.
“An adjustment Orcas made was to double team her in the post,” he added. “She was able to knock down a 15-foot jump shot to combat the double team in the post; this is something she has been working hard to improve.”
Once Coupeville got the lead to 10, it kept its foot on the pedal, maintaining an 8 to 12-point spread for the rest of the game.
The Wolves meshed well, recording 15 assists (Kacie Kiel led with seven) on 27 field goals. The 59-point total was a season-best.
Wynter Thorne poured in nine to back up Stone and Myers, while Kiel (8), Hammer (5) and Mia Littlejohn (4) rounded out the scoring attack.
While it wasn’t a flawless game, it was a well-constructed victory.
“It wasn’t a clean or pretty game at times,” King said. “But we kept fighting and players stepped up, either knocking down a shot when needed or making a defensive stop when needed.”
He took a moment to call out two players, freshman Littlejohn and senior Myers, for their contributions.
“Mia is showing flashes of what she can bring to this team, especially as a point guard,” King said. “She is able to penetrate into the key and she has a good runner she can make. Or she is able to see an open teammate and make the correct pass.”
Myers, a defensive stalwart who has never met an opponent she can’t rock on their heels, delivered the night’s most impressive play.
“Her last block on the night was of the highlight reel variety,” King said. “An Orcas player had the ball in the short corner on the baseline, Julia was playing off a little; when the player went to shoot, Julia exploded and swatted it out of bounds.
“The Coupeville cheering section went crazy. A really nice momentum swing in our favor,” he added. “It reminded me of Dikembe Mutombo and his many blocks. The only thing missing was the finger wag.”