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Posts Tagged ‘broken finger’

Down two starters Friday, Coupeville pulled out a win at Sultan thanks to big performances from players such as freshmen Ja’Kenya Hoskins (left) and Izzy Wells. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When things were at their bleakest, they made their own sunshine.

It would have been so easy to lose Friday, but the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team flat-out refused.

Rallying against daunting odds, the Wolves pulled out the kind of win which can define a season, knocking off host Sultan 29-27 after Scout Smith drained a pair of pressure-packed free throws with 10 ticks left on the clock.

As a final Turks shot hit the back of the rim and bounced away, a weary but triumphant CHS squad rejoiced in the moment. Assessing the future will come later.

For the moment, the Wolves snap a three-game losing skid, while rising to 3-2 in North Sound Conference play, 5-7 overall.

They are in third-place, a game back of Cedar Park Christian (4-1), two off of King’s (5-0).

Granite Falls (2-3), Sultan (1-4) and South Whidbey (0-5) are in Coupeville’s rear-view mirror.

After four straight games on the road, CHS gets to play at home for the first time in a month, kicking off a four-game home-stand Jan. 15 with a game against Granite Falls.

As they head back to Whidbey, there is one potentially huge dark cloud hanging over the Wolves, however.

That’s the status of their leading scorer and rebounder, senior captain Lindsey Roberts.

The four-year varsity veteran, #23 all-time on the girls basketball career scoring chart, left Friday’s game early after suffering a dislocated and broken left ring finger.

The Wolves were already down another starter before they left Whidbey, with junior post player Hannah Davidson on crutches after spraining her ankle in practice earlier in the week.

Minus the duo, Coupeville’s remaining players stepped up big-time.

Unable to score for almost the entire first quarter, trailing by eight late in the third, the Wolves rallied to take their first lead of the night midway through the fourth quarter.

The 23-21 advantage came courtesy two free throws from Scout Smith, capping a 10-0 Wolf surge on which CHS scored mainly from the charity stripe.

Chelsea Prescott rippled the nets for four straight free throws to end the third, with the latter two set up by a huge offensive rebound from freshman Ja’Kenya Hoskins.

Fellow frosh Izzy Wells opened the fourth with her own pair of freebies, then senior captain Ema Smith drained a jumper before Scout Smith’s magic.

That set up a wild final couple of minutes, as the teams went through four ties down the stretch, though Coupeville never surrendered the lead after gaining it.

With Roberts and her 408 career points missing, Ema Smith played out of her mind, scoring a game-high 14, including six of those points with the game on the line.

Following up her early fourth-quarter jumper, she took control of the paint, scoring twice on power moves set up by nice feeds from her teammates.

First Prescott fired a laser shot through a maze of defenders, dropping the ball right on Ema’s waiting fingertips for a shot that went up, bounced around the rim 12 times, then softly flopped through the net.

Next time down the court it was Avalon Renninger running the point with precision, flicking a set-up pass to the hottest Wolf on the floor, who promptly banked the ball right back through the hoop.

Ema Smith’s final basket staked the Wolves to a 27-25 lead with a hair over a minute to play, and then things got a bit out of control.

As in neither team could hold on to the ball, exchanging turnovers on a series of wild passes which skipped every which way, before heading out of bounds and into the stands, which sit really close to the floor in Sultan.

The Turks finally broke through with 17 second to go, scoring their first field goal in a 10-minute span, knocking down a running layup to knot the game and give their fans a brief glimmer of hope.

Except Scout Smith is the Crusher of Spirits, and she fulfilled her role of becoming a full-fledged hardwood serial killer, gutting an entire town with two jabs.

Knocked to the floor and fouled by a hyped-up Turk, Scooter stared down an entire gym, sliding both of her free throws through the net, barely rippling the twine while never betraying a single emotion.

Something died, hard, in Sultan at that moment, both in their girls basketball team and the town itself.

And Scout Smith liked it.

As did her coach.

Scout has struggled all season with free throws,” David King said. “But tonight, CLUTCH!”

Sultan hurried down court and did get off a shot right before the buzzer, but, with the Wolf defense up in the shooter’s face, the desperation heave never had a chance.

The win capped a game that could have gone really badly in the early going.

Having lost Roberts, the Wolves failed to score until the final seconds of the first quarter. Thanks to a gritty defense, the deficit was just 5-0 when Ema Smith pulled in a pass from Scout Smith and buried a three-ball from the top of the arc.

Another trey from the Wolf senior and a handful of free throws kept Coupeville close, but it still trailed 14-10 at the half and 21-13 late in the third.

Coupeville had just one regular field goal through three quarters – a jumper from Renninger set up by a nice pass from Nicole Laxton – using a mix of free throws and three-balls to stay close.

However they scored, the Wolves never lost heart, something huge in King’s book.

“I told the players that they rallied without Hannah and Lindsey and got a great win. Very, very proud of the team!,” he said. “Late in the game in a timeout, I told the five players, isn’t this fun!”

Ema played well, and she and Scout led us,” King added. “Izzy and Ja’Kenya played well and stepped up. One offensive and one defensive.”

Prescott (6), Scout Smith (5), Renninger (2) and Wells (2) combined for 15 points, while Ema Smith’s 14 was a season-high.

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