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Posts Tagged ‘fourth quarter rally’

Grady Rickner and the Coupeville JV overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit Tuesday, rallying to stun Granite Falls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Just like Chris Smith drew it up.

Following the example set by their unflappable coach, the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball players pulled off maybe the most stunning comeback of the season Tuesday night.

Down by nine entering the fourth quarter, the Wolves went on a creative 15-0 run over the final eight minutes, storming from behind to shock visiting Granite Falls 45-39.

The magical mystery tour of a win lifts the CHS young guns to 1-2 in North Sound Conference play, 5-5 overall.

And I kind of, sort of, think the Wolves expected to win the whole time.

Even after Granite closed the third quarter with a three-ball that hit like a punch to the gut, capping a 10-3 Tigers tear, the Wolves seemed unbowed.

As they headed to their huddle, where Smith awaited them, a gleam in his eye and a play or two stashed up his sleeve, Coupeville’s young guns had a bounce to their step.

It showed as the Wolves charged back on the floor, taking the ball right at the heart of the Granite defense and drawing foul after foul.

CHS scored 10 of its 15 fourth-quarter points thanks to free throws, with five different players netting at least one freebie.

Crawling back, point after point, while also clamping down on defense and running the Tigers ragged, the Wolves also hit from the field when it mattered most.

Logan Martin sank a pull-up jumper, the ball crawling over a defender’s outstretched fingertips by the bare minimum, to pull Coupeville within 39-38.

That set up the super-charged Tucker Hall to hit heroic heights, as he smashed a Granite shot out of bounds, ripped down a key rebound and sank the free throws which pushed the Wolves over the top.

With the visitors unable to hit the side of a barn, much less get the ball to drop through the rim, Coupeville went for the kill and did it with flair.

Xavier Murdy took a pass down low, sucked the defense in, rose up and flung the ball over the top to a waiting Sage Downes, who knifed every Granite player (and all their relatives) with a game-clinching three-ball.

You know those mummy movies, where all the life gets sucked out of some poor fool’s body and all we’re left with is a dry husk rattling around in the middle of a sandstorm?

Make the body count five, as horrified Granite players crumbled to dust (metaphorically, at least), while Downes strolled back down court, a slight smirk gracing his face.

The big finale capped a game that started as a back-and-forth affair, with Coupeville clinging to an 11-10 lead after one quarter of action.

Things stayed tense through much of the second period, until Granite started to (seemingly) pull away.

A Tiger basket literally a millisecond before the halftime buzzer, coming on a pass airmailed the length of the court, was a particular killer.

Coupeville responded well to whatever its coach was selling in the locker room, however, opening the third on a 5-0 mini-run, capped by a sweet jumper from the side by Grady Rickner.

But then things took a bad turn, after a Granite player scandalized several Wolf fans by hitting a free throw while shooting underhanded, granny style.

Going all Rick Barry on the net, the shame-free Tiger fueled the run which set his team up for a strong finish which never came.

“I swear, if we lose by one…” murmured one CHS fan who couldn’t abide with the thought the much-maligned shooting style might be the final dagger.

Of course, it wasn’t, as you know if you read the first half of the story.

And PS — all those Wolf free throws in the fourth quarter?

Shot with your standard shooting style, which, for the moment at least, stopped the hyperventilating in the stands over the unexpected reemergence of the unappreciated granny shot.

Along with shooting their charity shots strictly with a new school method, the Wolves balanced their scoring attack, with Downes and Murdy rattling the rim for 10 points apiece.

Grady Rickner was right behind the duo, netting nine, while Daniel Olson sank eight, Martin ripped off five, Hall had his two big free throws and Cody Roberts added a solo freebie to round out the scoring.

TJ Rickner was the lone Wolf on the floor not to score, but the fast-rising CHS big man hit the boards with a suitable intensity, wrestling balls free and coming out of almost every scrum a winner.

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