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Jered Brown banged home a team-high 12 in the 8th grade game

   Jered Brown banged home a team-high 12 in Coupeville Middle School’s 8th grade game Monday. (John Fisken photos)

Dakota Eck

   Wolf 7th grader Dakota Eck knocked down a bucket and played strong defense as his squad rolled to a win.

The big boys held court.

Coupeville squared off with visiting Blue Heron Middle School (Port Townsend) Monday afternoon in a pair of boys’ basketball games, and both contests came down to who had the biggest player on the floor.

In the opener, the Wolves did, and, sparked by a 22-point, 11-rebound performance from 7th grader Jake Mitten, CMS rolled to a 47-38 win in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate.

But once the two schools swapped out 8th graders for 7th graders, Coupeville ran into Noah Montoya.

Unable to contain the big, burly rebounding fiend, especially in the fourth quarter, when he keyed a 14-2 run that broke open a one-point game, the Wolves fell 48-39.

Montoya finished with a game-high 26 in the nightcap, with almost all of his points coming off of layups, as he cleaned the offensive glass like a machine.

Trailing just 30-29 coming into the fourth, Coupeville suddenly couldn’t seem to get a rebound for anything, giving Blue Heron five shots on one possession alone.

The final shot? Yep, a put-back by Montoya, and it was the basket which seemed to break the Wolves remaining spirit.

Up until then, Coupeville had held its own, using a pair of buckets from Koa Davison to build an early 8-4 lead.

After Blue Heron rallied to claim the lead midway through the second quarter, the Wolves didn’t flinch.

Point guard Jered Brown, who dropped in a team-high 12 while playing with an injured leg, completely owned the final two minutes of the half.

First he scored on a give-and-go, then pilfered the ball from a Blue Heron ball-handler and made a sensational pass to Mason Grove on the move for another basket.

Not content to stop there, he staked Coupeville to a 16-14 halftime lead, hitting a slicing runner while sliding between three defenders right before the buzzer.

Montoya started to roll in the third, though, breaking Blue Heron out to a six-point lead, before the Wolves closed the quarter with a 9-4 run.

Jacobi Pacquette-Pilgrim scored five of those points, collecting a bucket off of a hard-fought rebound before stepping outside and softly drilling a three-ball the next time down the floor.

Grove, showcasing nerves of steel, slipped a pair of free throws through the net with just a few ticks left on the clock to close out the third, setting up what seemed like it would be an epic fourth-quarter duel.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Montoya went wild down the stretch, raising one question — what’s the chances his family decides to move to Coupeville before high school?

Hey, it could happen…

For the guys who are undeniably Wolves, Pacquette-Pilgrim banked home 11 to support Brown’s 12, while Grove (8), Sean Toomey-Stout (4) and Davison (4) rounded out the scorers.

Aiden Juras and Jean Lund-Olsen also saw serious floor time for Coupeville.

While the 8th grade game was close until a late collapse, the 7th grade game was a runaway win made a little closer by a late Blue Heron rally.

The Wolves, riding 17 first-half points from Mitten, were cruising at the break, up 31-15.

With Matthew Kelley wheeling and dealing, threading passes to Mitten and running mate Daniel Olson for quick buckets, Coupeville had its foes back on their heels.

Getting a little something from everyone — Sage Downes went off for six in the third, while Dakota Eck banked in a bucket from deep in the corner — the Wolves stretched the lead out to 20 early in the fourth quarter.

But then, after Olson hit a trey that rattled around, managing to hit seven different parts of the rim before flopping through for three, Coupeville went a little cold from the field.

Part of it was pulling most of its starters, as the subs, coming off of a long vacation break, were a bit rusty. The other part was having Blue Heron suddenly find its shooting touch en route to closing on a 14-3 tear.

While the final three minutes weren’t flawless, a win is a win, though, and this was one in which five different Wolves put their name into the scoring column.

Mitten added five steals and three blocks to go with his 22 points, while Olson hit for nine, Kelley dropped in eight, Downes netted six and Eck collected a bucket.

Michael Laska, Ben Smith, Gage Powers and Alex Jimenez also played for Coupeville, which now hits the road for back-to-back games Thursday (Forks) and Friday (a rematch with Blue Heron in Port Townsend).

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