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They missed it by that much: Friday Harbor holds Coupeville close until final minute | Boys Basketball

Roy Taylor (12) swished a three-pointer to bring Friday Harbor to within three points of the lead vs. Coupeville Dec. 22. In this Dec. 18 photo, he scored 13 points in three minutes to spark a win at home over Shoreline Christian.  Journal / Scott Rasmussen - Scott Rasmussen
Roy Taylor (12) swished a three-pointer to bring Friday Harbor to within three points of the lead vs. Coupeville Dec. 22. In this Dec. 18 photo, he scored 13 points in three minutes to spark a win at home over Shoreline Christian. Journal / Scott Rasmussen
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times

After conquering Whidbey Island, the Coupeville boys’ basketball team added Friday Harbor to its collection.

The Wolves, coming off wins over Whidbey rivals South Whidbey and Oak Harbor, slipped by Friday Harbor High School 50-43 Dec. 22 in Coupeville.

The victory finished up the non-league portion of the schedule for the Wolves and now the Coupeville club can get down to Cascade Conference business. Coupeville is 6-1 for the year and 1-0 in league play. It hosts Cedarcrest Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. in the first of 13 straight conference games.

The win over Friday Harbor was sluggish at times; predictable after a physically and mentally draining clash with Oak Harbor the night before. The Wolves never trailed, but they also could never put the Wolverines away even though they had them on the ropes several times.

Two buckets at the end of the first period, one from Tim Walstad and the other from Hunter Hammer (off a nice feed from Ian Smith) pushed Coupeville ahead 11-7. The Wolves lengthened that lead to 11 two minutes into the second period and looked like they were on the verge of breaking the game open. Friday Harbor, however, put together a 9-2 run to close to 22-18.

A three-point play by Hammer, coming off an offensive rebound put back, with less than a second left in the quarter gave the Wolves a 25-18 halftime lead.

Again Coupeville looked poised to run away, jumping on top 32-22 midway through the third, but the Wolverines sliced the deficit to 34-31 heading into the final period.

The lead was 1 — 39-38 — when Preston Ukra drilled a three-pointer for Friday Harbor with 5:31 left in the game. Chad Brookhouse battled for two putbacks wrapped around a Jason Bagby free throw to widen the gap to 44-38 with 2:56 to go.

The Wolverines still had life when Roy Taylor swished a three-ball to set the score at 46-43 with 1:02 left. But a Hammer baseline jumper and free throws by JD Wilcox and Smith cemented the win for Coupeville.

Hammer finished with his fifth double-double in seven games, getting 18 points and 12 rebounds. Brookhouse netted nine points, and Bagby added seven points and six rebounds. Walstad grabbed seven boards to go along with his four points.

In one statistical oddity, Friday Harbor failed to make a free throw in the game, missing all seven attempts. Coupeville was 9-for-16.

Coupeville Coach Randy King said, “It was kind of a struggle.” However, he liked how his team was able to execute at the end to get the victory, and added, “We have had a lot of close games and won them all. They are confidence builders.”

Next: The Wolverines (1-1 league, 2-4 overall) travel to Mount Baker Dec. 29; tipoff is at noon. The Wolverines travel to Darrington Jan. 2 for a 12:30 p.m. game. They host Orcas Jan. 8; tipoff time is TBA.

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