High school coaches generally caution their athletes against looking too far down the road.
But for the Friday Harbor boys basketball team, it would seem a good strategy to keep the date of Feb. 5 well in mind. The Wolverines (4-3) have plenty of games to go and a lot more progress to make before post-season play begins in early February, according to junior point guard C.J. Woods.
“We want to be the best team we can be by then,” Woods said. “What I’ve been trying to do is create a good chemistry and to get everybody on the team involved in the offense and to be a scoring threat.”
In what’s proven to be a see-saw season so far, the Wolverines had no shortage of production on the offensive end as they notched their highest-scoring output of the season, a 68-27 runaway win at home Dec. 20 against an overmatched Coupeville squad. Coach Rod Turnbull substituted liberally in the second half after the Wolverines, up by eight points at the end of the first quarter, took a 33-15 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Senior Collin Williamson and junior Otis Cooper-West tossed in 18 and 14 points, respectively, though each sat out most of the final eight minutes of play. Williamson tallied 10 of his team-high 18 points before the half. Coupeville’s Ben Ezzell led the Wolves, winless in nine games so far this season, with 11 points.
The Wolverines outscored Coupeville 24-6 in the third period to put the game effectively in the bag.
With the win, Friday Harbor raised its overall record one notch above the .500 mark, posted its second victory of the season against a regional Division 1A rival and soothed the sting of a one-point loss two days earlier at home against Mount Baker, a potential Division 1A post-season opponent. The Mountaineers (2-6), led by Reuben Murashov, who scored 18 points off the bench, scored a layup on a broken play in the final seconds of regulation to claim the lead and the win.
Junior Donald Galt scored 13 points to lead the Wolverines, who played the game without Williamson in the lineup. Cooper-West had 11 and sophomore Gabe Lawson added 10.
“It was really frustrating,” Woods said of the one-point loss. “We missed some free-throws here and there that could’ve made the difference, and we didn’t have Collin, that’s at least 10 points right there.”
The Wolverines hosted Nooksack Valley (0-8), a regional 1A rival, on Saturday, Dec. 22 (results were unavailable prior to the Journal Dec. 21 holiday deadline; see www.sanjuanjournal for results). They travel to Yakima, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, to face La Salle and Steilacoom in the SunDome tournament, and are home to host Mount Vernon Christian (3-5) on Jan. 3; tip off is 4 p.m. in Turnbull Gym.