Coupeville brought down the curtain on the Wolverines season with a 64-58 do-or-die victory in the opening round of the District 1 playoffs Tuesday in Coupeville.
Fueled by a 25-point outburst after the break, the Wolves parlayed a distinct size advantage down low into repeated points in the paint and outpaced Friday Harbor by eight points in the second half to claim the postseason winner-takes-all contest. Led by senior Jason Bagby’s game-high 16 points, the Wolves had four players in double digits at the end of regulation.
With the victory, the Wolves (11-10 overall) advance to face Meridian in the second-round of post-season play. The Wolverines, on the other hand, have to hang up the sneakers until next season.
“The main thing is we wanted to play a good game and to know at the end that we gave it our best shot,” Friday Harbor senior Pablo Lopez said. “I think for the most part we did. But we sure would have loved to have won and be playing some more games.”
The Wolverines (10-2 league, 13-7 overall) entered the contest with a six-game win streak and a newly-acquired 50-percent share of the Northwest 1A/2B League title in tow. But without junior Parker Lawson, who three weeks ago suffered a season-ending ankle injury, Friday Harbor struggled to match up with the Wolves in the paint and on the boards.
In addition, Lopez said, everyone knew Coupeville would be pumped up and looking to settle a long-standing score. Friday Harbor bounced the Wolves out of post-season play a year ago at the same stage of the playoffs, and did so on Coupeville’s home court. The Coupeville crowd was in a frenzy from the opening tipoff, Lopez said.
“They were pretty jazzed up for the game,” he said.
Still, the Wolverines, after falling behind 12-5 in the opening period, fought back into the contest and outscored Coupeville 13-4 in the second period to claim a two-point lead at the half. But they faced an uphill battle down the stretch after the Wolves poured in 25 points in the third period.
“They definitely were ready for us this time,” senior Austin Scheffer said. “”They played a great game, but it could’ve gone either way.”
Senior Jordan Nash tallied 14 points in the final game of his high school career while fellow senior Ryan Aylward tallied eight. Lopez tossed in six points and Scheffer added four; senior Michael Sandifer had two points in his final game.