Savina Wells takes a shot in a Coupeville High School basketball game against Orcas Island High School May 20. (Photo by John Fisken/Whidbey News-Times)

Savina Wells takes a shot in a Coupeville High School basketball game against Orcas Island High School May 20. (Photo by John Fisken/Whidbey News-Times)

Coupeville 8th graders excel in varsity basketball

Savina Wells became the first eighth grade girl to score in a Coupeville varsity basketball game.

Savina Wells made Coupeville High School history May 20 when she became the first eighth-grade girl to score in a varsity basketball game.

Wells is one of two eighth-graders invited by girls basketball coach Scott Fox to play on the varsity team this season. Fox said that as participation in girls basketball has steadily decreased over the past few years, he’s had to reach into lower and lower grades to field his teams.

Wells’ age hasn’t stopped her from excelling, though. With eight points, the eighth-grader was the varsity team’s top scorer in their May 20 game against Orcas Island High School.

Fox said he hadn’t planned on starting Wells in that game. Because she is so much younger than many of the other girls she’s playing with and against, he wanted to ease her into the varsity team. However, injuries and absences on the team left him with no other option.

“I reached out to her before the game against Orcas Island, and I said, ‘Look I’m going to start you today,’” he said. “And what does she do but goes out there and is our leading scorer.”

Lyla Stuurmans, the other eighth grader invited to play for the high school, scored her first varsity baskets in a May 22 game against Friday Harbor. She also led the junior varsity team against Friday Harbor with 16 points.

Fox said he has been very proud of the way the other girls on the team have treated their two younger teammates.

“They’ve accepted both Savina and Lyla into our mix, and accept them as basketball players and don’t look at them as eighth-graders,” he said.

Eighth grader Savina Wells, right, plays alongside high school teammate Maddie Georges. (Photo by John Fisken/Whidbey News-Times)

Eighth grader Savina Wells, right, plays alongside high school teammate Maddie Georges. (Photo by John Fisken/Whidbey News-Times)

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