Perfect 5-year model

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

The last time the Copenhagen girls basketball team lost a game, the NHL and NBA were attempting to get back on track after losing a bunch of games to postponements from COVID-19, MLB was into its sixth week of an eventual 99-day lockout, and the NFL was on the eve of its regular season finales.

The Golden Knights lost a Frontier League crossover game to General Brown on Jan. 8, and from there, Copenhagen began its journey on the Yellow Brick Road, culminating with a golden prize of a state Class D championship trophy in Troy, about a four-hour ride from Lewis County.

The Golden Knights perhaps had some luck during their adventure, but winning their final 17 games of the season was no accident.

Head coach Natalie Scott was the maestro of this ensemble, which featured a perfect mixture of inside and outside, forward and guard play, and overall cohesiveness.

The ring leader was 6-foot-2 senior center Charli Carroll, the state tournament’s Class D MVP. She scored 14 points in the Golden Knights’ 47-39 over Section 6’s Sherman in Saturday’s state title game.

In Copenhagen’s final four games, beginning with its 58-40 Section 3 title victory over Poland through this past Saturday, Carroll averaged 18.3 points per game. She scored a career-high 33 against Poland. Over that four-game span, the Golden Knights allowed 38.3 ppg — that’s holding foes to a single-digit average per quarter. The defense did its job.

Carroll wasn’t the only key cog. She was assisted on the front line by senior Raegan Dalrymple, who added 12 points against Sherman.

In the backcourt, there was Alyssa Fitzpatrick, who contributed 12 points in the state title game, Aubree Smykla and Samantha Stokely. They ignited the Golden Knights’ engine and then Carroll and Dalrymple steadied the vehicle down its storied path.

When Dalrymple got into foul trouble in Friday’s state semifinal against Section 2’s Hartford, Scott called upon her bench players that included Madison Cheek, Claire Jones and Taryn Twombley, and they delivered so the Golden Knights never lost the lead. Copenhagen became the first FL girls hoops program to win a state title in 16 years.

■ Trivia question: Which two father-son duos have each played 1,000 NHL games?

■ From Seattle Times columnist Dwight Perry — Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on New Mexico State guard Teddy Allen playing for his fifth school in five seasons: “Some might wonder about his academic major. I’m guessing geography.”

■ Answer: Bobby & Brett Hull, and Mike & Nick Foligno.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

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