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   Whitman College sophomore Makana Stone earned First-Team All-Northwest Conference honors when league coaches voted. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s a bright, shining star.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, a two-time Olympic League basketball MVP during her high school days, continues to soar on the college hardwood.

Tuesday she was named a First-Team All-Northwest Conference player when league coaches tallied up their votes.

Stone, a sophomore at Whitman College, joins senior Casey Poe, who was honored as the league’s Player of the Year.

It’s the third time in five seasons that the Whitman women have claimed the top honor, after Heather Johns won for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 campaigns.

Poe, who is first in the league in free-throw percentage, second in scoring, third in blocks, fourth in assists and sixth in steals, was also an All-Conference pick as a junior.

Stone, who became a full-time starter midway through her freshman season, has been a beast in her second year in Walla Walla.

The former Wolf leads the Blues in rebounding and is second in scoring.

She is fourth in the NWC in field goal percentage, fifth in rebounding and 10th in scoring.

Stone was tabbed as the NWC student/athlete of the week twice this season, and copped MVP honors at the Whitworth Holiday Classic.

She was also named to the All-Tournament team at the Ramada at the Spokane Airport Whit Classic.

Joining Stone as First-Team picks are Kylie Towry (Willamette), Miyah Lewis (Lewis & Clark), Jamie Lange (Puget Sound) and Kaitlin Jamieson (George Fox).

Camy Aguinaldo of Whitworth was tabbed as the Freshman of the Year and Peg Swadener of Willamette was honored as Coach of the Year.

Whitman, which sits at 22-3, opens the NWC postseason tourney Thursday when it hosts Willamette. Win there and the Blues advance to the title game Feb. 24 against either George Fox or Lewis & Clark.

After that likely comes the NCAA D-III women’s national tourney, where Whitman made a run to the Elite Eight during Stone’s freshman season.

   Kyla Briscoe and the Coupeville girls played five teams this season which made it to the state tourney. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Do you want a team you played to win a state title, or at least do well in the season-ending tourney?

Or would you rather cheer as they flame out and crash hard on the biggest stage?

Coupeville High School basketball players get to make that choice starting this weekend, as seven Wolf foes from the past season take the court for the regional round of the state tourney.

Bellevue Christian and Orcas Island are sending both their girls and boys squads to the round of 16, while the Port Townsend, Meridian and Mount Vernon Christian girls teams punched their tickets as well.

Of those seven state-bound teams, the MVC girls (20-6) boast the best record, while the PT girls (10-11), the Olympic League champs, are the biggest shock.

The RedHawks are a modest #46 in RPI (out of 66 1A schools), but shocked Cascade Christian in overtime to earn a trip to state, their first since 2004.

The biggest bracket-buster on the boys side in 1A is #27 King’s, which surged late in the season, knocked off Cascade Conference champ South Whidbey twice in a row, and eliminated the Falcons.

For those interested, here’s what the regional match-ups look like for the seven Wolf foes.

The numbers for each team are their seed in the 16-team field, with #1-#8 already in double-elimination mode while #9-#16 face loser-out status in that first regional game.

And, no, that’s not a misprint below. It really does appear both Orcas teams will face the same school, Life Christian Academy.

GIRLS:

1A:

#8 Meridian (20-7) vs. #1 Lynden Christian (24-0)
#13 Bellevue Christian (14-9) vs. #12 Cle Elum (17-6)
#16 Port Townsend (10-11) vs. #9 Nooksack Valley (18-7)

2B:

#16 Orcas Island (10-8) vs. #9 Life Christian Academy (16-5)

1B:

#5 Mount Vernon Christian (20-6) vs. #4 Sunnyside Christian (21-2)

BOYS:

1A:

#5 Bellevue Christian (18-5) vs. #4 Royal (20-4)

2B:

#16 Orcas Island (10-8) vs. #9 Life Christian Academy (21-4)

And the brackets:

1A girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2530&sport=12

2B girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2533&sport=12

1B girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2532&sport=12

1A boys: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2501&sport=3

2B boys: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2515&sport=3

   Having snatched the rebound, Adrian Burrows dishes the ball off to her point guard. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Dustin Van Velkinburgh lays out his strategy to Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson.

Alana Mihill dreams of raining down buckets.

The CMS gym was packed on opening day.

Samantha Streitler goes strong to the hoop.

   Alex Evans, channeling “The Untouchables,” coaches up Allie Lucero. “They send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue!”

Trinity McGee fires a pass.

   While rival players gasp at the destruction laid down by Wolf enforcer Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Audrianna Shaw snatches the ball away and heads off to score.

Basketball is back, even if it never really left.

With the high school teams and middle school boys all done, the floor fully belongs to the CMS girls, and they kicked off their season Thursday in style.

While the Wolves were thrashing visiting Chimacum, wanderin’ camera clicker John Fisken was busy popping off shots of his own.

Now, having returned from the state wrestling tourney, where son Michael was competing this weekend, Fisken was nice enough to share the photos above.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-basketball-2017-2018/MSGBB-2018-02-15-vs-Chimacum/

And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

Plus, they make it even more likely Fisken will continue to periodically visit Cow Town, camera in hand.

Do it for the kids!!

   Central Whidbey Cooperative Preschool teacher Tami Aparicio (fifth from left, back row) hangs out with her lil’ buddies. (Photo courtesy Mandi Murdy)

Won’t someone think about the children?

Central Whidbey Cooperative Preschool, a beloved local institution for more than 40 years, has helped generations of children grow, and its work continues.

CWCP, which is a non-profit, is getting ready for its biggest fundraiser of the year, the “Wine, Bids & Co-op Kids” event Mar. 24.

The event, an evening of appetizers, music and a silent auction, will run from 6-8 PM and is intended for those 21 and older.

The funds raised go to lower the cost of tuition for enrolled families, replenish the CWCP scholarship fund and purchase school supplies.

There are numerous ways for the public to help, from buying tickets (just $10 a pop), bidding on items, and through donations, either monetary or with items which can be auctioned off during the evening.

No item is too big or too small, and could include just about anything — homemade, hand-crafted, a service, gift certificates, gift baskets, etc.

All donations are 100% tax deductible, and individuals and organizations will be acknowledged at the event, on Facebook and through a public message to the families which use CWCP.

Plus, if you donate an item for the auction, you nab two tickets to the event for free.

To purchase tickets or make donations, contact Mandi Murdy at 360-632-2069, Tami Aparicio at 360-632-5071 or email cwcpfundraising@gmail.com.

And to get a feel for everything the co-op preschool accomplishes, pop over to:

http://www.coupevillepreschool.org/

Back in a groove!!

   Sophomore Makana Stone went for nine points and nine rebounds Saturday as Whitman won on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They found their way back.

Rescuing what could have been a lost weekend, the Whitman College women’s basketball team exploded in the second-half Saturday to bury visiting Linfield.

Rallying from a five-point halftime deficit, while All-American Casey Poe suffered through a 2-11 shooting night, the Blues poured in 54 points after the break, nabbing an 82-71 win.

The victory, coming in the regular-season finale, snaps a two-game skid and lifts Whitman to 14-2 in Northwest Conference play, 22-3 overall.

The Blues, busy with their own game, didn’t know about it at the time, but they also came within a play of earning a share of the league title.

That slipped away however, when George Fox gunner Haylee Hutzler sank two free throws with five seconds to go in Newberg, OR, helping the Bruins nip Pacific 60-59.

Avoiding what would have been a monumental upset, George Fox (15-1, 22-3) enters the four-team NWC tourney seeded #1 and will host #4 Lewis & Clark (9-7, 14-11) Feb. 22.

#2 Whitman hosts #3 Willamette (12-4, 16-9) the same night, with the winners playing for the title Feb. 24 on the home court of the highest-surviving seed.

Back-to-back losses to George Fox and Willamette, the latter coming less than 24 hours ago, derailed what had been a 21-game winning streak for the Blues.

Cold shooting was a huge liability Friday, and things didn’t look much better as the early moments of Saturday’s match-up played out.

Poe opened 0-3 from the floor, picked up two quick fouls and spent almost the entire first half on the bench.

While Coupeville grad Makana Stone was a beast on the boards, hauling down five caroms in the opening minutes, her team could not get a shot to drop.

Still, despite shooting just 3-14 in the first 10 minutes, Whitman only trailed 13-12 at the first break.

Playing without Poe, the Blues hung tough in the second quarter, but a three-ball with five seconds to play from Paige Graham staked Linfield to a 33-28 bulge at the half.

Whatever was said in the locker room quickly bore fruit, however, as Whitman more than doubled its point total with a 31-19 surge in the third.

From there the Blues ruthlessly pushed the lead out to as many as 16, before coasting in for the win.

While it was Senior Night, with Whitman honoring Poe, Emily Rommel and Sierra McGarity, the star of the game was freshman Taylor Chambers, who poured in 16 of her game-high 24 in the second half.

Rommel added 15, while Stone racked up nine points, nine boards, four assists, two steals and a block before blind refs fouled her out in the game’s final 90 seconds.

For the season, she has 317 points (#2 on the team), 177 rebounds (#1), 48 assists, five blocks and 18 steals.

Stone is shooting 53% from the floor (135-254) and 77% from the free-throw line (47-61).