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   Mason Grove tossed in 11 in three quarters Tuesday as the Wolf JV battled Klahowya through two overtimes. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They saved the best for last.

With the JV boys playing second Tuesday at Klahowya, the young guns put on a show in the longest game of the season.

Playing the kind of game where everyone involved is sorry to see someone have to lose, the host Eagles held off Coupeville 58-56 in a double-overtime thriller that came down to free throws.

Specifically, it was the four shots from the charity stripe which the Eagles netted in the second overtime which provided the final margin.

The Wolves, who got red-hot in the fourth quarter to stage a successful comeback and force extra basketball, fall to 1-3 in Olympic League play, 2-11 overall.

Coupeville didn’t go down easily, however, using a 23-15 run in the final period of regulation to keep things interesting.

With three Wolves — Sage Downes, Jacobi Pilgrim and Mason Grove — combining to score all of their team’s fourth-quarter points, CHS rallied from a 33-25 deficit to knot things up at 48-48.

In the first overtime, the two squads exchanged buckets, with Downes and Pilgrim swishing three-balls while the Eagles knocked down three baskets of the old-fashioned two-point variety.

Still tied at 54-54, the Wolves and Eagles headed to a second four-minute extra period, and Coupeville’s luck finally ran out.

Koa Davison knocked in a bucket for CHS, but Klahowya slid four of its six free throws through the net in the second OT to finally ice the game.

The wild finale capped a game which started off a little slowly.

Klahowya led just 9-6 after the first quarter, held serve at 16-13 at the half, then inched further ahead with a 17-12 surge in the third.

That was when Coupeville turned up the offensive heat, with Downes, who hadn’t scored before that, suddenly raining down nine points in the fourth.

Pilgrim added eight and Grove hit a pair of three-balls to round out the 23-point uprising for the Wolves.

For the game, Pilgrim paced CHS with 14, while Downes dropped in 12 and Grove, who had seven in the fourth quarter of the varsity game, added 11 in three quarters of JV action.

Davison (6), Daniel Olson (5), Jean-Lund Olsen (5), Gavin Knoblich (2) and Jake Pease (1) also scored for the Wolves, who hit 10 three-balls on the night.

   Nicole Lester dropped in four points and was a force on the boards Tuesday against Klahowya. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

For two quarters-plus Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad was locked in a war with visiting Klahowya.

But then it all slipped away.

A 16-0 third-quarter run by the Eagles, spurred by a shutdown press defense, lifted the visitors to a 41-27 win in a game that felt a lot closer than the score might sound.

The loss drops the Wolf young guns to 2-3 in Olympic League play, 6-9 overall.

Coupeville, which led after the first quarter, knotted things at 16-16 on the opening play of the second half.

Maddy Hilkey cranked up a jumper from the left side and hit nothing but net, causing local fans to lean forward in anticipation.

Even after Klahowya netted a layup and free throw to edge out in front, the Wolves countered with their own freebie off of the fingertips of Avalon Renninger.

With the deficit just a bucket at 19-17, anything seemed possible.

Except it wasn’t.

Frustrated by the Eagles, who launched a back-court trap on them, the Wolves went through an extremely rough stretch for several minutes.

CHS turnovers piled up, with Klahowya turning many of them into breakaway layups, and what was a close game turned into a 35-17 rout as the third-quarter clock headed towards 0:00.

Renninger finally stopped the bleeding, hitting a silky runner in the paint off of a ball tipped her way by Hilkey, and the Wolves showed some grit down the stretch.

Coupeville closed the game on a 10-6 surge, scoring the final two buckets in both the third and fourth quarter.

Better yet, that late run featured four different Wolves — Renninger, Nicole Lester, Ashlie Shank and Genna Wright — banking home buckets.

Wright’s came on a put-back off of a rebound, nice payback after she got her head yanked clean off her neck by a rabid Eagle on a previous play.

So blatant it caused dad Ron to bellow “Hey now!” from the stands, it, nonetheless, failed to generate a foul call from refs who were letting the clock run out as they apparently had dinner reservations they needed to make.

Shank paced the Wolves with eight points, while Renninger (7), Lester (4), Hilkey (4), Wright (2) and Mollie Bailey (2) also scored.

Tia Wurzrainer, Kylie Chernikoff and Julia García Oñoro also saw floor time for Coupeville, with each playing tough defense down in the trenches.

   With 725 points, Hunter Smith needs six Friday to move into 15th place all-time on the Coupeville boys career scoring chart. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This one stings a bit.

Suffering through a cold-shooting night Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys basketball squad dropped a game it needed and wanted.

Falling 51-37 on the road at Klahowya, the Wolves took a step back, sliding into third-place in the Olympic League.

Coupeville gets a strong chance to bounce back Friday, when it hosts win-less Chimacum on the 101st anniversary of the first hoops game in school history, but that doesn’t lessen Tuesday’s dashed hopes.

“Really just not in sync tonight. Never could get much going,” said CHS coach Brad Sherman. “Not the game we expected, but it is what it is.

“Thankfully we play them three times,” he added. “The series is still up for grabs and we know those are games we are more than capable of competing to win.”

Coupeville drops to 2-2 in league play, 4-10 overall, which leaves the Wolves trailing Port Townsend (4-1, 8-5) and Klahowya (3-1, 7-7). Chimacum (0-5, 0-9) brings up the rear.

The Wolves still have five league games left, however, with a trip back to Klahowya Saturday coming hot on the heels of Friday’s bout with Chimacum.

So, while he would have preferred a win Tuesday, Sherman knows there is still much to be resolved.

“We aren’t even half way done with our league schedule, so yes, that one hurts, but we have to keep our focus on the next one,” he said. “This group of guys is very capable of putting a run together, but they really need to believe it.

“Back to work tomorrow!”

The Eagles never really blew the Wolves out, but just steadily built a lead, turning a 14-9 advantage after one into a 23-13 lead at the half, and a 34-20 bulge headed to the final eight minutes.

In that final quarter, Coupeville held its own, with the two teams ramping up their offenses in a 17-17 battle royal.

Sophomore Mason Grove, popping up for a quarter from the JV squad, nailed a pair of three-balls and a free throw in the final quarter to pace the Wolf attack.

For the game senior Hunter Smith topped CHS with 12 points, running his career total to 725.

He is six points from passing Dan Nieder (729) and Steve Whitney (730) to move into 15th place on the Wolf boys hoops career scoring list.

Ethan Spark dropped in eight in support, while Grove and Joey Lippo knocked down seven apiece and Cameron Toomey-Stout hit a three-ball.

John Hartford led Klahowya with a game-high 18.

Back in first!!

   Defensive hustle, like this shown by Ema Smith in an earlier game, has kept the Wolf girls in games this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The road to an Olympic League girls basketball title still goes through Coupeville.

While this year’s Wolves, battered by injuries and defections, aren’t running roughshod like they did the previous three seasons, they are still very much in the hunt for another crown.

That much was shown Tuesday, when CHS used a blistering defensive stand to throttle visiting Klahowya 28-17.

With the win, the Wolves rise to 3-2 in league play, 5-11 overall, and force a three-way tie at the top of the conference with four league games to play.

Port Townsend (3-2, 5-8) and Chimacum (3-2, 6-8), which Coupeville faces Friday, are part of the logjam, while Klahowya (1-4, 3-11) brings up the rear.

Facing off Tuesday with an Eagles squad which was coming off a big win over Chimacum, the Wolves clamped down and never let up.

Ferocious on the boards, Coupeville hounded Klahowya into a ton of bad shots and then snatched away the resulting rebounds.

While their own offensive prowess fluctuated throughout the game, the Wolves also proved deadly at the line, where they had a 13-5 advantage in made free throws.

The game didn’t exactly get off to a roaring start on the offensive end, as neither team scored in the first three minutes-plus, while Klahowya didn’t sink its first bucket until the 2:31 mark of the first quarter.

Clinging to a 4-2 lead at the first break, the Wolves promptly went scoreless for almost the first half of the second quarter.

But then, with the game knotted at 4-4, Scout Smith handed her squad a lead it would never relinquish.

The Wolf sophomore slashed to the hoop, drew the foul, then calmly swished a pair of free throws through the net to kick-start what would be an 11-0 run to end the half.

Scout Smith also drilled a jumper from the side during the surge, while Ema Smith, playing on a bum leg, but hiding it well, dropped in five, packaging a pair of buckets around a free throw.

Hannah Davidson slid a pair of free throws through the net with just a few ticks to play, and with Coupeville’s defense refusing to bend to Klahowya’s will, the game was 15-4 and firmly headed to the win column at the break.

The second half was a fairly even battle, with Lindsey Roberts stepping in to the spotlight to seal the deal for the Wolves.

The long ‘n lanky junior cleaned the boards like a pro, threw down seven points with a variety of moves — including a three-ball and a beautiful catch-and-roll through the paint for a layup — then punctuated things with a spike.

Late in the fourth, Klahowya was out on the break and had numbers, but Roberts, coming from behind, went airborne and firmly rejected an Eagle shot off the back wall.

Catching the ball with her fingertips, while avoiding the shooter’s body, she effectively ended the night’s conversation with a firm “No, ma’am!!”

Roberts block was emblematic of the defensive grit which has kept the Wolves afloat, even after they lost their #1 scorer when Mikayla Elfrank suffered a brutal ankle injury mid-season.

“Our defense keeps us in games and has really improved as the season has gone on,” said Coupeville coach David King. “Always happy to see us play like that.”

While Roberts was a one-woman wrecking crew, King also hailed the defensive work of others such as Sarah Wright, Allison Wenzel and Hannah Davidson, who “had her best game of the season.”

Coupeville, as it has done for much of the season, spread out its offensive workload, with Roberts tossing in a team-high nine.

Ema Smith banked home seven in support, while Scout Smith and Kyla Briscoe each added four.

Davidson and Wright rounded out the scoring with two apiece, Wenzel and Chelsea Prescott brought hustle when they were on the floor and Elfrank and Avalon Renninger were solid cheerleaders for their teammates.

   Sean Dillon (22) goes airborne, but the basketball refuses to make the trip with him.

   Randy Keefe knows when you’re the #3 scorer in school history, somebody, somewhere, is always going to be taking your photo.

   The rough-and-tumble hoops legends of the early ’50s look ready to start a back alley brawl.

Wolf coach Bob Barker rocks legendary pants.

   Praying to the hardwood Gods. Oh wait, they could be just looking for Marc Bissett’s lost contacts lens…

Foster Faris cuts down the nets.

Trophy in hand, Keefe waits for his post-game radio interview.

Old-school or new-school. Short shorts or long shorts. Layups or three-balls. All-League or bench warmers.

Doesn’t matter what decade you played, what style you used or how much floor time you got.

If you wore the Wolf uniform, or coached, or kept stats, or managed, or cheered at any point during the 101 years Coupeville High School boys basketball has been active, this Friday is for you.

CHS is throwing an anniversary shindig centered around its home game with Chimacum (JV 3:30, varsity 5:15), and everyone is invited back.

The school, with a lot of help from tech whiz kid Katey Wilson, is producing a snazzy collectible game program, which will feature info on the first CHS hoops game in 1917, the immortal ’69-’70 team and the Top 15 career scorers.

There will be festivities at halftime, then every former Wolf in attendance can be part of an epic “team” photo after the game.

Finally, current Wolf basketball moms are providing refreshments (cake!!) for a post-game reception in the health room, which is right outside the entrance to the gym, inside the same building.

As we head towards anniversary day, we’ve been dropping vintage photos left and right here on Coupeville Sports, and today’s come to us courtesy Renae (Keefe) Mulholland and Kimberly (Stuurmans) Bepler.