Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

All the rebounds belonged to Tiffany “The Bruiser” Briscoe. All of them. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Give everything you have and you can walk away head held high.

Every coach wants a Tiffany Briscoe.

The former Coupeville High School three-sport athlete, one of the rare Wolves to play a sport in all 12 seasons of their prep career, was a rock.

Day in, day out, every practice, every game, Briscoe was there, playing her heart out, doing all the little things, always looking to improve, always supportive of her teammates, always an unsung star.

She played alongside some of the most dynamic athletes CHS has seen, and it might be easy to overlook her contributions.

But it would also be a huge injustice.

Which is why today we swing open the doors to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame and welcome home one of the ultimate blue-collar warriors.

After this, you’ll find Briscoe at the top of the blog, enshrined under the Legends tab.

It’s a fitting place to find her, because she is the kind of athlete, and kind of person, you hope other Wolves emulate.

Tiffany would be the first to tell you she didn’t have world-class, awe-inspiring natural athletic ability.

And then she would shrug her shoulders, smile, take you down in the paint, bust your fanny all game long, collect all the bruises, hug all her teammates, and walk away, proud she had helped her team.

Briscoe was a key contributor in all her sports, from volleyball to basketball to softball, helping take teams in the latter two sports to state.

There’s stats to support her making the Hall of Fame – she’s #91 all-time in scoring in CHS girls basketball history.

There’s big moments to make a case for her, like when Briscoe crushed an over-the-fence home run off of a nasty fastball from a rival pitcher who had already signed a D1 college scholarship.

That round-tripper was huge on a day when Coupeville KO’d Klahowya, its biggest diamond rival.

After three straight losses to the Eagles, Briscoe’s blow fueled a 7-6 home win which launched a sweet, and somewhat unexpected, six-game winning streak against Klahowya.

But the thing which guarantees she was going to land in the Hall is her heart.

Through big wins and tough losses, through good times and emotional heart-breakers, Briscoe NEVER stopped battling.

Never stopped working.

Never stopped living and dying for her sisters, whether they be of the flesh and blood type (lil’ sis Kyla) or of the “sisters from another mother” variety.

I’ve known Tiffany since she was a very little girl, and, as her high school athletic career played out, I was always impressed by how the important things – her drive, her desire, her compassion, her commitment – never wavered.

She grew as a young woman, finding confidence in sports and life, and she has begun the journey to making a name for herself in the big, wide world after graduating from CHS in 2017.

But, no matter where she goes, and what she accomplishes, I will always see her the way she was when she wore a Wolf uniform.

Leaning in close, eyes locked on her coach, taking in every word, totally absorbed in the game and what her mentors had to say, whether they were words of praise or the sounds of a coach in despair.

Working in the off-season with her teammates, and by herself, committed to getting every last bit of improvement out of her skills.

And then, face beaming, enjoying her time off the court with her friends and family, always willing to mug for the camera, but also aware of when it was time to do that, and when it was time to focus.

There have been a handful of athletes who have come through the gym doors at CHS, or spent time on one or more of the far-flung fields, who have operated like Briscoe did.

They are the ones we remember after the games have faded away, after scores have been forgotten, after they depart and are replaced by new stars.

During her days and nights as a Wolf athlete, there were a lot of young kids camped in the bleachers, or hanging out by the fence.

As they did so, I hope they watched Tiffany, and I hope they appreciated what she was doing.

When they pull on that high school uniform for the first time, if they remember the way she conducted herself, if they try and play like she did, they will go far.

Briscoe’s success was told in the bruises she collected.

Diving for volleyballs, even when she knew she couldn’t save all of them.

Fighting for rebounds, taking and dealing out elbows and daring anyone to try and budge her from her assigned chunk of hardwood.

Regularly absorbing wayward pitches like she had magnets in her arms and legs that attracted only softballs, then bouncing down to take her free base while gritting her teeth and smiling at her coach through the pain.

I said it once, I said it twice, I’ll keep saying it time and time again.

Tiffany Briscoe was a warrior.

When she walked away, at the end of her final softball season, she cried, because she knew it was over. But she smiled too, because she had no regrets.

I hope when she looks back, she remembers her time as a Wolf athlete with pride, and with joy.

Heart, above all else, and none with a bigger heart than Tiffany.

It’s why she’s a Hall of Famer.

Read Full Post »

Coupeville’s Makana Stone led Whitman College women’s basketball in 12 statistical categories during her junior season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, that’s unfortunate.

The pinheads running the NCAA D-III women’s basketball national championships left Whitman College out of the 64-team bracket, bringing a quicker-than-expected end to Makana Stone’s junior campaign.

The former Coupeville ace misses March Madness for the first time in three seasons.

As a freshman, Stone and the Blues won three games in the tourney, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked out. Last year, Whitman fell in the first round to East Texas Baptist.

This time around, despite boasting a 20-7 record and having been ranked in the top 25 several times, the Blues were denied a ticket to the dance.

George Fox University (24-3), the regular-season and postseason tourney champs, were the only school from the Northwest Conference to make the field.

Even then, the Bruins were surprisingly denied a home game to open the tourney, and will travel to St. Louis to face Greenville University (23-4).

Whitman, which went 13-3 in league play and finished second in the nine-team conference, came within a win of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

The Blues scorched Puget Sound in the semifinals of the league postseason tourney, but suffered through a turnover-riddled night in the championship game against George Fox.

Stone had the best season of her time in Walla Walla, earning First-Team All-Conference honors for a second-straight season and earning Player of the Week three times.

She led the Blues in 12 different statistical categories, including scoring average, hitting for 14.9 points a game.

The former Wolf star finished with 388 points, 227 rebounds, 40 assists, 31 steals, and 21 blocked shots in 26 games.

Stone hit on 162-318 from the floor (50.9%) and 63-79 (79.7%) from the free throw line.

With a season left, Coupeville’s progeny sits on the cusp of hitting a host of statistical milestones during her senior season.

She has 928 points, 440 rebounds, 123 assists, 65 steals, and 39 blocks for her career, putting her dangerously close to cracking both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound club.

Stone has hit 394-781 field goal attempts (50.4%) and 139-199 free throw tries (69.8%), and Whitman has rolled to a 68-17 record since she first pulled on a Blues uniform.

Read Full Post »

Makana Stone collected 10 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals Saturday in a college basketball playoff game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Now they wait to find out their fate.

Swamped by too many turnovers and too many missed shots, especially from outside the paint, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad came up short Saturday in Newberg, OR.

Falling 66-52 to host George Fox University in the championship game of the Northwest Conference postseason tourney, the Blues fell a win shy of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA D-III national championships.

While George Fox (24-3) is definitely on its way to March Madness, Whitman (20-7) waits until the selection show Monday to find out if it gets in with at an-large bid.

The Blues have a strong body of work to support their quest for an invite, including a 19-point win over George Fox earlier this season.

Unfortunately, Whitman couldn’t repeat that victory Saturday, a game in which it got swarmed by an ultra-aggressive defense and buckled.

In a contest where 10 different Bruins scored, Whitman essentially played 2-on-5 for much of the night.

Senior Maegan Martin, who had never topped 20 in her college playing days, poured in a game-high 28, while Coupeville’s Makana Stone delivered with 10 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, and a big blocked shot.

Whitman’s twin towers got little help from their teammates, however, with no one else scoring more than three points.

In between a horrifying amount of turnovers (some forced, many not), the Blues hit on just 19 of 47 shots, including a crippling 6-21 in the first half.

For the game, the #1 three point shooting team in the league went 0-9, while George Fox rattled home 7-19.

Whitman came into the title game averaging 76 points a night, but started cold and never fully recovered.

The Blues didn’t get their first bucket until two-and-a-half minutes in, when Mady Burdett knocked down a runner.

It would be the only shot the First-Team All-Conference guard, who averages 15 points a game, would hit while being hounded relentlessly by platoons of Bruins.

Down just 16-10 at the first break, Whitman suffered through a brutal second quarter, watching its deficit balloon out to 21 points shortly before halftime.

Martin swished a pair of free throws, followed by Stone taking a steal coast-to-coast for a layup to end the half, but George Fox squashed every Whitman comeback hope in the second half.

Down by 20, the Blues ended the third on a 9-0 surge, but the Bruins immediately answered to open the fourth.

It was virtually the same seven minutes later, as Whitman, behind their interior one-two punch, closed to within 10 with a hair over three minutes to play.

George Fox promptly came up court, ran the clock down, then drilled another three-ball to permanently ice the game.

While she’s hoping for a trip to the NCAA tourney, Martin, Whitman’s lone senior, played what could be her final collegiate game with a vengeance.

An Honorable Mention selection when the NWC picked its All-Conference teams last week, she has been a strong role player all four years.

Martin’s career high entering Saturday’s game was 19 points, but she carried the Blues, hitting 11-18 from the field and 6-7 from the line.

Stone dominated the boards, with her 13 rebounds coming in a game in which no other player, on either team, collected more than six.

It was the 12th double-double for the former Wolf ace this season.

As she waits for an NCAA bid, Stone sits with 388 points, 227 rebounds, 40 assists, 31 steals, and 21 blocks during her junior campaign.

She’s hit 162-318 (50.9%) from the floor and 63-79 (79.7%) from the line.

Read Full Post »

Coupeville’s Makana Stone, here with mom Eileen, went off for 22 points and 11 rebounds Thursday in a college basketball playoff win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sweet, sweet revenge.

If you lose twice to the same team in the regular season, but bounce back to win the third meeting in the playoffs, who really cares about the first two games?

Not the Whitman College women’s basketball team, which rallied behind an inspired performance from Coupeville’s Makana Stone Thursday to derail visiting Puget Sound 69-61.

The victory, coming in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference postseason tourney, lifts the Blues to 20-6 and sends them to the tourney title game.

That game, where the winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAA D-III national championships, goes down Saturday in Newberg, OR.

Second-seeded Whitman, which avenged eight and five-point losses to #3 UPS, faces league champ George Fox (23-3) in the finale. The Bruins drilled #4 Linfield 76-49 Thursday in their semifinal game.

The title tilt will be the rubber match for the two squads, as Whitman and George Fox split their regular season bouts.

The Blues won 73-54 on the road Jan. 12, before falling 61-57 at home Feb. 8 in Walla Walla.

Thursday night’s game pitted Stone, a junior just named to her second-straight All-Conference team, against the league’s MVP, junior post player Jamie Lange.

While both played well, Coupeville’s ace came out ahead on three counts.

Stone’s game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds edged out Lange’s 18 and 11, the UPS star fouled out, and, most importantly, Whitman won.

As expected, it was a close game most of the way, just as the first two meetings between these teams played out.

Puget Sound jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but couldn’t pull away, eventually settling for a narrow 14-11 lead at the first break.

Whitman, behind six points from Stone, carried the second quarter, using a 15-12 run to knot things at 26-26 at the half.

Whatever happened in the locker room, be it a dramatic speech, or just some quality Gatorade, the Blues came out on fire in the third quarter, busting open the game.

The host team pulled out in front by eight points heading into the fourth, then eventually ran their lead all the way to a 13-point bulge in the fourth.

UPS rallied, however, twice cutting the lead to five.

That was as close as the Loggers would get, though, as Stone went off for 10 of her 22 points in the game’s final 10 minutes.

Her offensive display included a dagger of a jumper in the late going, which took the remaining air out of the visitors.

Stone added a pair of steals and two teeth-rattling blocks to her game-busting performance, while teammates Mady Burdett and Maegan Martin added 14 and 10 points respectively.

On the season, Stone sits with 378 points, 214 rebounds, 40 assists, 28 steals, and 20 blocks.

She’s hit on 158-309 field goals and 61-77 free throws.

Read Full Post »

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, a junior at Whitman College, has been named a First-Team All-Conference basketball pick for the second straight season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They still like her.

Coming off a season in which she was tabbed as a player of the week three times, Coupeville grad Makana Stone has been named a First-Team All-League pick for the second straight season by Northwest Conference women’s basketball coaches.

The Whitman College junior, who leads the Blues into the NWC tourney Thursday, was also honored after her sophomore season.

Stone is joined on the first team by Whitman junior guard Mady Burdett, as the Blues, who are 19-6 on the season, are one of two schools to land two players on the first unit.

Jamie Lange, a junior post player from the University of Puget Sound, was picked as league MVP.

Molly Danielson of Linfield, Emily Spencer of league champ George Fox, and Elizabeth Prewitt of UPS round out the first team.

Stone and Lange are the only players to repeat from last year’s first team, while Spencer and Prewitt were on the second team in 2017-2018.

Whitman’s lone senior, Maegan Martin, received Honorable Mention status.

In addition to Lange’s MVP award, the other big winners were Delsie Johnson of Lewis & Clark (Freshman of the Year) and Michael Meek of George Fox (Coach of the Year).

As she and her teammates head to what is hopefully a long postseason run, Stone sits with 356 points, 203 rebounds, 40 assists, 26 steals, and 18 blocks.

She’s shooting 149-290 (51.4%) from the floor and 57-73 (78.1%) from the line.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »