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Coupeville grad Makana Stone rattled the rims for a game-high 22 points Saturday as Whitman pounded Linfield. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hello first-place, my old friend.

Riding high after a big win Saturday night, the Whitman College women’s basketball team is back on top of the Northwest Conference standings.

The Blues did their part, bashing visiting Linfield College 82-63 in Walla Walla behind a game-high 22 points from Coupeville grad Makana Stone.

But they also got a little help, as Pacific Lutheran University shocked Pacific University 61-58 in Tacoma, handing the Boxers their first league loss.

Now, Whitman, 7-1 in conference action, 15-2 overall, moves back into a tie with Pacific (7-1, 13-4) atop the nine-team league, two games up on George Fox (5-3, 13-4) with eight to play.

The Blues, whose only league loss was a one-point thriller against Pacific, gets their rematch with the Boxers February 15 in Walla Walla.

Until then, Whitman will hit the road, playing its next four games away from the Sherwood Athletic Center.

Next weekend, the Blues travel to Tacoma to play PLU and the University of Puget Sound.

Saturday, Whitman led from start to finish, busting out to an 8-0 lead and never looking back.

A 25-20 advantage after one quarter stretched out to a 42-31 lead at the half, then a 61-44 bulge headed into the final frame.

Stone paced the Blues, dropping in 14 of her 22 in the first half, while three of her teammates also finished with double-digits scoring.

Kaylie McCracken pumped in 16, Mady Burdett banked home 14, and Shaira Young tickled the twines for 11.

Along with her point explosion, Stone added eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a blocked shot in 30 minutes of floor time.

On the season, the former Wolf star has 264 points, 130 rebounds, 25 assists, 20 steals, and 16 blocks, while shooting 109-202 (53.9%) from the floor and 43-55 (78.1%) from the free throw line.

Saturday’s game was the 100th of Stone’s collegiate career.

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Wolf cheerleader Ella Bueler stalks the perfect pic. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Hawthorne Wolfe fan club gets vocal.

Phil Renninger commands the floor.

Where the action starts.

CHS band director Jamar Jenkins fires up the drum set.

The most-experienced scorer’s table staff in the biz.

CHS girls hoops guru Scott Fox (back) swaps tales with longtime coach turned Whidbey News-Times Sports Editor Jim Waller.

Former CHS volleyball stars Ashley Menges (far left) and Maya Toomey-Stout (second from right) discuss life.

Sometimes the real action is what happens between plays on the court.

Photographer John Fisken stays busy, even when the players on the court are taking a momentary pause, and the pics above capture those supplementary moments.

From cheerleaders moonlighting as paparazzi, to band directors sitting in for their drummers, to friends and former teammates reconnecting, it’s all part of the tapestry of CHS sports.

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Daniel Olson is one of five Wolves to have topped 100 points this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The triple digit club grows.

A couple of games back we were sitting with two Coupeville High School players having cracked 100 points on the season.

Now, it’s five, with Scout Smith, Sage Downes, and Daniel Olson joining Hawthorne Wolfe and Mason Grove.

And it’s almost six, as Grady Rickner is one thin free throw away from jumping from 99 to 100.

With two open days before the Wolves return to action Friday, here’s a look at where everyone sits across Coupeville’s five hoops teams:

 

Girls Varsity
(12 games):

Scout Smith – 114
Chelsea Prescott – 85
Maddie Georges – 51
Avalon Renninger – 51
Hannah Davidson – 48
Izzy Wells – 30
Carolyn Lhamon – 15
Tia Wurzrainer – 13
Kylie Van Velkinburgh – 10
Anya Leavell – 8
Audrianna Shaw – 6
Mollie Bailey – 4
Nezi Keiper – 2

 

Boys Varsity
(13 games):

Hawthorne Wolfe – 177
Mason Grove – 161
Sean Toomey-Stout – 90
Jacobi Pilgrim – 56
Ulrik Wells – 49
Jered Brown – 47
Koa Davison – 45
Gavin Knoblich – 38
Xavier Murdy – 16
Jean Lund-Olsen – 10
Tucker Hall – 6
Daniel Olson – 2

 

Girls JV
(10 games):

Gwen Gustafson – 65
Alita Blouin – 58
Ryanne Knoblich – 49
Ella Colwell – 41
Abby Mulholland – 22
Savana Allen – 16
Jessenia Camarena – 16
Natalie Castano – 9
Audrianna Shaw – 8
Morgan Stevens – 7
Anya Leavell – 4
Heidi Meyers – 3
Kylie Van Velkinburgh – 3
Mollie Bailey – 2
Samantha Streitler – 2

 

Boys JV
(12 games):

Sage Downes – 109
Daniel Olson – 105
Grady Rickner – 99
Logan Martin – 70
Alex Murdy – 54
Cody Roberts – 41
Xavier Murdy – 33
Alex Jimenez – 26
Miles Davidson – 19
TJ Rickner – 18
Chris Cernick – 16
Andrew Aparicio – 10
Chris Ruck – 7

 

Boys C-Team
(8 games):

Dominic Coffman – 42
Ty Hamilton – 34
Brayden Coatney – 20
Ben Smith – 17
Alex Wasik – 16
Coen Killian – 13
Nick Armstrong – 9
Chris Cernick – 6
Josh Upchurch – 5
Simon Shelley – 3
Andrew Aparicio – 2
Alex Murdy – 2
Caleb Sonntag – 2

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone delivered big plays late Tuesday as Whitman held off Whitworth for an important league win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They didn’t crack.

Playing a rare Tuesday game, the Whitman College women’s basketball team blew out to a 27-point lead on the road, then gave it all back, yet still found a way to win.

With their senior leaders, Mady Burdett and Coupeville’s Makana Stone, coming up big in the final moments, the Blues held on to edge host Whitworth 84-79.

The win lifts Whitman to 6-1 in Northwest Conference play, 14-2 overall, and pulls it within a half game of league leader Pacific University, which sits at 6-0 in conference action.

The battle of the Whits looked like a blowout in the first half, as a veteran Blues squad torched a very-young Whitworth team.

With Burdett rattling home 18 first-half points, including hitting all four of her three-point attempts, Whitman surged to a 49-22 lead with seconds to go before the break.

Whitworth swished a three-ball at the very end of the half, but, in the moment, it seemed like an afterthought, a way to make a 27-point deficit look slightly better as a 24-point gap.

Instead, it was a sign of things to come, as the host Pirates suddenly started dropping treys from every part of the floor.

Hitting six shots from behind the arc in the third, including one literally at the buzzer, Whitworth scored more points in the quarter than they had in the entire first half.

And yet, even with a 30-19 tear, the Pirates still trailed the Blues 68-55 with 10 minutes to play.

That changed quickly, however, as Whitworth opened the fourth quarter with 10 straight points fueled by another pair of three-balls, eventually using a 16-3 run to knot the game up at 71-71.

Pirate sophomore gunner Sydney Abbott, who finished with a game-high 26, knifed through the Blues defense for a hard-earned running layup, then plopped in a free throw to complete the game-tying three-point play.

Whitman’s experience paid off, though, as it reclaimed the lead on a Kaylie McCracken free throw and a Taylor Chambers layup.

Then, Stone and Burdett slid back to the forefront to ice the game.

Coupeville’s progeny pulled off back-to-back sparkling plays to shove the lead from 74-72 to 78-72, and Whitman never looked back.

On the first play, Stone delivered a dagger, nailing a leaning jumper over her defender.

Then, next time down the floor, she delivered a sensational entry pass to Lily Gustafson, who banked in a runner to quiet the raucous crowd.

From there, Whitman closed the game with a series of trips to the free throw line, led by Burdett, who went 4-4 at the end to cap a 22-point night.

The senior from Edmonds tallied her 1,000th career point in the first half, joining Stone in that exclusive club.

The Blues put four players into double figures, with McCracken (16), Kaelan Shamseldin (12), and Gustafson (12) joining Burdett.

Stone, who was restricted by foul trouble much of the night, finished with nine points, five rebounds, a steal, and an assist.

On the season, the former Wolf has 242 points, 122 rebounds, 22 assists, 19 steals, and 15 blocks, and is shooting 98-184 (53.3%) from the floor and 43-55 (78.2%) at the free throw line.

Whitman returns to action with a home game Saturday against Linfield, which will be the 100th game of Stone’s collegiate career.

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CHS grad Makana Stone netted 19 points Saturday as Whitman stormed back from 16 down to beat George Fox. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

From heartbroken to heartbreakers.

A night after blowing a 19-point lead, the Whitman College women’s basketball team rallied from 16 down Saturday to pull out a stunning come-from-behind win on the road in Oregon.

Sparked by the wham-bam twins, Mady Burdett and Coupeville’s Makana Stone, the Blues thrashed George Fox University in the fourth quarter, claiming a 62-54 win.

The victory gives Whitman a weekend split, after a one-point loss at Pacific University Friday, lifting it to 5-1 in Northwest Conference play, 13-2 overall.

The Blues are a game back of Pacific (6-0, 12-3) and a game up on Linfield (4-2, 10-5) and Willamette (4-2, 10-5) with 10 games left to play in the regular season.

If George Fox (3-3, 11-4) had held on for the win, there would have been a four-team logjam for second-place.

Instead, thanks to their splendid seniors, who both left the game with third quarter injuries, only to return stronger than ever, the Blues return to Walla Walla riding a high note.

It didn’t look like it would go that way for much of the game Saturday, as George Fox came out blazing from behind the three-point arc and built a 23-13 lead after one quarter.

Things looked even worse when the Bruins stretched the margin out to 29-13 early in the second frame.

But, you live by the three-ball, you can die by the three-ball, and Whitman can sink treys with just about anyone.

The Blues got back in the game with a 12-0 run, with Burdett raining down back-to-back bombs, followed by a rainbow off the fingertips of Kaelan Shamseldin.

Stone picked up assists on treys #2 and #3, drawing the defense to her side of the floor, then kicking the ball cross-court to open teammates.

And, just to make sure everyone knows her game is well-rounded, the former CHS star then knocked down a three-ball of her own the next time down the floor.

Back within 36-31 at the half, things were looking up for Whitman.

Then came the third quarter, a frame in which the entire season seemed to totter on the edge.

Stone went down first, landing awkwardly after snagging a rebound and crashing to the floor. Then, Burdett followed her to the bench after getting smacked, hard, on a drive to the hoop.

Without their primary scoring threats as options, the Blues struggled, watching a four-point deficit balloon back out to 10 by the end of the quarter.

If Blues fans had some hope, a large part of it came when Stone and Burdett both returned late in the frame, erasing any lingering doubts they might have suffered serious injury.

George Fox was still feeling pretty good, up 50-40 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, and seemingly in control of things.

Spoiler: it was not in control.

Stone lit the fuse in the fourth with an emphatic blocked shot, then drained a pair of free throws to kick off what would become a game-breaking 18-0 run.

Back-to-back treys from Burdett fired up the Blues, Stone rolled inside for a layup to tie the game, and then Whitman claimed its first lead of the night on a pair of free throws from Kaylie McCracken.

With the Blues playing a withering defense in the fourth, George Fox’s shooting touch went into the deep freeze, and never emerged.

Held scoreless for the first nine minutes and five seconds of a 10-minute final frame, the Bruins could only weep silently as Burdett and Shamseldin capped the run with two more three-balls.

From there, Whitman iced the win at the free throw line, then danced away having decided the game with a 22-4 note-perfect performance in the fourth.

Burdett rippled the nets for six treys while hitting on a game-high 22 points, while Stone collected 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in 32 minutes of action.

On the season, Coupeville’s progeny has 233 points, 117 rebounds, 21 assists, 18 steals, and 15 blocks, while shooting 94-175 (53.7%) from the floor and 42-54 (77.7%) at the free throw line.

Stone also moved into 6th place on the Whitman women’s career scoring list Saturday, passing former teammate Casey Poe with a turnaround jumper in the first quarter.

With 1,161 points and counting, she’s 83 points away from claiming 5th.

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