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Archive for the ‘Boys Basketball’ Category

Bill Riley has the 12th and 14th best individual scoring seasons in CHS boys basketball history. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Three players, seven of the best seasons. L to r are Randy Keefe (#7, #8, #50), Bill Jarrell (#5, #21), and Jeff Rhubottom (#2, #33). (Renae Mulholland photo)

There is no question the ’70s were a golden period for Coupeville High School boys basketball.

It started with the 1969-1970 Wolves, who were the first Whidbey Island hoops team to win a district title, the first CHS squad to go to state, and still the highest-scoring group in program history, 50 years later.

But that was just the beginning.

Whether we look at team accomplishments or individual achievement, the Me Decade players stand head and shoulders above everyone else.

That’s reflected when we look back at the 50 best single-season scoring totals put up by any Wolf hoops player.

Despite playing with no three-point line, while wearing short-shorts, ’70s players account for 19 of those slots.

No other decade even reaches double-digits, with the ’90s and 2000’s accounting for eight apiece.

The ’50s give us five, the ’60s four, and tied for last it’s the ’80s and 2010’s, which land just three top-50 performances.

Randy Keefe, who is #3 in career scoring, is the only Wolf to have three top-50 seasons, landing at #7, #8, and #50.

The only thing keeping him from making it 4-for-4? Freshmen weren’t allowed to play varsity basketball in the early ’70s.

There are 12 other Wolves who managed to crack the top 50 twice in their career, including Jeff Stone and Jeff Rhubottom, who own the best two individual performances.

Others occupying two slots include Bill Jarrell, Mike Bagby, Bill Riley, Hunter Smith, Gavin Keohane, Denny Clark, Jack Elzinga, Rich Morris, Chris Good, and Mike Criscoula.

Overall, 36 players have combined to account for the top 50 individual seasons.

As always when we discuss the 103-year history of the CHS boys basketball program, however, there is one small caveat.

We’re still missing a full season of scoring stats for Elzinga and two for Tom Sahli, who has the 39th best campaign in our semi-complete overview.

With that being said, the 50 best single-season scoring totals:

 

Jeff Stone – (644) – (1969-1970)
Jeff Rhubottom – (459) – (1977-1978)
Pete Petrov (442) – (1995-1996)
Arik Garthwaite – (423) – (1997-1998)
Bill Jarrell – (415) – (1975-1976)
Mike Bagby – (414) – (2004-2005)
Randy Keefe – (398) – (1974-1975)
Randy Keefe – (397) – (1975-1976)
Brad Sherman – (396) – (2002-2003)
Wade Ellsworth – (392) – (1978-1979)
Del O’Shell – (391) – (1981-1982)
Bill Riley – (388) – (1972-1973)
Joe Whitney – (388) – (1979-1980)
Bill Riley – (386) – (1971-1972)
Pat Clark – (384) – (1956-1957)
Hunter Smith – (382) – (2017-2018)
Cody Peters – (380) – (2008-2009)
Gavin Keohane – (374) – (1997-1998)
Denny Clark – (365) – (1963-1964)
Mike Bagby – (364) – (2005-2006)
Bill Jarrell – (357) – (1974-1975)
Gabe McMurray – (355) – (1994-1995)
Foster Farris – (348) – (1976-1977)
Timm Orsborn – (345) – (1987-1988)
Roy Marti – (342) – (1978-1979)
Virgil Roehl – (341) – (1992-1993)
Pat Bennett – (340) – (1999-2000)
Jack Elzinga – (337) – (1954-1955)
Steve Whitney – (337) – (1978-1979)
Corey Cross – (333) – (1970-1971)
Hunter Smith – (332) – (2016-2017)
Rich Morris – (328) – (1995-1996)
Jeff Rhubottom – (325) – (1976-1977)
Denny Clark – (319) – (1962-1963)
Randy Duggan – (319) – (1971-1972)
Chris Good – (319) – (2001-2002)
Jeff Stone – (317) – (1968-1969)
Dan Nieder – (313) – (1987-1988)
Tom Sahli – (310) – (1952-1953)
Jack Elzinga – (309) – (1955-1956)
Rich Morris – (309) – (1996-1997)
Mike Criscuola – (306) – (1958-1959)
Allen Black – (305) – (2003-2004)
Mike Criscuola – (305) – (1959-1960)
Chris Good – (305) – (2000-2001)
Marc Bissett – (302) – (1975-1976)
Hunter Hammer – (302) – (2009-2010)
Gavin Keohane – (300) – (1998-1999)
Pat O’Grady – (296) – (1969-1970)
Randy Keefe – (293) – (1973-1974)

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Gavin Knoblich, born to be a star. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gavin Knoblich was as solid as they come.

Some athletes blaze hot for a bit, arcing high into the skies, while sometimes crashing back down.

But there is something to be said for the guy who shows up game after game, practice after practice, season after season, the very definition of steady.

In the moment, those players sometimes get overlooked a bit.

Take a step back and look at the whole picture, though, and their worth is magnified tenfold.

Five years from now, 10 years, 20 years, Wolf fans will reflect on what the lanky, affable Knoblich quietly accomplished, and they will know the truth – he was one of the best we ever had.

This was a kid who got stronger, and taller, and more talented, as he worked his way through CMS and then CHS, but two things never, ever changed as he grew into a man.

First, he never failed to give us all he had.

Gavin wasn’t always the one who got to amass the big stats, but he was utterly indispensable.

He did the dirty work, he fought for every moment, he always backed up his teammates, he was the glue every team has to have.

And secondly, he did it all while remaining the same genuinely nice guy from start to finish.

Gavin could flex with the best of them, if he wanted to, but look at sports photos over the years, and he’s smiling in almost every single one, whether it’s a portrait or he’s on the rampage.

Put him on a football field, and he used his length and soft hands to become a top-notch receiver, pulling in passes over the outstretched arms of defensive backs who couldn’t control him.

Touchdown, incoming.

When the Wolves went on defense, Gavin hit with intensity, wrapped people up, refused to let foes escape or evade.

He was a genuine two-way terror, but one who also, after big wins or tough losses, always had the grace to immediately go hug mom Mariah and pose with lil’ sis Ryanne for photos.

Gavin’s prep sports career carried over to the basketball court, where he was a rebounding machine with an often-sweet touch on his jumper.

He could stroke it from three-point land when given the chance, but, again, he often sacrificed the spotlight to set up those around him.

That he made the extra pass, always looked for the open teammate, jumped into the fray to fight for loose balls and absorb elbows swung at his head, marked him as a valuable part of the Wolf attack.

And that selflessness carried over to the final stop on his sports arc, the baseball diamond.

No matter the position he played, Gavin was a rock for the CHS hardball squad.

But it’s somehow appropriate that his most enduring moments came when he was buried under the protective gear of a catcher, crouched behind the plate, joking with the umpire, then whipping throws to second to nail dead-on-arrival runners.

“They run, I gun. They lose, I win. Every time.”

Gavin was on the receiving end of some of the more memorable throws in recent memory, whether he was pulling in lasers from Joey Lippo, or Kyle Rockwell, or a dozen others.

Some times, though, the CHS catcher was the one rockin’ the arm.

During one tense battle with Chimacum, a 1-0 Wolf win to move into first place, every play mattered twice as much as normal.

Or, at least it seemed that way.

At one point, Coupeville hurler Matt Hilborn cracked off a third strike, only to have the ball hit Knoblich’s mitt at an odd angle and skid away.

The Cowboy hitter dropped his bat and tried to get his feet churning, looking for a free base, but, behind him, Gavin shocked the world.

Exploding out of his crouch, Knoblich scrambled to the backstop, snared the ball on a hop, whirled and launched a moonshot of a throw (all while rocking/falling backwards, thus greatly increasing the difficulty of the maneuver).

Up, up, up, the ball went, then it plunged out of the sky, plopping right into the outstretched glove proffered by Wolf first baseman Julian Welling, arriving a half-second ahead of one extremely-agitated runner.

The umpire pumped his fist, the Wolves went crazy, and Gavin?

He turned around, picked up his discarded mask, smiled at his mom in the stands, then went right back to work.

Like a boss.

I feel for Gavin, who, like the other senior athletes in the CHS Class of 2020, won’t get a final season this spring.

Life isn’t always fair, whether it throws a pandemic at us, or a war, as it did for many who saw prep sports careers end early after Pearl Harbor.

But today, tomorrow, or years from now, when Wolf fans look back and remember Gavin, they won’t fixate on what could have been.

Instead they will remember what was.

And that image will be of Gavin, fighting to his last ounce of sweat, always, while never forgetting to enjoy the moment and share it with those who love him the most.

I have no doubt he made his mom, and dad Clint, proud.

It’s a sentiment likely shared by his coaches, his teammates, and those who watched him play.

I can’t give Gavin his senior baseball season back, but I can give him this moment, as we induct him into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, if you pop up to the top of the blog, you’ll find Gavin camped out under the Legends tab.

He earned it every step of the way, with his spirit and his attitude, with big plays and with small moments.

He won’t be forgotten.

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Hunter Smith, swooping to the hoop, is one of three players in CHS basketball history with his first name, joining Hunter Hammer and Hunter Downes. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

There is only one Jacobi in 103 seasons, however, and it’s Jacobi Pilgrim.

There have been seven Jason’s in a CHS varsity uniform, but the one with Bagby as his last name still stands tall.

The history of the Coupeville High School boys basketball program is my great white whale.

It stretches out across 103 seasons, and, while a chunk of the records seem all but lost to the whims of time, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of documenting things.

As of this morning, I’ve recorded 74,587 points, tossed in to the bucket by 391 different varsity players.

Our inability to completely figure out career scoring totals for ’50s supernovas Jack Elzinga and Tom Sahli remains a thorn in my side.

And, while I have two seasons from the 1920’s locked down cold (Roy Armstrong was The Man), the ’30s will probably always be a mystery, unfortunately.

But, we go with what we have, while always hoping someone, someday, will unearth a treasure trove of scorebooks from the olden, golden days.

Today, following in the footsteps of Saturday’s story about CHS girls basketball scoring by first name, we’re doing the same quarantine-related stat-shuffling.

What do we find?

When you’re talking about 103 years, and changing popularity of names, it’s a wild mishmash.

We’ve got a Banky, a Gaylord, an Ulrik, a LaVerne, a Koa, and a couple of guys named … Guy.

Plus, a Caesar, an Utz, a Zepher, a Raleigh, an Ariah, and a Boom.

Also, as expected, a whole lot of John’s, Brian’s, Jason’s, and Scott’s.

Topping them all, however, is Mike, with no less than 11 guys with that name scoring for the Wolf hoops team over the years.

Bagby, Criscuola, Syreen, Millenbach, Mallo, Ankney, Ellsworth, Brown, Duke, Lester, and Eaton, working our way down the chart.

Or is it 12, if we count the one guy who went by Michael during his b-ball days, Michael Vaughan?

While the Coupeville girls program has five letters (F, O, Q, U, and X) which have never appeared at the start of a first name, part of that may be due to their much-briefer history.

With 103 seasons to just 46, the Wolf boys rep every letter except Y.

Y not, one asks?

Is no one brave enough to name their son after the hero in the 1982 sci-fi “classic” Yor, Hunter from the Future?

While we wait for that day, Xavier Murdy, Oscar Liquidano, and Quinten Farmer are the first, and so far, only ones, to stand tall for their opening initials.

As is Ian Smith, as in somewhat of a surprise to me, I is also one of the four letters with just one Wolf boy to call its own.

Maybe all the moms and dads just slid by I and landed on J, because, with 59 players, it routs the field.

R (42), D (38), and B (37) made decent runs, but it’s still a blowout.

Cause, it’s basketball, and when you need someone to drain a J, you turn to a J.

Simple as that.

 

How the letters rank, with total boys followed by total points:

A – 12/2771
B – 37/9045
C – 29/5867
D – 38/5583
E – 12/1356
F – 4/1142
G – 19/4658
H – 8/2848
I – 1/324
J – 59/11,236
K – 12/1738
L – 6/196
M – 32/6479
N – 9/1454
O – 1/1
P – 7/3169
Q – 1/75
R – 42/6560
S – 21/2930
T – 29/3850
U – 2/478
V – 2/877
W – 4/1476
X – 1/99
Y – zip
Z – 3/375

 

By first names:

Aaron (2) – 601
Alan (1) – 198
Alex (1) – 272
Allen (1) – 305
Andrew (3) – 295
Anthony (1) – 176
Ariah (1) – 5
Arik (1) – 867
Asa (1) – 52
Banky (1) – 44
Barry (1) – 769
Ben (5) – 914
Bill (5) – 1957
Blaine (1) – 393
Blake (1) – 299
Bob (2) – 321
Bobby (1) – 7
Boom (1) – 275
Brad (5) – 1978
Brandon (1) – 245
Brandy (1) – 58
Brian (8) – 1318
Bruce (1) – 9
Bryan (1) – 99
Bud (1) – 19
Byron (1) – 340
Caesar (1) – 369
Caleb (2) – 499
Cameron (1) – 80
Carson (1) – 86
Casey (2) – 654
Cedric (1) – 17
Chad (3) – 549
Charlie (3) – 371
Chris (6) – 1248
Christian (2) – 211
Chuck (2) – 42
CJ (1) – 54
Cody (1) – 518
Corey (1) – 811
Craig (1) – 132
Curt (1) – 226
Dale (2) – 357
Dalton (2) – 95
Dan (3) – 850
Dane (1) – 20
Daniel (3) – 42
Danny (1) – 36
Dante (1) – 34
Dave (4) – 91
David (3) – 885
Dean (2) – 88
DeAndre (1) – 56
Del (1) – 440
Dennis (1) – 57
Denny (3) – 1409
Desmond (1) – 11
Dick (1) – 352
DJ (1) – 13
Don (3) – 549
Doug (1) – 45
Drew (1) – 56
Duane (1) – 76
Dustin (1) – 21
Ed (2) – 225
Eddie (1) – 45
Ellis (1) – 56
Eric (3) – 392
Erick (1) – 40
Erik (2) – 69
Ethan (1) – 352
Evan (1) – 177
Foster (1) – 668
Frank (2) – 465
Fred (1) – 9
Gabe (2) – 908
Gary (3) – 984
Gavin (3) – 952
Gaylord (1) – 41
Geoff (2) – 381
George (2) – 148
Glen (1) – 12
Glenn (1) – 350
Greg (2) – 852
Guy (2) – 30
Harold (1) – 323
Harvey (1) – 265
Hawthorne (1) – 410
Henry (1) – 14
Hugh (1) – 145
Hunter (3) – 1691
Ian (1) – 324
Jack (1) – 646
Jacobi (1) – 111
James (3) – 511
Jared (1) – 24
Jason (7) – 1410
Jay (1) – 21
JD (2) – 378
Jean (1) – 17
Jeff (6) – 2300
Jered (1) – 156
Jeremy (2) – 64
Jerry (3) – 630
Jesse (1) – 119
Jim (6) – 1195
Jimmy (1) – 9
JJ (2) – 596
Joe (7) – 1153
Joel (1) – 217
Joey (1) – 121
John (7) – 1301
Jon (1) – 11
Jordan (2) – 230
Josh (1) – 16
Keith (2) – 319
Ken (1) – 11
Kevin (2) – 345
Kit (1) – 275
Koa (1) – 94
Kole (1) – 12
Kraig (1) – 8
Kramer (1) – 636
Kyle (2) – 38
Larry (1) – 26
LaVerne (1) – 12
Len (1) – 61
Les (1) – 69
Lewis (1) – 25
Luke (1) – 3
Marc (2) – 600
Marion (1) – 2
Mark (2) – 190
Martin (1) – 58
Marvin (2) – 68
Mason (1) – 414
Matt (7) – 605
Meryl (1) – 1
Michael (1) – 337
Mike (9) – 3639
Mitch (2) – 310
Monty (1) – 155
Morgan (2) – 100
Nate (1) – 5
Nevin (1) – 40
Nic (1) – 5
Nick (3) – 803
Noah (1) – 301
Noel (1) – 298
Norm (1) – 2
Oscar (1) – 1
Pat (5) – 2250
Paul (1) – 2
Pete (1) – 917
Quentin (1) – 75
Raleigh (1) – 1
Ralph (2) – 33
Randy (4) – 1869
Ray (2) – 397
Rich (3) – 856
Richard (4) – 514
Rick (4) – 321
Risen (1) – 291
Rob (2) – 26
Robbie (1) – 2
Robert (4) – 49
Robin (1) – 342
Roger (1) – 168
Ron (3) – 247
Ross (1) – 77
Roy (3) – 822
Rusty (1) – 3
Ryan (4) – 542
Sam (1) – 58
Sandy (1) – 118
Scott (7) – 504
Sean (3) – 960
Shawn (1) – 197
Sid (1) – 3
Stanley (1) – 48
Stephen (1) – 2
Steve (4) – 1024
Steven (1) – 16
Taylor (1) – 114
Ted (1) – 91
Teo (1) – 2
Terry (1) – 277
Tim (4) – 424
Timm (1) – 345
Toby (1) – 28
Todd (2) – 41
Tom (4) – 822
Tony (3) – 504
Tracy (1) – 3
Travis (1) – 10
Trent (1) – 23
Trevor (2) – 216
Troy (2) – 305
Tucker (1) – 6
Ty (1) – 369
Tyler (1) – 270
Ulrik (1) – 152
Utz (1) – 326
Vance (1) – 203
Virgil (1) – 674
Wade (1) – 659
Wayne (2) – 185
Wiley (1) – 632
Xavier (1) – 99
Zack (1) – 66
Zeb (1) – 35
Zepher (1) – 274

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Jeff Stone torched the nets for 644 points in the 1969-1970 season, the best single-season performance in Whidbey Island history. (Photos courtesy Stone)

Tim Quenzer slices ‘n dices the defense.

Pat O’Grady lofts a sweet jumper.

Bob Barker (left), the coach of the 69-70 squad, reunites with Stone during the 101st anniversary of CHS hoops in 2018. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

History waits for no man.

A week from today marks the 50th anniversary of arguably the biggest moment in the 100+ year run of Coupeville High School sports.

On March 4, 1970, the Wolf boys basketball team, coached by Bob Barker, stepped on to the floor to face Ritzville in the state basketball tourney.

It was the first time a CHS team had made it to the big dance in any sport, and that game, and another the next day against Kittitas, signaled the arrival of Coupeville on the main stage.

The 1969-1970 Wolf boys hoops team is still the standard-bearer for the program, five decades later.

Even with the addition of the three-point shot and other wrinkles tossed in to the game to fire up offenses, no one has touched the numbers rung up by that squad.

Jeff Stone rattled the rims for 644 points across 24 games, including a school-record 48 in a district title win against Darrington, while the Wolves as a team dropped in 1,836 points, breaking 100 four times.

All of those numbers, and the 114 scored in a win against Watson-Groen, still stand as the best in CHS history 50 years later.

While Coupeville fell in close games in both state bouts, it finished 20-4 and remains a revered team, not only for its scoring prowess, but for its landmark achievements.

When the Wolves beat Darrington 84-62, they became the first Whidbey Island basketball team to win a district title, beating out Oak Harbor and South Whidbey/Langley in the chase for immortality.

Stone’s 48-point explosion, which came on 17-28 shooting from the floor and 14-16 from the free-throw line, has never been seriously challenged.

And his numbers could have been bigger, as Barker pulled his 6-foot-4 tower of power with a full 90 seconds left to play.

Stone’s scoring, and his team’s season of success, were big in the moment.

Fifty years later, they’re even bigger.

 

The 1969-1970 CHS boys basketball team:

Bob Barker (Head Coach)
Craig Pedlar
(Assistant Coach)

Pat Brown
Corey Cross
Marvin Darst
Tim Leese
Ralph Lindsay
Glenn Losey
Mike Mallo
Pat O’Grady
Tim Quenzer
Jeff Stone
Randy Stone
Jim Syreen

Bob Mueller (Manager)
Geoff Stone (Manager)

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Coupeville senior Mason Grove was named a Second-Team All-Conference pick for his play on the basketball court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove exited with a flourish.

The Coupeville High School senior was named a Second-Team All-League player when North Sound Conference basketball coaches got together to discuss season-ending honors.

Grove was honored for a season in which he led the Wolves in scoring during league games, hitting for 15.9 a night against NSC foes.

His farewell present was the big news Tuesday, as the CHS boys hoops teams capped the 2019-2020 season with an awards banquet.

For CHS coaches Brad Sherman, Chris Smith, and Patrick Upchurch, the night brought an end to a successful season.

“Great banquet tonight,” Sherman said. “Good chance to thank those who do so much to make the season a possibility, and honor our athletes who work so hard.

“Plus the cake was really good.”

Wolf coaches honored their players for their commitment to the game, as well as their work with the next generation of stars.

“Through the Wolf Buddies program at the elementary school, as well as our Saturday Youth Basketball Program, the boys continue to make an impact on the youth in our community,” Sherman said. “And that’s something they should be very proud of.”

 

The awards break-down:

 

Varsity:

 

Offensive Player of the Year:

Mason Grove

 

Defensive Player of the Year:

Koa Davison

 

Heart of the Wolfpack Award:

Chris Ruck

 

Wolf Way Player of the Year:

Sean Toomey-Stout

 

Commitment to Service Award:

James Wood
Aram Leyva

 

Varsity Letter Winners:

Jered Brown
Koa Davison
Mason Grove
Gavin Knoblich
Jean Lund-Olsen
Xavier Murdy
Jacobi Pilgrim
Chris Ruck
Sean Toomey-Stout
Ulrik Wells
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

Varsity Participation Certificate:

Tucker Hall

 

JV:

 

Offensive Player of the Year:

Logan Martin

 

All-Around Player of the Year:

Grady Rickner

 

Captains:

Alex Jimenez
Daniel Olson
Grady Rickner

 

JV Participation Certificates:

Andrew Aparicio
Chris Cernick
Miles Davidson
Sage Downes
Alex Jimenez
Logan Martin
Daniel Olson
Grady Rickner
TJ Rickner
Cody Roberts
Chris Ruck

 

C-Team:

 

Captains:

Dominic Coffman
Ty Hamilton

 

C-Team Participation Certificates:

Nick Armstrong
Brayden Coatney
Dominic Coffman
Ty Hamilton
Coen Killian
Caleb Sonntag
Josh Upchurch
Alex Wasik

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