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Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

Lindsey Roberts, doin’ work. (Photos by JohnPhotos.net)

No pressure, Lindsey Roberts, but this is your year.

In much the same way last year was about Hunter Smith making a run at claiming all the records, the 2018-2019 school year is set up to be the Year of Lou.

Even after dealing with an injury which cost him half his senior season, Smith graduated owning seven CHS football records.

He followed that up by burning up the nets, finishing his basketball career as the 11th highest scorer in Wolf boys basketball history.

While baseball stats are a trickier thing to track in the world of Cow Town sports, Smith put a cap on things by being named Olympic League MVP and helping lead the Wolves to their second conference crown in three years.

He was one of the best we’ve ever seen in a Coupeville uniform, and Roberts, a senior this year, is much the same.

Her parents, Jon and Sherry, are both former CHS Athlete of the Year winners.

Uncle Jay? Still on the school’s track record board 30+ years after graduation, a board where his niece appears three times already.

Lindsey’s cousins Madeline and Ally were stars, her grandfather Sandy a living legend, but Lou is primed to pass them all.

More than any other active athlete at CHS, she is within striking distance of breaking, tying or making a run at records – and in every one of her three sports.

So, here’s what to keep an eye on as the new school year unfolds:

 

Soccer:

Admittedly, this is the one which would be most difficult for her to accomplish.

Mia Littlejohn holds the CHS girls soccer career scoring record with 35 goals, and Kalia Littlejohn was hot on her heels with 33 through her first three seasons.

With Kalia opting not to play as a senior, Mia’s record gets a reprieve, and Roberts inherits the mantle as the leading active scorer for the Wolves.

She has 13 goals, notching six apiece the past two seasons after tallying a lone goal as a freshman.

Making that more impressive, she’s done so while playing almost exclusively as a defender, albeit one blessed with a cannon for a leg.

It’s more likely Genna Wright, who torched the nets for 10 goals as a freshman last year, will be the one ultimately coming for the record.

Still, you can’t discount the offensive fireworks Roberts can launch, even if she’s doing it from half a field away.

 

Basketball:

With a season to play, Roberts sits 36th all-time on the Wolf girls scoring chart with 298 points, and has increased her point totals each year.

She tossed in 54 as a frosh (good for #6 on the squad), raised that to 83 as a sophomore (#4), then soared to 161 as a junior, which topped the team.

While it’s unlikely she’ll catch Brianne King (1549), Zenovia Barron (1270) or Makana Stone (1158) atop the charts, Roberts still stands a very good chance of making a run at the top 20.

She stands 102 points away from becoming the 23rd Wolf girl to crack 400 career points, and a repeat of her 161-point junior year performance would carry her to #18 on the all-time list.

 

Track:

Roberts final prep season could be her greatest moment.

She enters her senior season having already claimed five state meet medals – a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th – and is one of only 10 Wolves, and one of only four girls, across 118 years, to pile up that kind of hardware.

Within her reach? Exiting as the most-decorated CHS female track athlete in school history.

If Roberts wins at least one medal next spring, and she has done so in each of her three previous seasons, she breaks a tie with Yashmeen Knox and rises to tie Natasha Bamberger.

Two medals, she joins Makana Stone with seven, or match her freshman total of three, and she finishes with eight, trailing only Tyler King (11) and Kyle King (10).

Roberts came dangerously close to winning a state title in the hurdles as a junior, nipped at the end by Lillian Kirry, a sophomore from Chewelah.

If she can return the favor next spring, Roberts would be the first Wolf to win a state title in any sport since Tyler King wore the 1A boys cross country crown in 2010.

So, buckle in, keep an eye on the stats and prepare for eight months of excitement — the Year of Lou begins.

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Early morning gym rats (l to r) Alana Mihill, Makana Stone, Ema Smith and Ja’Kenya Hoskins. (Eileen Stone photo)

The early bird gets the basket.

Former Coupeville hoops legend Makana Stone, just back from an all-star tour through Brazil and soon to head back to Whitman College for her junior season, is back on The Rock and still working hard.

She was in the CHS gym at the crack of dawn (6 AM or so) Saturday, and invited current Wolves to join her.

Three hoops stars, senior Ema Smith, and incoming freshmen Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Alana Mihill, accepted the challenge and were ruthless with their snooze buttons.

With Stone set for one more early morning workout Sunday at her alma mater, it presents an ideal opportunity for a Wolf legend to give back, and for current players to emulate the player they would all like to grow up to be.

“This is what it takes to improve your game,” said CHS coach Amy King. “Way to go, and a huge thanks to Makana for allowing them to join her.”

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Coupeville players confer during a break in the action at a summer hoops camp in Eastern Washington. (Photos by Amy King)

Lunch time, with senior Ema Smith (center) shepherding the freshmen.

   Smith, fully embracing a leadership role, offers an assist to injured teammate Audrianna Shaw.

Mollie Bailey (left) and Anya Leavell work on a word search during a team bonding exercise.

   Shaw, Ja’Kenya Hoskins (center) and Kylie Van Velkinburgh beat the heat with icy treats.

   18 Wolves made the trip East, the biggest turnout for summer camp in many years for the CHS girls.

The wounds of war.

CHS varsity coach David King draws up a play for the Wolf JV players.

Work in the summer to prosper in the winter.

That’s the mindset for Coupeville High School girls basketball players, who spent a chunk of vacation time this past week putting in time on courts at Eastern Washington University.

The team’s annual trip to summer camp, while breaking from tradition by not being at Ocean Shores, was still a big draw.

CHS coaches David and Amy King had 18 players show up, the most in years.

Almost every returning varsity player was on hand, and the incoming freshmen came out in force like never before.

Overcoming two sprained ankles, a concussion check and “quite a few bruises,” the Wolves survived playing many of their games in a converted hockey rink, returning with knowledge, game experience and team bonding memories galore.

David King’s thoughts on the trek East:

What a trip it turned out to be.

We as coaches don’t necessarily go to camp for the wins.

We go for the team bonding and building teamwork. Stretch players into roles they may not have played before. Along with working individual skills and improving our overall game.

We also wanted to work in mental toughness.

With such a big freshman group, our goal was to learn more about each player and what skills they have. It also helped them get to know us and our way of coaching and expectations.

Overall, it was a great camp and we accomplished what we wanted.

Each day we saw improvement throughout the games, with Tuesday evening and Wednesday’s games being our best.

Lindsey (Roberts) and Ja’Kenya (Hoskins) had a block party over the three days.

Lindsey started it with a run down from behind on a fast break and spiked the ball out of bounds. Ja’Kenya, game after game, had what seems like multiple blocks.

We had Mollie (Bailey) and Lily (Leedy) dazzle us with behind-the-back dribbling.

Lily pulled hers off in the last game. The varsity team went wild.

Toughness was brought by Hannah (Davidson), Nicole (Laxton) and Ella (Colwell). All three improved their post defense and post offense.

With better understanding about positioning, Ema (Smith), Chelsea (Prescott) and Abby (Mulholland) came up big for us with hitting some outside shots, along with improved defensive play for each.

Sammi (Streitler) and Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) are both solid players that help the team in many ways.

We challenged both to look for their shots.

By day three, both started looking at the basket and knocking down some shots. They understand that being an offensive threat helps the team.

Audrianna (Shaw) and Scout (Smith) led both teams from the point guard position. Looking to set up teammates along with taking their shots when open.

Tia (Wurzrainer) played with the varsity group.

This experience really helped her and showed she can play at a higher level. She also mixed it up with grabbing rebounds against much taller opponents.

Kylie Chernikoff, with one year of basketball under her belt, played on both the JV and varsity teams.

She, along with Mollie, led the JV team and gained good experience getting into games with the varsity group.

Anya (Leavell), like many other players, is a competitor. Hates to lose and will give her all.

Something we have been working on is her shot, getting more arc. Sometime on Tuesday it clicked for her and her shot started to transform.

During camp we talked about playing with the correct energy with all of the players.

Anya corralled her energy and had her two best games of camp. Others also showed progress and their games improved as well.

Morgan (Stevens), never played before. I believe one of the first to sign up for camp.

Talk bout growth over three days.

Came in very quiet and unsure. By the end of game three, her defense had improved, she was diving on the court for loose balls and battling for rebounds.

We had great leaders in Lindsey, Ema and Scout. Varsity players that put team over individual and willing to help each and every other teammate.

To prove this point — during the last JV game, Ema came over and talked with Morgan about defense.

The next time out, Morgan was aggressive when guarding her player and channeled Kylie C. with being vocal along with aggressive.

There are things that we know we need to work on; camp helps bring this to light. But the positives far outweighed the areas to improve.

Lastly, we couldn’t have done this without the support of Sherry and Jon Roberts, who let us borrow their car.

Then two freshman moms stepped up big time. Alysabeth Leedy Bonifas and Stephanie Grimm

Both took their time and vehicles to help get these players to camp! The support was outstanding! We can’t thank them enough.

Of course I can’t leave Amy out without thanking her.

She is the hardest-working person I know.

She does all of the behind the scenes stuff that keeps me on track and us organized. This year she even sacrificed more by having to stay in a dorm room while I took the easy route and stayed in a hotel.

I’m just very happy and proud of the players and how they represented themselves and Coupeville.

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   Ella Colwell, a strong rebounder for the CMS 8th graders, kicks off a final look at Wolf hoops portraits. (Photos by JohnPhotos.net)

Claire Mayne

Allie Lucero

Trinity McGee

Jordyn Rogers

Alana Mihill

Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson

Hannah Mayne

Abigail Ramirez

Angelina Gebhard

The future of Wolf girls basketball is strong.

The Coupeville Middle School 7th and 8th grade teams just capped 8-2 and 6-4 seasons, respectively, and both rosters were chock full of rising stars.

As they exit and head outside for track season, here’s a look at 10 portraits I wasn’t able to use during the regular season.

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   A rough and tumble season finale at Forks included CMS spark-plug guard Kiara Contreras suffering an ankle injury. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As season finales go, this one busted out all the fireworks.

After traveling all day Thursday, and then some, to get to Forks, the Coupeville Middle School basketball squads walked head-on into a wild afternoon on the court.

By the time the Wolves exited and headed back to the bus for their final trip home this season, they had two wins in as many games, though one came in an extremely odd manner.

The Wolf 7th graders romped to a 37-24 win, while the CMS 8th graders officially were credited with a forfeit win after the Forks coach pulled his players and took his ball home while trailing by five with 14 ticks left on the clock.

Seriously.

But first, the game that finished.

7th grade:

Carolyn Lhamon has steadily grown as a force in the paint for the Wolves, and she capped her first middle school season by throwing down a career-high 24 points.

While Lhamon by herself would have been enough to match Forks, she wasn’t alone.

Not by a long shot.

Maddie Georges tossed in seven in support, Nezi Keiper and Gwen Gustafson each added a bucket and Alita Blouin knocked down a pair of free throws to round out the attack.

With the win, the CMS 7th graders finished the season at 8-2 for first-year head coach Alex Evans.

The Wolves fell only to Sequim, a large middle school which funnels players to a 2A high school, and both of those games came down to the wire. One was decided late in the fourth, the other in overtime.

8th grade:

Where to begin?

The game was rough-and-tumble, to be charitable, with Coupeville shooting 35 free throws and losing spark-plug guard Kiara Contreras to a leg injury after she was sent intentionally flying by a Forks rival.

Up by one with 50 seconds to go, the home-town Spartans melted down mentally, throwing away the game and their cool.

Wolf scoring ace Anya Leavell struck twice, stealing a ball and turning it into a go-ahead layup, then pilfering yet another pass only to be tackled to the floor.

Unable to continue, she had to be replaced at the free throw line, with Coupeville coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh calling on Abby Mulholland to do the honors.

“Enter the momentum-swinging hero! After playing less than a minute, Abby steps to the free throw line and sinks them both,” said a proud coach.

After that, things went all to heck and beyond, with a steal on an inbound pass, a turnover, a missed Forks shot, a scramble for a loose ball and a Forks coach coming unglued.

Whistled for a technical, he continued to rant while Izzy Wells iced the game with a pair of charity shots.

And then the Forks coach took his ball and went home, refusing to play out the final 13.8 seconds of the season, forfeiting the game and any chance to close with class.

In the midst of a game where a Forks player cursed right at a ref’s face and Contreras was injured on a play that seemed to spring out of a time machine from the era when the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” used to throttle Michael Jordan, there was a saving grace.

It came in the way Coupeville’s players handled a potentially explosive situation on a foreign floor.

“There were a lot of times where we could have given into the fight but we didn’t,” Van Velkinburgh said. “We stayed the course, stayed together and got large contributions down the stretch to pull a wrestling match out to be a basketball game win.

“We end our season and I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young ladies.”

His squad finished 6-4, with their losses coming to Stevens and Sequim, two schools several times larger than Coupeville.

The victories built his team’s confidence, and the losses taught them what they need to do to improve.

As they prepare to move up to high school ball, Van Velkinburgh, who has guided these players through several years of SWISH basketball prior to this season, has seen the Wolves grow, develop and bond as a team, on and off the floor.

“I’m very excited for their future,” he said. “My hope is they continue to work hard and that they stay together.

“Amazing group of young ladies that I can truly say I have been blessed to share the court with.”

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