Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

   Nicole Lester collected two points, five rebounds, three steals and an assist Tuesday in a Wolf JV win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Chelsea Prescott, getting her hair done by Catherine Lhamon, scored 19 points, with 13 coming in the fourth quarter.

Imagine how good they’ll be when they have a full roster.

Despite playing every game this season with multiple players in street clothes, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team has set the standard.

Now 4-2 overall, 1-0 in Olympic League play after polishing off host Port Townsend 27-14 Tuesday, the Wolf young guns are red hot and rolling.

And that’s even though they played with just seven of 11 players active against the RedHawks.

With a few dings healing up, some practice time caught up, and a hoped-for banishment of the flu, Amy King’s squad could be at full force as early as its next game, which arrives Saturday.

If not, no big whoopee, as whomever is in uniform will surely step up and play huge.

Facing off with Port Townsend, the Wolves had seven in uniform, but swing players Avalon Renninger and Chelsea Prescott were restricted to just two quarters apiece.

No problem, as Prescott dumped in 13 of her game-high 19 in the fourth quarter, turning a close, defensive-minded game into a rout.

“We spread them (Chelsea and Avalon) out to cover all quarters and keep the stability on the court,” King said. “Both stepped up and did their part, strong on defense and getting scrappy off an on throughout the game.”

While she always enjoys a win, King was less thrilled with how drowsy a game it was.

“Something about playing in that gym. The game seems to slow down,” she said. “We were very quiet on defense most of the night, even though we did a pretty good job shutting down their main player.

Maddy Hilkey, Mollie Bailey and Tia Wurzrainer formed a three-headed defensive dynamo, “cutting off shots and slowing down drives.”

Nicole Lester played a strong all-around game, ripping down five boards and making off with three steals while Spanish sensation Julia García Oñoro collected a career-high three rebounds.

Julia looked more comfortable; she has shown so much improvement since this season started,” King said.

While the game was a snooze for a big chunk, and Port Townsend’s crew struggled mightily with its shot clock and possession arrow duties, the Wolves rose to the moment when it was required.

“The girls battled and did pick up when they needed to,” King said. “We took good shots all night, and I tell the girls to keep looking at the basket and keep shooting – those shots will fall.”

Hilkey tossed in four points to back Prescott, while Lester and Wurzrainer rounded out the attack with a bucket apiece.

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   Lindsey Roberts had nine points and 10 rebounds Tuesday in a loss at Port Townsend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They haven’t been here before.

After three seasons in the penthouse, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team will have to fight its way from the ground floor up if it wants to win a fourth-straight Olympic League crown.

With one starter missing Tuesday and another forced to sit out a chunk of the game with an injury, the Wolves fell 38-32 at Port Townsend, ending the second-longest winning streak in league history.

Coupeville had won 27 straight conference games, finishing 9-0 in each of the first three seasons of the four-team league.

That was two shy of Klahowya girls soccer, which is 29-0 over four seasons.

Now an uncharacteristic 0-1 in league, 1-6 overall, the Wolves still have two-thirds of their season ahead.

They’ll also have some time to continue seeking their groove, which has been a bit elusive while trying to deal with the loss of four starters from last year’s team.

CHS will play four straight non-league games next, not returning to conference action until Jan. 6. The Wolves close with eight of their final 10 against league foes.

For the moment, Chimacum sits atop the standings at 1-0, followed by Port Townsend (1-1), Klahowya (0-0) and Coupeville (0-1).

When they do return to league play, the goal will be to bring the same intensity the Wolves showed in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s game.

Having absorbed a 13-0 beat-down in the third quarter, Coupeville was sitting with just 14 points heading into the final eight minutes. They responded in style, scoring 18 and almost catching the RedHawks.

“Something happened to start the fourth. The game we had prepared to play showed up,” said CHS coach David King. “Instead of being the prey we became the predator.

“We had them on their heels, but time doesn’t stop and we ran out of it tonight.”

Employing an aggressive defense, Coupeville forced numerous turnovers in the fourth, then drove straight at the heart of Port Townsend’s own D.

It worked, as the Wolves got some easy buckets and also went to the free throw line on a regular basis.

The biggest beneficiary was Lindsey Roberts, who knocked down five of six at the charity stripe down the stretch.

Coupeville closed to within 36-32 with a minute and a half left in the game, only to have its shots fail to drop down the stretch.

The game opened as a struggle of wills, with both teams having trouble getting anything to stay in the bucket.

The Wolves were hurt by the loss of Kyla Briscoe, who went down early with a knee injury. While she returned later in the game, losing their starting point guard for a chunk threw off the rotation.

With Briscoe on the sideline, sophomore Scout Smith stepped in and ran the team smartly, while others helped fill the gap.

Roberts, who finished with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds, “played outstanding on both ends of the court” while Mikayla Elfrank torched the RedHawks with 10 points, seven steals and six rebounds.

The team’s leading scorer with 78 points in seven games, Elfrank has passed 28 former Wolves this season, and now sits #51 on the CHS girls basketball career scoring list with 206 points.

Ema Smith drilled a pair of jumpers and was a flawless 3-3 at the line to score seven points, while Sarah Wright “played one of her best games” with five points and five rebounds.

After struggling at the free throw line in recent games, CHS had its best performance of the season Tuesday, hitting 10-15.

Allison Wenzel hauled down four rebounds, while youngsters Chelsea Prescott and Avalon Renninger earned significant playing time in the second half.

Prescott, a freshman, netted a free throw for her first varsity point.

“We had players stepping up and taking on roles they hadn’t expected when the day started,” King said. “I was very proud of the players that showed up today.

“We talked about commitment and playing for each other,” he added. “I’ll take a group of players like that every day.”

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   Having battled back from injury, Maddy Hilkey filled up the stat sheet Saturday as the Wolf JV stormed to another win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And then, at the very end, a ray of sunshine.

On a Saturday night when Coupeville High School basketball in general absorbed a beating, one team refused to go along with the story line.

The Wolf JV girls squad, Amy King’s band of scrappers and ball-hawks, is the lone CHS hoops unit to currently be posting a winning record.

So, it should come as little surprise that, even playing with virtually no bench, they still stormed past host South Whidbey 28-21 to run their record to 3-2.

“I guess we were the game of the night,” said King with a quietly satisfied smile.

Coupeville won despite playing with just over half its roster (six of 11 girls) in uniform.

“100% praise to our JV team – the warriors!,” said CHS varsity coach David King. “They communicated, moved as one on defense and ran their plays very well.

“My hope is varsity watched the effort and will learn from the JV team after tonight.”

With just one player sitting next to her on the bench at any given time, Amy King rubbed her hands together, knew she had the Falcons where she wanted them, and promptly unleashed defensive Hell.

The Wolves forced a shot-clock violation on South Whidbey’s first possession, and the tone was set.

“I was very impressed with our defense,” Amy King said. “The girls really were working as one unit – talking and making their own adjustments together during the game.

“They did this very effectively.”

While the Wolves surged out to a 16-10 lead heading into halftime, it was how her players reacted in the locker room which impressed their coach the most.

“I talked about what I was seeing and what we needed to do, but I also had the players telling me what they were seeing and talking about which plays were working and which were not,” Amy King said. “They were asking if we could make a change here or do something differently there.

“Excitement was in the air and they were owning their game,” she added. “As a coach, I was impressed with their input and conversation as a team.”

Playing with fire on defense, the Wolves got big performances from all six players in uniform.

Maddy Hilkey “was very impressive with playing up top on our defense, getting steals,” while Mollie Bailey was an equal opportunity thief.

When South Whidbey did get to the basket, Kylie Chernikoff “played fantastic defense, ripping rebounds all night and putting shots back up when she could.”

Toss in Avalon Renninger terrorizing everyone foolish enough to get in her way, and a fired-up Julia García Oñoro hitting the boards, and there were few options for the Falcons.

Chelsea Prescott, even after hitting the floor hard enough to be checked for a concussion, continued to be a stellar two-way star. She singed the nets for a game-high 16 points, while yanking down eight rebounds.

With all of her players firing as one, King’s squad controlled the pace of the game, repeatedly broke South Whidbey’s press and was relentless in pursuit of victory.

Renninger collected five points, eight boards and three steals, while Bailey had three points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Chernikoff (nine rebounds, two assists) and Hilkey (four steals, two assists) rounded out the scoring with a bucket apiece.

As she basked in the win, Amy King praised her iron women for a job well done.

“This group played like a team,” she said. “They pushed through their tired legs. They ran their plays, moved and talked on defense and did it all together.

“I could not have asked for a better way to end the day.”

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   Sarah Wright knocked down four points and played strongly on defense Saturday in a Coupeville loss. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

For one minute, maybe a minute-and-a-half, things were as good as they get.

And then everything went haywire in a way not previously seen this season.

The Coupeville High School girls basketball squad has lost several times in the early weeks of the campaign, but those were close defeats which came down to the final few possessions.

What unfolded Saturday in Langley was the exact opposite – a team crumpling in on itself in a blowout loss.

South Whidbey strolled to a 42-22 victory, but the host Falcons did less to earn the win than the Wolves did to lose it.

Now 1-5, a still-jelling CHS squad heads into its Olympic League opener Tuesday against Port Townsend looking for answers.

For a program which has won 15 or more games in each of the past three seasons — all which ended with conference titles — it’s an unexpected place to be.

Saturday, for a brief slice of time, the Wolves, who are still adapting to replacing four starters, looked like a vintage version of themselves.

Coupeville scored three consecutive baskets off of forced turnovers to open the game, preventing the Falcons from even getting a shot off.

Mikayla Elfrank was the Wolf with the quick ‘n deadly hands, and things looked bright and promising.

“After that the wheels fell off,” said CHS coach David King in a bit of an understatement.

The Falcons finally connected on a jumper, and liked it well enough, they rolled off 10 straight points to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Scout Smith stopped the bleeding with a single free throw to close out the first quarter, but Coupeville would hit only five field goals over the final three quarters.

A couple of South Whidbey three-balls slipped through the net, stretching the lead out, and, from there, the Wolves disintegrated for a good chunk of the game.

“Once they took the lead, we started complaining about calls, even had a T called on us for making a remark,” King said. “For some reason we believe we do no wrong and complain.

“This has been a bad habit all year,” he added. “The wasted, negative energy hasn’t gotten us any points, an extra rebound or even a steal or assist.

“At some point we need to figure it out and just play basketball.”

Some positives did arise, as King praised Lindsey Roberts and Ema Smith for their work on defense.

Ema did a great job on their tall post player,” he said. “Over-matched in height, she got a couple of blocks and held her own. Even caused an offensive foul.”

Elfrank finished with eight points to lead the Wolves, while Kalia Littlejohn (5), Sarah Wright (4), Scout Smith (3) and Kyla Briscoe (2) also scored.

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   Wolf frosh Mollie Bailey, seen here in an earlier game, dropped in 10 points Friday against Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Never say die.

It’s one of the trademarks of any Amy King team, and Friday was no different.

Shaking off an extremely lackluster first quarter, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team spent the rest of the night fighting to get back into its game against visiting 2A Sequim.

Give them two or three more minutes, and we might be talking about a win.

Instead, after slicing a 12-point deficit away, the young, thin Wolves finally ran out of time and luck, falling 41-36 to the invaders.

The loss drops Coupeville to 2-2 headed into another non-conference game Saturday, this one coming on the road at South Whidbey.

Friday, the Wolves, who played very, very early (a 3:30 PM tip), took eight minutes to wake up.

Down 15-3 at the first break, Coupeville was in trouble.

“We came out so slow tonight,” King said. “Our defense in the first quarter really did not exist.

“On offense, we had turnover after turnover on our first four to five possessions,” she added. “Both offense and defense for us were passive and just not clicking.”

Coupeville desperately needed a spark, and it arrived in the form of swing player Avalon Renninger.

Needing to save playing time in case the varsity needed her services later (it did), the sophomore sensation sat out the first quarter. Once in the game, though, she was raring to shake things up.

Avalon made a noticeable difference with the energy,” King said. “She instantly scored and had fresh legs for defense that seemed to help energize her teammates.”

With energy crackling from one end of the floor to the other, Renninger’s teammates fed off of her go-go-go attitude.

Mollie Bailey and Kylie Chernikoff “hit a few really pretty shots,” Nicole Lester knocked down a bucket, then Chelsea Prescott went off, rattling the rim with shot after successful shot.

Coupeville came all the way back to claim a short-lived lead in the fourth quarter, off of a Prescott bucket set up by a Renninger pass and a Bailey screen.

Sequim, blessed with a much deeper bench (CHS was missing four players), used its fresh legs to reclaim the lead, however, and held on down the stretch.

King still walked away happy, pleased with her team’s refusal to go down easy.

“I know a few of the girls were not feeling well tonight and we’re still short-handed, but the girls fought their hardest,” she said. “I was happy for them with their comeback. They are learning with every game.”

Prescott led the way with 13 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block, while Bailey torched the nets for 10 points.

Renninger (5), Chernikoff (4) and Lester (4) rounded out the scorers, with Maddy Hilkey (in her season debut) and Julia García Oñoro also seeing floor time.

Playing a strong all-around game, Chernikoff snared five rebounds and delivered two soul-searing blocks.

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