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Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

Greg Turcott enjoys a lighter moment with some of his players. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There’s an opening on the bench.

After one season of coaching the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team, Greg Turcott has moved to the other side of the state.

The longtime hoops guru will teach and coach boys basketball at White Swan High School in Yakima.

Turcott finished 3-8 while guiding a fairly inexperienced Wolf JV team and was part of a coaching staff which went 9-9 at the varsity level under head coach Megan Smith.

During his year on the CHS bench, Turcott balanced coaching in Cow Town with teaching middle school social studies and PE in Edmonds.

Prior to his arrival at Coupeville, he had high school stints at Archbishop Thomas Murphy, Kamiak, Bishop Blanchet, and South Whidbey.

Turcott also coached Shoreline Community College when its men’s hoops squad twice led the nation in scoring.

He and wife Amy, also a teacher, have three daughters.

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Kierra Thayer strolls to the hoop during a middle school game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She lights up the gym.

Kierra Thayer, an incoming freshman at Coupeville High School, had an immediate impact when she stepped on the basketball court last winter.

Making her debut in a Wolf uniform as an 8th grader, she threw down a game-high eight points against Langley in a tense middle school hoops rumble.

There was plenty more where that came from, with Thayer leading all CMS players in the season scoring stats, while also providing often-explosive defense while denying rivals access to the paint.

Now, as she rumbles into high school, she plans to add volleyball to her to-do list, before returning to the hardwood.

While Thayer is a promising talent in multiple sports, basketball owns her heart at the moment.

“My favorite sport would have to be basketball,” she said. “Because I love the competitive side of it; but I also love team bonding.”

Her goal for high school “would have to be to make varsity,” but Thayer is willing to put in the work to get there.

“If I don’t (make varsity) then (my goal) would have to be to just do my best,” she said.

“This is my court!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Thayer embraces the athletic life and carries a positive attitude into everything she does.

“What I enjoy about being an athlete is the competitiveness, the team dynamic, and the traveling that goes along with it,” she said.

“I always love getting to meet new people and seeing what the competition is like.”

Away from sports Thayer enjoys baking and music, with science and math topping her classroom interests.

As she transitions from middle school to high school, she is already planning for the increased workload, both on the playing field and in the classroom.

“My strength that I have as an athlete would have to be that I pick up drills pretty easily,” Thayer said.

“But my weakness would have to be juggling schoolwork, along with the dedication requirement of being an athlete.”

Thayer is not alone, however, and is quick to praise those who are actively helping her reach her potential.

“There are two people that have impacted me,” Thayer said. “My mom and my science teacher, Ms. Berg.

“My mom always encourages me and taught me how to play the game of basketball correctly and how to take the game seriously while still having fun,” she added.

“Ms. Berg always pushed me to do better on my schoolwork, and she always saw potential in me and knew I could do better.”

Keeping both eyes on a bright future. (Photo courtesy Will Thayer)

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Katie Marti designs some stylish socks. (Photos courtesy Megan Smith)

The team that wins the off-season is better prepared for life on the hardwood.

Coupeville High School girls basketball players enjoyed some team bonding and bites of barbecue recently, as Wolf coach Megan Smith builds her program for long-term success.

PS — Less than five months to opening night!

Wolf hoops stars get crafty.

Dinner tops off the whole affair.

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Jada Heaton is ready to tear up the hardwood. (Jennifer Heaton photo)

The calendar says spring, but basketball is always in season.

Coupeville High School players, both present and future, are taking part in off-season workouts and games right now, and we have some brand-new pics to prove it.

Let every gym ring with the sound of squeaking shoes.

Skylar (left) and Brynn Parker are a dangerous duo. (Corinn Parker photo)

Heaton is joined by (l to r) Katie Marti, Bryley Gilbert, and Liza Zustiak.

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Kierra Thayer rumbled on both ends of the floor as an 8th grader. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

They closed with a vengeance.

Capping a season of huge improvement, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball teams went basket for basket with their next door neighbors Thursday in Langley.

The Wolf varsity, led by the red-hot long-distance shooting of Haylee Armstrong, pushed the Cougars hard, before being nipped 21-19 in what coaches from both schools termed “their best game so far.”

Haylee hit a couple of big threes, and our defense was nearly flawless, keeping South Whidbey from setting up an offense the majority of the game,” said Coupeville coach Kassie O’Neil.

Haylee Armstrong led all Coupeville Middle School players in scoring this season.

“The girls came out ready to play and kept up the same energy throughout the entire game,” O’Neil said.

“I think both of our teams brought our A-games and it was great to see two similar teams going head-to-head.”

While Armstrong was droppin’ bombs from the parking lot, Kierra Thayer anchored the Wolf defense.

Kierra had a few HUGE stuffs, denying the shooters any time they tried to get a shot up past her,” O’Neil said. “And she was there to rebound on both ends of the court.

“Her hustle during this game was the best I’ve seen from her this season.”

While Coupeville couldn’t quite nab the season-ending victory, O’Neil still came away flushed with pride in her young players.

“It was the best ending for our season. I’m so proud of these girls and the gains they made in such a short amount of time,” she said.

“I think we accomplished our big goals — they gained foundational skills, learned what it means to turn a team into family, and fostered a love for the game.”

A former Coupeville hoops star who was known for knocking down big shots at crunch time, O’Neil was pleased with a lot of what she saw in her first season being in charge.

“If I’m lucky enough to continue coaching Wolves hoops, I’ll be happy to see these girls back on the court for another couple of seasons,” she said. “It’s been a blast to witness their growth and joy, playing the sport I love.”

O’Neil’s fellow coach, Kristina Forbes, had a similar experience in her first go-round with the Wolf JV, which fell 46-11 at Langley.

“We had one main goal and that was to just play better than we did the first we played South Whidbey,” she said. “We accomplished that. These girls played their hearts out and never gave up!”

Willow Leedy-Bonifas is a fireball on the floor.

Forbes gave her whole team props, with a special shout-out for feisty guard Willow Leedy-Bonifas.

“She was not afraid to get in the face of her opponent and try for the steals!” Forbes said with a big smile.

Coupeville’s second squad was almost entirely made up of players who were brand new to competitive basketball, but they held up well against much more experienced teams such as King’s, Sultan, and Langley.

“This season was full of learning to cope with emotions, and to develop skills, bonding with their teammates and learning to trust each other on the court,” Forbes said.

“My girls have come so far from the beginning of the season till the end.

“By last night’s game the nerves seemed to be distant and all that beamed through them was determination.

“Overall, I hope that my girls had a fun season and will plan to come out next year.”

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