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Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

Kailey Kellner, on her way to scoring another basket. (John Fisken photo)

   Joined by high school hoops teammates Sarah Wright (left) and Lindsey Roberts (right) at her signing day. (Jennifer Kellner photo)

England to Cow Town to Buffalo.

The basketball journey of Kailey Kellner continues, as the Coupeville High School senior has signed a letter of intent to take the court for D’Youville College.

An NCAA D-III school, the New York-based institution found her through her recruiting website, and it was kismet.

“I visited there during the summer and it hit home with me,” Kellner said. “I’m so excited to continue my journey as a basketball player.”

After arriving in Coupeville midway through her freshman season, after a family move back to the USA, Kailey became an integral part of Wolf Nation.

A three-point gunner with a sweet shooting touch who was never afraid to get down and dirty in the paint — most memorably in a playoff win over Seattle Christian her junior season — she never lost a varsity game in Olympic League play.

Kellner also played softball and was a manager for the volleyball squad.

D’Youville College is a private co-ed college with a Roman Catholic tradition. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008.

The school’s teams, the Bisons, play in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, a 10-team league.

The women’s hoops squad Kellner is joining finished 7-17 this winter.

While most of her future teammates hail from New York (seven of the nine possible returnees), she likely won’t be the only player from Washington state.

CeDrice Howard, who would be a sophomore next year, played her prep ball for Curtis High School.

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   Genna Wright, thoroughly enjoying every moment of her athletic career. (John Fisken photo)

The little sister can kick your fanny, too.

Genna Wright is one of the most naturally exuberant athletes to ever grace Coupeville, epic smile beaming from coast to coast every time she plays, regardless of the sport or the outcome of the game.

Truth be told, though, she has a lot more good plays than bad.

Which is only fitting, since she comes from a family jam-packed with current and former Wolf stars that include Genna’s siblings and cousins alike.

Monday, the youngest in the family firmly seized the spotlight, torching Blue Heron for 20 points in her last hoops game in a Coupeville Middle School uniform.

Popping jumpers from everywhere on the floor, crashing the boards, leading the break, Wright was a one-woman wrecking ball, sparking the Wolf 8th graders to a 56-6 romp in their season finale.

Toss in a 24-10 win for the CMS 7th graders and things came to a positive end all around.

With the victories, the young guns finished 6-4 for first-year coach Megan Smith, while the “older” crew topped out at 3-7 for departing coach Ryan King.

We put older in parenthesis, since there were only four 8th graders playing this year, requiring the CMS coaches to shuffle players around all season.

Monday, it didn’t matter much which players were on the floor for the Wolves, cause they all shot the lights out.

8th grade:

Three plays in and the game was over.

Wolf scoring ace Chelsea Prescott put a rebound back up and in, knocked down a layup off a pass from Mollie Bailey, then circled around, paused for a second to see if big brother Devin was paying attention and sliced through the defense for a third-straight bucket.

At which point Wright waved her hand, bellowed “Hold my water!” and really unleashed (metaphorical) death and destruction.

By the time she was done (for a moment), she had racked up 10 points in the first quarter alone and CMS was sitting up 24-3 at the first break.

In between Wright’s early buckets, three of which came off of steals, the Wolves got a sweet jumper from Bailey, a steal and pedal-to-the-metal layup from Heidi Clinkscales and one more eye-popper from Prescott.

Picking the pocket of a Blue Heron player, #23 spun down the left side of the court, slashed to her right at the last moment, then arm way out in front of her, dropped a scoop shot high off the glass.

The one and only shot the visitors hit in the first half was a thing of beauty, a three-ball from way behind the arc lofted by Blue Heron’s smallest, but maybe hardest-charging player.

With the game way, way out of reach, King and his squad did everything possible to not inflict any more damage than necessary.

Wright, who had 16 at the half, settled for just two jumpers after the break, instead looking to set up her teammates.

It worked, as all nine Wolves who saw action in the nightcap scored a bucket, with the biggest roar reserved for 7th grader Lily Leedy.

A plucky ball-hawk who relentlessly crashes through the defense, and made off with a string of steals Monday, she tends to be a pass-first player, but her teammates wanted to get her in the scoring column.

Playing to the moment, Leedy banked home a jump shot with 34 ticks on the clock, getting the kind of response from the fans normally reserved for a buzzer-beater.

As Leedy back-pedaled, ready to shred people on defense, her smile matched that of Wright, who ran by pumping her fist.

Prescott finished with 12 to back Wright’s 20, while Abby Mulholland drained three gorgeous jumpers en route to six points of her own.

Izzy Wells (5), Clinkscales (5), Leedy (2), Bailey (2), Katelin Painter (2) and Bella Velasco (2) rounded out the season-best scoring performance.

7th grade:

The opening game was a classic example of an afternoon where Coupeville could have won by 50, if the ball hadn’t kept taking weird spins and popping back out the hoop.

The Wolves were in control from start to finish, opening and closing with 8-0 quarters, and when Blue Heron hit shots, they tended to be of the miracle variety.

CMS opened with four different players popping for buckets in the first quarter, with the highlight being a beautifully-crafted give-and-go play run by Kiara Contreras and Kylie Van Velkinburgh.

Audriana Shaw, who not once, but three times, blew up defenders, knocking them off their feet, and still got the foul called on her rival each time, closed the first half with a bang.

Taking the ball off the rim, she went coast-to-coast on back-to-back rampages, capping each play with a driving lay-in where she firmly banked the ball home.

Contreras became the go-to player after the break, knocking down a bank shot from the side (virtually identical to a bucket drained moments earlier by teammate Katelin McCormick), before swishing a pair of perfectly-angled free throws off the glass to cap things.

Shaw and Contreras tied for the scoring lead with six apiece, while Ja’Kenya Hoskins (3), Anya Leavell (3), Samantha Streitler (2), McCormick (2) and Adair De Jesus (2) rounded out the attack.

The trio of Leedy, McKenna Somes and Alana Mihill were constantly-buzzing bees on defense, as CMS harassed their visitors from opening tip to final buzzer.

One final note:

While CMS routed its visitors, the two schools showed genuine camaraderie.

In between games, players from both teams moved back and forth in the bleachers, waving their phones at each other and buzzing about matters big and small.

And, as the season closed, a pack of Wolves led by Hoskins descended on the Blue Heron players and started hugging people left and right.

As they did so, one of the Port Townsend girls screamed, “WE LOVE COUPEVILLE!!”

So, we got that going for us, which is nice.

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   Chelsea Prescott, seen here in an earlier game, matched her jersey number Thursday, pouring in 23 points in an OT win. (John Fisken photo)

   Wolves (l to r) Prescott, Bella Velasco, Izzy Wells and Abby Mulholland wait for their game to start. (Susan Hulst photo)

Something for everyone.

Want a rout in favor of the good guys? We got it.

More in the mood for a thriller that comes down to the final play but also ends in favor of the good guys? We got that, too.

They got to the finish in different ways, but both Coupeville Middle School girls basketball squads sent their fans home happy Thursday, claiming emotional wins over visiting Forks.

The 7th grade Wolves cruised to a 32-13 win to improve to 5-4 on the season, while the 8th graders (now 2-7) pulled off a come-from-behind 37-35 triumph in a wild affair.

Thursday’s games couldn’t have gone more differently.

7th grade:

Kylie Van Velkinburgh hit a soft one-handed jumper a few seconds into the game, and the rout was on.

With several Wolves anxious to get things finished as quickly as possible (they had an Ariana Grande concert in Seattle to get to), CMS pushed the pace.

Back-to-back buckets from Anya Leavell, set up by strong passes from Audriana Shaw and Van Velkinburgh, kick-started things, before Ja’Kenya Hoskins threw down three consecutive baskets to stake the Wolves to a 16-5 lead at the half.

Leavell dropped in three more buckets during a 12-0 third quarter run which effectively ended any Forks comeback hopes.

When she wasn’t filling up the bucket, her teammates were equally on fire, with Adair De Jesus tipping a loose ball right into Van Velkinburgh’s hands for a layup and Kiara Contreras rampaging end to end.

Coupeville’s Energizer Rabbit closed the third by ripping a ball free, then zipping to the other end, where she stopped ‘n popped for a sweet basket.

Not content to stop there, Contreras nailed a fourth-quarter jumper after another steal.

Leavell paced the Wolves with 10, while Hoskins (8), Van Velkinburgh (6), Contreras (4), Shaw (2) and Samantha Streitler (2) all scored.

De Jesus, Alana Mihill, McKenna Somes, Lily Leedy and Katelin McCormick all provided hustle and gritty defense, as CMS drove the Forks ball-handlers batty.

8th grade:

Walk away after the first quarter and you might be surprised with the news the Wolves won.

Trailing 13-4, with little to show except a gorgeous pull-up jumper from Genna Wright, things were looking dire.

And then the game changed thanks to a ramped-up defense and an ability to hit free throws.

Facing a fairly rough ‘n rowdy Forks squad, the Wolves went to the line more than normal, and netted 10 free throws, with most of them coming at crucial moments.

Coupeville used a 10-0 run to open the second to retake the lead, only to watch a ref miss a crucial call mere seconds before the halftime buzzer.

Forks, looking dangerously close to being shut-out in the second quarter, hit a miracle three-ball on a play where the shooter somehow escaped being called for a blatant travel.

How blatant? Even the ref’s seeing-eye dog was like, “Hey, man…”

Trailing 16-14 at the break, instead of being up 14-13, Coupeville never blinked, thanks to Mollie Bailey.

Despite not wearing the “superstar” socks older sisters McKayla and McKenzie had bought for her (and being verbally abused from the stands for said decision), the unflappable Wolf point guard went to work.

In between shooting occasional glares at her family, the youngest Bailey won a battle for a loose ball in front of the hoop, then banked it home to knot things at 16.

Very next play, she out-muscled two Spartans for a rebound, then popped the ball into Chelsea Prescott’s hands.

Cue another bucket, as Coupeville’s primary scoring threat knocked down a bank shot, part of a game-high 23-point barrage.

With Prescott singing the net from all angles, and Izzy Wells chipping in with a put-back off of a rebound, CMS twice stretched the lead out to six.

Enter a wicked one-two punch, as Forks used a dagger of a three-ball to cut the lead, before Wolf coach Ryan King was T’d up for protesting Prescott being pummeled and knocked to the floor by rabid Spartans on back-to-back plays.

While her coach was forced to sit for the remainder of the game, Prescott had no such restriction, and she made Forks feel her full fury.

With CMS down 31-28, she circled the defense, spun and dropped an ice-cold trey with 34.8 seconds to play, then stared down the Spartans as she retreated.

The Wolves forced a crucial traveling call with 15 ticks left to send the game to overtime, a three-minute period they played with brutal efficiency.

Trailing 35-32 after the larger Spartans went inside for two quick buckets, CMS closed the game on a 5-0 tear.

Prescott slid two free throws through the twines to get the Wolves close, then things got frantic.

Heidi Clinkscales made off with a steal and took it coast to coast for a layup that would have put Coupeville up by a point, only to have the lead ref wave off the bucket.

This time, he claimed, he did see a travel.

Not thrown off in the slightest, Clinkscales promptly pilfered the ball on the very next play, leading another wild chase down the floor.

This time, no travel, though she did get knocked to the floor by three Spartans at the end of her journey.

Facing a one-and-one, Clinkscales drilled the first attempt to tie things at 35, sending a jolt of energy through the Wolves, who all promptly ran back on defense, forgetting they had a second free throw opportunity awaiting them.

While that charity shot rolled around and popped off the rim, CMS held firm on defense, with a loose ball leading to the game-winner.

Out on the break, Bailey led Wells perfectly, dropping the ball into her hands, then pumping her fist as the 7th grader, who plays up a grade, hit a running layup.

Forks had a three-pointer at the buzzer to win, but couldn’t stick the mood-killer, leading the giddy Wolves to charge off the floor, win in hand.

Coupeville got points from five of its eight players, with Prescott’s 23 backed by Wells (6), Wright (5), Bailey (2) and Clinkscales (1).

Abby Mulholland, Bella Velasco and Kaitlin Painter all saw floor time for the victorious Wolves.

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   Ja’Kenya Hoskins, seen here in an earlier game, dropped in a team-high four points Monday for the CMS 7th graders. (John Fisken photo)

Lessons learned.

Playing their final road game of the season Monday, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball squads ran into a buzz-saw deep in the wilds of Sequim.

Facing off with a much-larger school which feeds a 2A high school, the Wolf 7th graders were nipped 26-16 in a vicious defensive battle, while the CMS 8th graders fell 55-11.

The losses left the squads at 4-4 and 1-7 on the season, respectively.

Coupeville will have a prime shot to close the season strongly, with home games Thursday, Mar. 23 (Forks) and Monday, Mar. 27 (Port Townsend).

Both Wolf teams beat Port Townsend the first time around, while the CMS 7th graders also knocked off Forks in their first meeting.

Against Sequim, the 8th graders got six points from Izzy Wells, a 7th grader who has played up a team all year.

In the first game of the day, the younger Wolves stayed close all game and held Sequim to just a single free-throw in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t generate enough offense to fully rally for the win.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins paced the Wolves with four points, while Kiara Contreras and Kylie Van Velkinburgh both went for three.

Samantha Streitler, Anya Leavell and Audriana Shaw rounded out the scoring with a bucket apiece, while Adair De Jesus, Alana Mihill and Katelin McCormick all saw floor time.

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   Audriana Shaw, seen here in an earlier game, scored nine points Thursday. (John Fisken photo)

Stevens is the big kid on the block, the one prone to sitting on the other kids and giving them wet willies.

A ginormous 600+ student middle school that funnels its players to 2A Port Angeles, it is easily the largest, most imposing foe dinky Coupeville Middle School plays.

So, you look for your positives where you can.

There weren’t any road wins Thursday for the Wolves, but there was improvement, and sometimes that’s enough to get you through to the next game.

The biggest bright spot came courtesy the 7th grade CMS squad, which kept things close in a 42-27 loss after being roughed up the first time these schools met a month ago.

Course, if we’re going by the book, where the Stevens score-keepers only recorded 19 of their team’s 42 points, maybe Coupeville won after all…

Back in reality, the Wolves got big games from Kiara Contreras and Audrianna Shaw, who each rattled home nine points.

Shaw was hot early, singing the nets for five in the first quarter, while Contreras, an Energizer Rabbit of a player who ratchets up her intensity as she goes, hit for six of her points in the fourth.

Anya Leavell (4), Ja’Kenya Hoskins (2) and Kylie Van Velkinburgh (1) rounded out the scoring, while Adair De Jesus, Samantha Streitler, Katelin McCormick and McKenna Somes all saw floor time.

The CMS 8th graders got roughed up a bit more, falling 51-10 to a brutally-efficient Stevens squad.

Chelsea Prescott paced the Wolves with a team-high seven, while Genna Wright knocked down a bucket and Izzy Wells swished a free throw.

Mollie Bailey, Abby Mulholland, Bella Velasco, Heidi Clinkscales and Kaitlin Painter rounded out the CMS roster.

Coupeville returns to action Monday, Mar. 20, with a road game at Sequim, then closes the season with back-to-back home games Mar. 23 (Forks) and 27 (Port Townsend).

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