Archive for the ‘Girls Basketball’ Category

Down two starters Friday, Coupeville pulled out a win at Sultan thanks to big performances from players such as freshmen Ja’Kenya Hoskins (left) and Izzy Wells. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When things were at their bleakest, they made their own sunshine.

It would have been so easy to lose Friday, but the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team flat-out refused.

Rallying against daunting odds, the Wolves pulled out the kind of win which can define a season, knocking off host Sultan 29-27 after Scout Smith drained a pair of pressure-packed free throws with 10 ticks left on the clock.

As a final Turks shot hit the back of the rim and bounced away, a weary but triumphant CHS squad rejoiced in the moment. Assessing the future will come later.

For the moment, the Wolves snap a three-game losing skid, while rising to 3-2 in North Sound Conference play, 5-7 overall.

They are in third-place, a game back of Cedar Park Christian (4-1), two off of King’s (5-0).

Granite Falls (2-3), Sultan (1-4) and South Whidbey (0-5) are in Coupeville’s rear-view mirror.

After four straight games on the road, CHS gets to play at home for the first time in a month, kicking off a four-game home-stand Jan. 15 with a game against Granite Falls.

As they head back to Whidbey, there is one potentially huge dark cloud hanging over the Wolves, however.

That’s the status of their leading scorer and rebounder, senior captain Lindsey Roberts.

The four-year varsity veteran, #23 all-time on the girls basketball career scoring chart, left Friday’s game early after suffering a dislocated and broken left ring finger.

The Wolves were already down another starter before they left Whidbey, with junior post player Hannah Davidson on crutches after spraining her ankle in practice earlier in the week.

Minus the duo, Coupeville’s remaining players stepped up big-time.

Unable to score for almost the entire first quarter, trailing by eight late in the third, the Wolves rallied to take their first lead of the night midway through the fourth quarter.

The 23-21 advantage came courtesy two free throws from Scout Smith, capping a 10-0 Wolf surge on which CHS scored mainly from the charity stripe.

Chelsea Prescott rippled the nets for four straight free throws to end the third, with the latter two set up by a huge offensive rebound from freshman Ja’Kenya Hoskins.

Fellow frosh Izzy Wells opened the fourth with her own pair of freebies, then senior captain Ema Smith drained a jumper before Scout Smith’s magic.

That set up a wild final couple of minutes, as the teams went through four ties down the stretch, though Coupeville never surrendered the lead after gaining it.

With Roberts and her 408 career points missing, Ema Smith played out of her mind, scoring a game-high 14, including six of those points with the game on the line.

Following up her early fourth-quarter jumper, she took control of the paint, scoring twice on power moves set up by nice feeds from her teammates.

First Prescott fired a laser shot through a maze of defenders, dropping the ball right on Ema’s waiting fingertips for a shot that went up, bounced around the rim 12 times, then softly flopped through the net.

Next time down the court it was Avalon Renninger running the point with precision, flicking a set-up pass to the hottest Wolf on the floor, who promptly banked the ball right back through the hoop.

Ema Smith’s final basket staked the Wolves to a 27-25 lead with a hair over a minute to play, and then things got a bit out of control.

As in neither team could hold on to the ball, exchanging turnovers on a series of wild passes which skipped every which way, before heading out of bounds and into the stands, which sit really close to the floor in Sultan.

The Turks finally broke through with 17 second to go, scoring their first field goal in a 10-minute span, knocking down a running layup to knot the game and give their fans a brief glimmer of hope.

Except Scout Smith is the Crusher of Spirits, and she fulfilled her role of becoming a full-fledged hardwood serial killer, gutting an entire town with two jabs.

Knocked to the floor and fouled by a hyped-up Turk, Scooter stared down an entire gym, sliding both of her free throws through the net, barely rippling the twine while never betraying a single emotion.

Something died, hard, in Sultan at that moment, both in their girls basketball team and the town itself.

And Scout Smith liked it.

As did her coach.

Scout has struggled all season with free throws,” David King said. “But tonight, CLUTCH!”

Sultan hurried down court and did get off a shot right before the buzzer, but, with the Wolf defense up in the shooter’s face, the desperation heave never had a chance.

The win capped a game that could have gone really badly in the early going.

Having lost Roberts, the Wolves failed to score until the final seconds of the first quarter. Thanks to a gritty defense, the deficit was just 5-0 when Ema Smith pulled in a pass from Scout Smith and buried a three-ball from the top of the arc.

Another trey from the Wolf senior and a handful of free throws kept Coupeville close, but it still trailed 14-10 at the half and 21-13 late in the third.

Coupeville had just one regular field goal through three quarters – a jumper from Renninger set up by a nice pass from Nicole Laxton – using a mix of free throws and three-balls to stay close.

However they scored, the Wolves never lost heart, something huge in King’s book.

“I told the players that they rallied without Hannah and Lindsey and got a great win. Very, very proud of the team!,” he said. “Late in the game in a timeout, I told the five players, isn’t this fun!”

Ema played well, and she and Scout led us,” King added. “Izzy and Ja’Kenya played well and stepped up. One offensive and one defensive.”

Prescott (6), Scout Smith (5), Renninger (2) and Wells (2) combined for 15 points, while Ema Smith’s 14 was a season-high.

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Lindsey Roberts is just the 24th CHS girls basketball player to score 400 career points. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’ve had better nights.

The Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball squad fell apart under an avalanche of turnovers Tuesday, and slipped a rung lower in the league standings because of it.

Falling 48-28 at Cedar Park Christian, the Wolves drop to 2-2 in North Sound Conference action, 4-7 overall.

After entering the night in second-place in the six-team league, CHS now sits tied for third with Granite Falls (2-2, 4-9), with six games to play.

The Wolves are chasing King’s (4-0, 9-3) and CPC (3-1, 6-5), while still ahead of Sultan (1-3, 4-8) and South Whidbey (0-4, 2-10).

Heading to Bothell, Coupeville knew the Eagles star, Irena Korolenko, was dangerous.

But knowing you need to stop someone and being able to do it are often two very different things.

Korolenko is as advertised for CPC,” said Coupeville coach David King. “She got them going early and often.

“She scored 25 points that looked effortless, from a variety of drives, jumpers and at the free-throw line.”

The Wolves, who recently put together a run of games in which they sparkled on offense, didn’t have that same golden touch this time out.

“Offensively we struggled all game until the fourth quarter,” King said. “Normally our defense leads us, but tonight we struggled.

“When our defense isn’t up to par it takes a toll on our offense.”

Trailing 12-6 after the first quarter, the Wolves went stone-cold in the second frame and never fully recovered.

Unable to net a single point over an eight-minute span, CHS entered the locker room facing a 26-6 deficit, and things didn’t improve much during the third quarter.

It was only in the fourth, a quarter they entered on the wrong side of a 44-13 score, in which the Wolves were able to rekindle their flame.

“All game long we looked for a lineup that would compete. We found it starting the fourth,” King said. “We rode the group of Scout (Smith), Chelsea (Prescott), Tia (Wurzrainer), Izzy (Wells), and Lindsey (Roberts).

“This lineup came out with energy and heart,” he added. “The effort picked up defensively and like it does for us, it guided our offense. They got steals, rebounded well and had an urgency on both ends of the court.”

Prescott led the way down the stretch, banging home five points, while Roberts and Scout Smith each added four, and CHS closed the game on a 15-4 tear, even with Korolenko on the floor.

While the finale was a positive, Coupeville was stung by 28 turnovers and poor free throw shooting, netting only seven of 19 freebies.

“I knew this would be a tough game; we seemed to be evenly-matched based on scores from games played, but tonight, CPC outplayed us and out-coached us,” King said. “The positive we can take from this game was the play in the fourth quarter.”

Roberts finished with a team-high nine points and 10 rebounds, exiting the game with 408 career points, passing Ashley Manker (404) for #23 on the Wolf girls all-time scoring list.

Scout Smith tossed in six in support, Prescott notched five, Avalon Renninger banked home three, Ema Smith and Wells netted a bucket apiece and Nicole Laxton tickled the twines for a free throw.

Just a sophomore, Prescott became the fourth active player and 98th in the 45-year history of the Wolf girls program to top 100 career points.

With 102 and counting, she’s hot on the trail of Roberts, Ema Smith (153) and Scout Smith (110).


Cedar Park doesn’t have a girls JV team, so Coupeville’s second unit had the night off.

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Eyes scanning the defense, Audrianna Shaw prepares to slice ‘n dice. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anya Leavell can’t believe no one is playing defense on her.

“Why did the rooster go to Dairy Queen? He wanted to see a chicken strip!”

Kylie Van Velkinburgh and Shaw form an impenetrable defensive Wall o’ Doom and Despair.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins soars to the rafters.

“Mine! Mine!! Mine!!! Mine!!!!!!!!!”

The spotlight was fully on the young guns.

Monday night the court in Oak Harbor belonged to the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team, as they hammered their hosts and got their photos snapped by the local paparazzi.

John Fisken had time to shoot his shot(s) and still get home at a reasonable time, and the pics above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, and possibly buy some glossies for Grandma, pop over to:


And remember, purchases help fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes, so when you give some, you help other people get some.

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Mollie Bailey and the Coupeville JV basketball squad crushed their big city neighbors Monday night, routing Oak Harbor 48-10. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Clemson football has nothing on Coupeville JV girls basketball.

Routing their big city neighbors to the North, the Wolf young guns thrashed Oak Harbor’s C-Team 48-10 Monday night, capturing their fifth win in their last seven games.

Now 5-5 this winter, the JV girls boast the best record of Coupeville’s five high school basketball squads.

And the Wolf girls, fronting a tiny 1A school, cruised Monday despite not having much advance word on their foes, who rep a 3A school.

“Not knowing what to expect, the game plan was decided and all we could do was move forward with it,” said CHS coach Amy King. “We set up for the jump ball a little different, hoping to spread out their defense and give ourselves a better chance to score on the first play.”

Bim-bam-boom, mission accomplished, as Ja’Kenya Hoskins soared high into the air, spiked the tip to Anya Leavell, then celebrated as her fellow fab frosh drove the lane and slapped home a bucket.

Operating with a press on defense, the Wolves then harassed Oak Harbor’s ball-handlers, picking off back-to-back inbound passes.

With Audrianna Shaw providing the tip to the defensive spear, Izzy Wells and Leavell made off with steals.

Get past that trio, and Hoskins was hovering at mid-court, where she immediately clamped on to any wayward balls, as well.

With the host Wildcats crumbling, King switched things up midway through the first quarter, moving to a zone defense and unleashing her not-so-secret weapon.

Kiara (Contreras) came in and made her presence known,” King said. “Ball-hawking and driving back down the court.

“The girls all played very well off each other – true team, making that pass, setting those screens,” she added. “Ja’Kenya was unstoppable with ripping the rebounds and even had some nice put-backs.”

Up 13-2 after one quarter, Coupeville pushed the lead to 21-4 by the half, then went bonkers after the break.

Six Wolves scored during a 20-5 third-quarter surge, with Contreras and Wells leading the way with six apiece.

With the game getting out of hand, King did what she could to keep things reasonable, asking for “good, clean, tough defense,” but moving to a no-steals philosophy during the fourth quarter.

With the win well in hand, Coupeville was able to try new things, such as using post players Wells and Hoskins at point guard, and King was pleased with the effort she got from her 11 active players.

“Everyone stepped up their games tonight,” she said. “Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) was a constant help, whether at wing or post, while Abby (Mulholland) came up with some key rebounds and had a nice scoring night.

Alana (Mihill) was a burst of energy each time she went out on the court. She had a few steals that got the crowd cheering,” King added. “Same with Morgan (Stevens); her defense is getting stronger and stronger and when she grabbed the rebounds, the crowd exploded.

“Very proud of how the girls played.”

Lily Leedy, back in the lineups after being out for multiple games while recovering from a concussion, made an immediate impact, “getting good minutes” and “playing where she hasn’t before on defense and helping handle the ball.”

She also popped in a basket off of a nice drive and kick-out from Contreras.

Audrianna Shaw, Mollie Bailey and Contreras ran Coupeville’s offense for much of the night, and all three “were strong with the ball, setting up our offense and keeping things moving.”

Wells, who “always seems to be in the right place at the right time” paced the Wolves with a game-high 12 points, while also snagging five rebounds and pilfering three steals.

Contreras was hot on her heels with eight points, with Mulholland (7), Leavell (7), Hoskins (6), Shaw (4), Leedy (2), and Bailey (2) also scoring.

Coupeville ripped down 27 boards for the game and recorded 20 steals in three quarters, with Hoskins garnering nine and six, respectively. Contreras topped the team with three assists.

While she couldn’t suit up, Kylie Chernikoff, who is working her way back from an injury, kicked things off nicely by bring a speaker on the bus and filling the relatively short drive with “some great music.”

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Lexie Black played on three of the five highest-scoring Coupeville High School girls basketball teams. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Every coach and commentator and fan and player says the same thing – basketball is about more than just scoring.

And, it’s sort of true, until it isn’t, cause the only way you win a game is by having more points on the scoreboard than the other team.

The people doing the dirty work in the trenches — rebounding, scrapping for loose balls, setting picks with authority — are super important.

In that they set up people making baskets.

Which is why we tend to remember the players and teams who scored the most. Since they tend to be the most successful.

When you look back at the history of Coupeville High School basketball, there is no question as to the greatest offense to ever hit the hardwood.

It’s the 1969-1970 Wolf boys, who torched the nets for 1,836 points, without the help of the three-point shot.

No other CHS team, boys or girls, has come close to toppling that mark in the past 50 years, and, like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, it’s as close to an unbeatable record as we have.

I’ve written my fair share of stories about the 69-70 team, which was led by Jeff Stone, whose 644 points in 24 games remains the gold standard for not just Coupeville, but all of Whidbey Island.

But I just realized if you asked me which Wolf girls team was the best offensive machine in school history, I couldn’t tell you that off the top of my head.

So, off I scampered to my records, and, after scanning from 1974 to 2019, I found my answer, and I can’t say it’s much of a surprise.

The 2001-2002 CHS girls won a league title, then advanced to the state semifinals before finishing 6th – best finish in program history – and featured a mix of stars from top to bottom.

It’s the only Wolf girls team in school history to have six different players top 100 points during the same season, a feat Coupeville boys have accomplished 12 times in 101 seasons, most recently in 2009-2010.

So, as we continue to wade through the 45th season of CHS girls hoops, here’s the top five scoring teams all-time:


2001-2002 season — 1499 points

Brianne King 386
Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby 266
Sarah Mouw 259
Erica Lamb 174
Amy Mouw 137
Tracy Taylor 
Vanessa Davis 
Carly Guillory 
Christine Larson 
Lexie Black 
Whitney Clark 
Taniel Lamb


2002-2003 season — 1424 points

Brianne King 442
Erica Lamb 247
Amy Mouw 216
Carly Guillory 163
Vanessa Davis 163
Lexie Black 78
Taniel Lamb 43
Christine Larson 28
Whitney Clark 25
Brittany Black 12
Heather Davis 4
Samantha Roehl 3


1997-1998 season — 1375 points

Zenovia Barron 376
Ann Pettit 363
Maureen Wetmore 177
Hilary Kortuem 161
Kim Warder 104
Jennifer Pettit 74
Danielle Vracin 63
Stephanie Kipp 48
Rachelle Solomon 9


2000-2001 season — 1215 points

Brianne King 446
Ashley Ellsworth-Bagby 280
Tracy Taylor 142
Erica Lamb 76
Emily Young 67
Laura Young 57
Carly Guillory 54
Nicole Shelley 47
Vanessa Davis 23
Lindsey Tucker 13
Kara Warder 4
Jamie Townsdin 3
Christine Larson 


2004-2005 season — 1198 points

Lexie Black 295
Brittany Black 209
Whitney Clark 
Taniel Lamb 
Heather Davis 
Beth Mouw 
Shawna West 
Janiece Jenkins 
Courtney Williams 
Hayley Ebersole 
Corrine Skvarla 
Sarah Burgoyne 
Corinne Gaddis 

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