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Archive for the ‘Middle School’ Category

New season, new uniform, same big hoop dreams for Lyla Stuurmans and friends. (Corinn Parker photo)

Basketball is booming in Coupeville.

The middle school girls basketball season officially kicked off with the first day of practice Tuesday, and the gym was overflowing with 27 eager players.

CMS coaches Alex Evans and Fred Farris will guide the Wolves through a 10-game schedule which begins Feb. 6 with home games against Northshore Christian.

Those 27 players will be divided between three teams based on skill level, with 7th and 8th graders mixed.

The roster may ebb and flow a bit between now and opening night, but after two practices, these are the young women who have committed themselves to the hoops lifestyle:

 

8th:

Kayla Arnold
Brionna Blouin
Issabel Johnson
Kaitlyn Leavell
Lauren Marrs
Allison Nastali
Alena Osborne
Skylar Parker
Grey Peabody
Desiclali Ramirez-Vasquez
Reese Wilkinson

 

7th:

Gabriella Becktell
Aubrey Blitch
Taylor Brotemarkle
Mia Farris
Bryley Gilbert
Jada Heaton
Katie Marti
Chloe Marzocca
Madison McMillan
Pamela Morrell
Lyla Stuurmans
Shayla Town
Kassidy Upchurch
Devika Vogelsang-Puente
Savina Wells
Aby Wood

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The Coupeville Middle School girls basketball season is fast approaching for players like Jada Heaton. (Photo by Corinn Parker)

Get in the gym early.

Practices for the upcoming Coupeville Middle School girls basketball season kick off later this month, but there are three opportunities for prospective players to hit the floor before then.

The Wolf SWISH hoops team is opening their final three practices to any interested CMS girls, starting Monday, Jan. 6.

The other sessions are Jan. 13 and 15, with all practices running from 6-8 PM in the middle school gym.

“We’ll be working on fundamentals and doing some fun competitive drills,” said SWISH coach Fred Farris. “It would be a great opportunity for those still deciding if they want to play this season.”

Practice for the middle school season begins Jan. 21, and the 10-game season starts Feb. 6, with a home contest against Northshore Christian Academy.

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Nick Guay leads off a final collection of CMS boys basketball pics. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

William Davidson

Hunter Bronec

Zane Oldenstadt

Cole White

Landon Roberts

Time to put the basketballs away and clean out the photo file.

With the Coupeville Middle School boys hoops season closing Thursday, here’s six Wolf portraits I never got around to using.

They come to us from John Fisken, and are seeing the light of the internet for the first time.

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Logan Downes let fly from the corner. (Morgan White photos)

Harlan Mouw flies to the bucket.

Cole White surveys the scene.

Hunter Bronec shoots over Granite Falls imposing defense.

No one threw up, so that’s a start.

A game after a Langley player let fly in the Coupeville Middle School gym, the only heaving on display Thursday involved players chucking the basketball at the rim.

Facing off with rugged Granite Falls in the season finale, the Wolf boys won a game, came close in a second one, and pushed a very-strong Tiger squad hard in the showcase contest.

How the day played out:

 

Level 1:

The final score is a bit deceptive, with Coupeville falling 51-22 to finish the season with a 3-7 record.

The Wolves were within four points after Logan Downes popped a jumper to open the second half, but then the Tigers found a different level.

Ripping off a 17-1 run, Granite, otherwise known as the “Man Bun Boys” for the number of players they had who took the court with their hair piled atop their heads, was a very-solid team.

The Tigers had height, speed, threw down their layups with conviction, and played smart, aggressive ball.

Coupeville answered with the sizzlin’ scoring touch of Downes, who banged home every one of his team’s points on this night, and it worked, at least for a bit.

The CMS 8th grader opened the game by netting a lil’ jumper from the left side, off of a very-nice kick-out from Zane Oldenstadt, then quieted a spirited Tiger cheering section by dropping four straight free throws.

Each charity shot sank through the net with a quiet little whisper, and sat Granite’s boisterous players back down in their seats on the rock-hard CMS bleachers.

Tied 6-6 with under a minute to play in the opening quarter, Coupeville stayed close, but was stung twice by Granite at the very end of quarters.

The first time it was a three-ball from the top of the arc right before the first quarter buzzer, the second time an offensive rebound put back up and in to stake the Tigers to a 19-13 lead at the half.

Granite’s game-busting run in the third came thanks to a varied offensive attack.

Mixing three-balls with steals which fueled breakaway buckets, the Tigers eventually overpowered Coupeville.

The Wolves didn’t go down easily, however, and we’re not just talking about Downes and his 22 points.

Oldenstadt and William Davidson pounded away on the boards and scrapped for loose balls, while guards Cole White, Landon Roberts, Ryan Blouin, and Timothy Nitta harassed the Tiger ballhandlers all game.

Also seeing action for the Wolves were Hunter Bronec and Johnny Porter, who brought hustle to the floor for a team which played far better this season than its win/loss record might indicate.

 

Level 2:

Coupeville’s middle squad was its most-successful this season, and the finale offered one more rousing curtain call.

Riding the red-hot shooting of gunner Nick Guay and big buckets in the final moments from Blouin and Mikey Robinett, the Wolves closed on a 10-2 run to capture a 24-22 nail-biter.

With the win, the second squad finished 7-2-1.

No, middle school hoops teams don’t play overtime, and yes, a tie in basketball is stupid, but that’s a long time past. Back to today.

In a game with big swings, the Wolves found themselves trailing 20-14 midway through the fourth quarter.

Granite had all the momentum, having scored the final six points of the third quarter and the first four in the final frame.

Not to worry, as the guys with ice water in their veins all wore Coupeville jersies.

The first to strike was Blouin, who swished a three-ball from the top after Davidson ripped down a rebound and kicked the ball out to his waiting teammate.

The Tigers responded with a bucket off of a power move down low, stretching the margin back out to 22-17, but, whether they knew it or not, they were officially DOA at that moment.

Robinett knocked down a roller off the glass to start the surge to victory, then Guay, who finished with a game-high 17 points, stepped up to claim the mantle of being The Man.

Flicking the ball skywards, he sank his fourth three-ball of the night to tie the game at 22-22, then made off with a steal for a go-ahead breakaway bucket.

Clinging to a two-point lead, Coupeville operated through the game’s final minute in exactly the opposite way most middle school teams do with the lead.

It’s rarely seen at this level (or, quite often, in high school play), but the Wolves LISTENED to their coaches, held on to the ball instead of flinging off a shot, and wore the clock down, daring Granite to foul them.

The Tigers instead played for the steal, but never got it, setting off a celebration from the pro-Wolf crowd.

It was a sweetly-satisfying win for CMS, especially coming in a game in which they almost went scoreless for the entire first quarter.

Trailing 6-0 thanks to a pair of Granite three-balls, and numerous shots of their own which popped out at the last second, Coupeville was struggling a bit.

But then, in one fluid motion, the lanky Guay pulled in the ball, went skyward and netted his own three-ball, the orb dropping through the net at literally the exact moment the first quarter buzzer sounded.

That shot seemed to be the spark the Wolves needed, as they reclaimed the lead in the second quarter thanks to two more Guay treys and a Davidson put-back.

Up 11-8 at the half, CMS stretched it to 14-10 midway through the third, then hit the dry spell talked about earlier in the article.

Guay’s 17 was huge, but every bucket greatly mattered for the Wolves, who also got three points from Blouin, and two apiece from Davidson and Robinett.

Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim, Jack Porter, Hurlee Bronec, and Johnny Porter chipped in with hustle and general scrappiness.

 

Level 3:

Coupeville trailed by 13 late in the third quarter, rallied strongly, but fell 30-24, dropping its final record to 1-7.

The Wolves best stretch of play came over the final eight minutes of play, when they outscored the Tigers 14-7.

Back-to-back buckets to close the third, with Harlan Mouw slapping a rebound back home, and Justin Jansen going coast-to-coast off of a steal, started the rally.

From there, the Wolves used the inside/outside combo of Mouw and Nathan Ginnings to cut away at the lead, getting the margin all the way down to five with about two minutes to play.

Granite needed to make a play to seal the deal, and, to their credit, the Tigers stood tall.

A bucket off of an offensive rebound, pulled down in a crowd, stopped the bleeding and ended Coupeville’s final hope.

The young Wolves finished with a balanced scoring sheet, with six of nine players scratching their names into the scorebook.

Mouw paced CMS with nine points, while Ginnings (6), Chris Villarreal (4), Jansen (2), Carson Fields (2), and JP Edoukou (1) also scored.

Rounding out the active roster were Jesus Madrigal, Jordan Bradford, and Alex Clark, who all saw solid floor time in the finale.

 

Final (unofficial) season scoring stats:

Logan Downes – 193
Timothy Nitta – 76
Cole White – 55
Hunter Bronec – 40
Harlan Mouw – 39
Nathan Ginnings – 37
Mikey Robinett – 34
Nick Guay – 33
Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim – 30
Justin Jansen – 28
William Davidson – 27
Zane Oldenstadt – 25
JP Edoukou – 21
Ryan Blouin – 20
Hurlee Bronec – 20
Johnny Porter – 18
Jack Porter – 14
Carson Fields – 12
Chris Villarreal – 10
Landon Roberts – 6
Jordan Bradford – 2
Alex Clark – 2

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Jack Porter swoops in to nab a runaway basketball. (Morgan White photos)

Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim goes strong to the hoop.

Cole White can’t be stopped.

Logan Downes flies in for a bucket.

Mikey Robinett has the magic touch.

Big wins, big excitement, big cleanup.

Playing in front of their home fans Monday, the Coupeville Middle School boys basketball squads swept three games from visiting Langley, claiming Island supremacy.

But the basketball wasn’t the only thing hitting the floor, as one fan related.

“You missed an epic night of middle school basketball … one poor soul playing for South Whidbey couldn’t handle the dominating pressure of our offense and upon exiting the court vomited all over the place.

“It was like something out of the movies, crowd reaction and all.”

Sadly, I wasn’t front row center for the unexpected side show, as I was down in Freeland clearing land for my sister and offering up plenty of dead trees and gnarled stumps to the great fire god Beavis.

However, having been trapped in the Coupeville gym during the Great Food Poisoning Game a couple years back, when Wolf players were heaving into trash cans on the bench, I’m pretty sure by “sadly” I mean “sweet sassy molassy, I dodged a bullet.”

But anyway, the basketball was good, from what I hear, so there’s that.

How it played out Monday (as deduced from scanning score-books):

 

Level 1:

Coupeville added to its roster, then went and blew out Langley 54-24 in the afternoon’s biggest romp.

The win lifts the Wolves to 3-6 headed into their season finale Thursday at home against Granite Falls.

CMS coach Greg White promoted several players from Level 2, and liked what he saw.

“Team 1 saw some new energy from Tim (Nitta), Hunter (Bronec), Hurlee (Bronec), and Johnny Porter,” he said.

“Those boys have been playing too well in practice and games to not move them up.”

The Wolves came out hot, jumping on Langley in the first quarter behind the shooting of ace gunner Logan Downes.

With the 8th grader popping for 11 of his game-high 27 in the opening frame, Coupeville went to the first break up 13-6.

After a 9-9 second-quarter battle royal kept things in place, the Wolves put the game away in the third, mashing the Cougars 22-4 behind the triple threat trio of William Davidson, Downes, and Cole White.

With his 27-point explosion, Downes brings his season average to 19 a night, while White chipped in with nine Monday and Davidson banked home seven.

Nitta (5), Zane Oldenstadt (4), and Hunter Bronec (2) rounded out the scoring, while Landon Roberts, Ryan Blouin, Nick Guay, Porter, and Hurlee Bronec all saw solid floor time.

 

Level 2:

The third quarter was magic for the Wolves one more time, as an 11-2 run broke open a tie game.

Coupeville’s most-successful team held on down the stretch, capturing a 29-21 win to run its record to 6-2-1 on the season.

Up until the third quarter, the game was a tense, back-and-forth affair, with CMS up by two at the first break, before Langley knotted the game up at the half.

Mikey Robinett did much of the damage for the Wolves, pounding home four of his 13 points in the third.

Blouin (5), Guay (5), Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim (4), and Davidson (2) all scored, with Jack Porter, Hurlee Bronec, and Johnny Porter chipping in with tough-nosed defense.

 

Level 3:

The big break-through.

After coming close several times this season, the young Wolves nabbed their first win of the season, winning 29-22.

Now 1-6 overall, the third CMS squad put the game away thanks to … wait for it … a strong third quarter.

Up 8-4 after one frame, then 12-8 at the half, the Wolves went on a 14-8 tear coming out of the break and that was that.

Five different Coupeville players scored in the third quarter, as the Wolves shared the ball and made smart choices.

Harlan Mouw and Nathan Ginnings led the way, tossing in 10 and nine points, respectively, and Justin Jansen popped for six.

Carson Fields and JP Edoukou each added two points to the attack, while Jesus Madrigal, Chris Villarreal, Jordan Bradford, and Alex Clark brought the hustle and heart.

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