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Posts Tagged ‘1969-1970’

Led by its seniors, the CHS boys basketball team is 5-0 and averaging 72.4 points a night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

52 years later, still the gold standard.

It’s a great, but not legendary, start.

With high school hoops set to resume Tuesday, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball team will get a chance to continue its torrid start.

The Wolves, who are set to host La Conner, are 5-0 and have topped 70 points each time out.

With four players averaging double figures — and a fifth missing by just a single bucket — Coupeville is balanced, dangerous, and able to attack a defense from all sides.

Hawthorne Wolfe has rattled the rims for a team-high 67 points so far (13.4 a night), with a pack of teammates hot on his heels.

Fellow senior Caleb Meyer (61), junior Alex Murdy (52), and sophomore Logan Downes (50) are all producing 10+ points a game, with senior Xavier Murdy  just off that pace with 48.

But, these Wolves still have some work to do if they want to be legendary.

That’s because, 52 years down the road, a CHS team from back in the day of short-shorts and no three-point line, is still the standard-bearer.

While the 2021-2022 Wolf squad has opened with 70, 71, 75, 73, and 73-point performances — the program’s best start in more than a decade — the 1969-1970 Coupeville hardwood heroes were even more torrid.

That Wolf squad dropped 102 points on opening night — one of four times they topped triple digits in a 24-game season — then delivered a school-record 114 in game #5.

Through five games, the current team is singing the nets for 72.4 points a night, while the old-school warriors burnt the whole gym down at 85.6 through five contests.

The 69-70 team slowed down (a bit) after that, finishing with a school-record 1,836 points during a 20-4 season.

That translates out to 76.5 a game, and no CHS team has topped the mark since, even with the embrace of the three-ball.

That vintage squad, which featured Jeff Stone dropping a program-record 644 points, was the first Whidbey Island hoops team to win a district title, and the first CHS team to advance to the state tourney.

We still have a long way to go in this campaign — with the specter of the pandemic still threatening to upend things — but there is an unmistakable feeling that the current Wolves could accomplish something special.

Through five games, Brad Sherman’s team has shown a willingness to share the ball, getting it onto the fingertips of whomever has the hot hand that night.

That bodes well for the future.

Will it make for a historical season? Only time will tell.

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   Pat O’Grady, the #2 scorer on the greatest offensive machine in school history, the 1969-1970 Wolves, lofts a sweet jumper. (Photos courtesy Jeff Stone)

   Jeff Stone torched the nets for 644 points during his senior season, the best single-season performance in Whidbey Island history.

   Coupeville coaches Bob Barker (with clipboard) and Craig Pedlar (far right) unleash destruction.

Corey Cross (12) rolls to the hoop, while Stone (34) awaits a possible rebound.

Tim Quenzer rises to the moment.

15 days until the biggest reunion in Coupeville High School basketball history.

Jan. 19 marks the 101st anniversary of the first hoops game in school history (a 29-7 win over Langley), and the Wolf boys host Chimacum that night.

Tip-off is 3:30 (JV) and 5:15 (varsity).

The program will honor that first game, the immortal 1969-1970 Coupeville squad and the top 15 scorers in program history.

At the half, that ’69-’70 unit, which won the first district title in Whidbey Island history and still holds the school scoring records 48 years down the road, will be honored.

Then, at the conclusion of the game, every current and former CHS player, coach, manager and stat keeper in attendance will be asked to take part in an epic “team” photo shot by John Fisken.

As we count down the days to Jan. 19, I’m looking for any and all Coupeville boys basketball photos.

If you have some you’d like to share, shoot them to me at davidsvien@hotmail.com.

The ones above, capturing the ’69-’70 warriors in action, come to me from that team’s top scorer, Jeff Stone. He got them from his coach, Bob Barker.

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(Photo courtesy June Mazdra)

  Hyperbole alert. It’s the greatest team (in any sport) in Coupeville High School history — the record-setting 1969-1970 boys’ basketball squad. (Photo courtesy June Mazdra)

Now, if this whole Hall of Fame thing was happening in real life, and there were plaques or busts being handed out by local civic leaders, these guys would have been the first inductees.

But Coupeville High School’s athletic history lies largely covered in cobwebs, and it took me some time to track down info.

Having done that finally, we can, with the 33rd class inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, welcome the “Greatest Team in Any Sport in the History of the Town” to these hallowed digital walls.

From this point on, the 11 players, coach and two managers who made up the 1969-1970 CHS boys’ basketball team will be found at the top of the blog under the Legends tab.

And, if efforts in the coming weeks pay off and championship banners from the past rise in the CHS gym, their legacy will once again loom large over their school’s current basketball court.

Now, I am prone to hyperbole, yes.

The use of the double exclamation points in most headlines is testament to that.

But I will be danged if there has ever been a better team in the history of Cow Town, in any sport.

No, they didn’t earn a state tourney banner (losing two hard-fought games to extremely tough competition), but, as they romped to a 20-4 record, they hurt teams in a way no other Wolf squad ever has before or since.

Ripping through an 18-2 regular season (with two four-point losses to perennial powerhouse La Conner), Coupeville threw down 100+ points FOUR times, with what has to be a school-record 114 against Watson-Groen.

Now, let’s stop a moment and remember our history.

If you’re a young gun, this will seem a foreign concept to you, but in ’69’-’70, they scored all those points WITHOUT the benefit of a three-point line.

Jeff Stone, Corey Cross and Co. could have put the ball up from beyond the half-court circle and it still would have counted for just two points, and yet those Wolves scored like no other team in the history of the school.

Plus, you know, short shorts, which supposedly can cause circulation problems (and cold thighs), so they overcame that, as well.

In the postseason, they knocked off Skykomish and Darrington for a district title, something no Whidbey Island school (much less just Coupeville) had ever done before.

Facing off with Darrington, Stone rained down 48 points, a number which has stood untouched for almost 50 years.

The future Oak Harbor High School teacher/coach/Athletic Director tickled the twines for 644 points as a senior (also a school record — by a mile), accounting for almost a third of his team’s point total.

Overall, the ’69-’70 Wolves outscored their foes 1,836-1,155 over 24 games. That divides out to 76.5-48.1, which means they won, on average, by nearly 30 points a game.

At a school which had little to no prior reputation in the prep sports world, that squad sent shock waves through the state and kicked off a very successful run by the boys’ hoops program which lasted well through the ’70s.

Four more trips to state by CHS boys’ hoops squad, two of whom won a game while there, have followed that first visit, but none topped the guys who set the path.

If I accomplish nothing else during my time at Coupeville Sports, we will see league and district title banners raised in the CHS gym for the ’69’-70 squad, and it will happen while the players are still here to see it happen.

For the moment, I offer this, induction into my little digital Hall.

Inducted, together, as a team. As the greatest team to ever wear the red and white.

Bob Barker (coach)
Pat Brown
Corey Cross
Tim Leese
Ralph Lindsay
Glenn Losey
Mike Mallo
Pat O’Grady
Tim Quenzer
Jeff Stone
Randy Stone
Jim Syreen
Bob Mueller
(manager)
Geoff Stone
(manager)

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