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Posts Tagged ‘Anya Leavell’

Carolyn Lhamon played strongly Thursday, but Coupeville fell at Concrete. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Free throws were a killer.

The Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team almost overcame a terrible start Thursday, rallying from a double-digit deficit and pushing host Concrete hard at the end.

But a 24-point deficit at the charity stripe ultimately doomed the Wolves, as they fell 60-57 to a team they beat by 20 points the first time around.

The loss, Coupeville’s fourth in five games in the month of June, drops it to 4-7 heading into the season finale against Darrington.

That game, which would be Senior Night, except the Wolves have no seniors on their roster, goes down June 15.

Thursday was not what anyone expected, as a Concrete team which only scored 19 points the first time it played Coupeville, suddenly found a roaring offensive attack.

Or at least a trio of refs who helped them along, allowing Concrete to shoot an astounding 45 free throws.

The Lions netted 30 of those shots, and while 67% at the line isn’t Earth-shattering, it’s a heck of a lot better than 25%, which is what Coupeville shot, making just 6-24.

The free throw disparity put a damper on a stirring comeback and a career night for Wolf gunner Anya Leavell.

The junior entered Thursday with 24 career points at the varsity level, then went bonkers in front of a sparse crowd, raining down four three-balls on her way to a game-high 21 points.

Three of those treys came during an 11-point explosion in the final quarter, as Leavell couldn’t miss.

Coupeville’s torrid finish, even while it fell short, was a nice turnaround after the Wolves started ice-cold in the opening quarter.

“We came out flat and never recovered,” said CHS coach Scott Fox. “Anya and Lyla (Stuurmans) played extremely well and kept us in it.

“Always disappointing to lose a winnable game, but at least the kids were fighting hard to claw back.”

The Wolves couldn’t get a shot to drop from the field for much of the first quarter, with just a Savina Wells free throw keeping their half of the scoreboard from registering zero.

But Leavell’s first three-ball of the night finally got things clicking for Coupeville, and, while it trailed at the end of the first quarter, the 15-8 margin wasn’t insurmountable.

Concrete pushed the lead, ever so slightly, out to 28-19 by the half, but the Wolves used a 19-13 third-quarter run to trim things back to 41-38 heading into the final frame.

Five different Wolves scored in the third, something Coupeville repeated in the fourth.

But free throws kept them at bay, with Concrete star Kylie Clark leading the way, netting 13-15 freebies on her way to a team-best 20 points.

Leavell’s 21 earned top honors for CHS, with Wolf 8th grader Savina Wells throwing down nine of her 12 points in the second half.

Audrianna Shaw (9), 8th grader Stuurmans (6), Izzy Wells (4), Carolyn Lhamon (4), Ryanne Knoblich (2), and Ja’Kenya Hoskins (1) rounded out Coupeville’s best offensive showing of the season.

Maddie Georges, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, and Gwen Gustafson all saw floor time as well.

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After missing her sophomore season with a busted ankle, Ja’Kenya Hoskins is ready to rumble. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a whole new ballgame.

As Coupeville High School girls basketball players and coaches prep for a new season, much is different.

The Wolves are in a new classification, with the school’s student body count moving them from 1A to 2B.

With that comes a move from the 1A North Sound Conference, lorded over by state power King’s, to the much-more competitive Northwest 2B/1B League.

Then, there’s the whole ongoing pandemic thing, which moved the season from winter out to spring, with a compressed 12-game schedule set to run from May 18-June 17.

On the floor, second-year Wolf head coach Scott Fox has a roster in flux, with some unexpected losses, but also some positive gains.

The return from injury of junior forward Ja’Kenya Hoskins, who broke her ankle playing dodgeball right before her sophomore campaign, is the big headline.

She’ll be joined by fellow juniors Izzy Wells, Audrianna Shaw, Anya Leavell, and Kylie Van Velkinburgh, as well as sophomores Maddie Georges and Carolyn Lhamon, all returnees from a varsity team which went 12-7 during the 2019-2020 season.

Maddie Georges slices through the defense.

Georges, a speedy point guard who tallied 86 points as a freshman, is the leading active scorer for the Wolves, as senior Chelsea Prescott opted not to play this season.

Prescott, who sits at #44 on the CHS girls career scoring chart with 249 points, is one of three varsity players who didn’t return, along with senior Mollie Bailey and sophomore Nezi Keiper.

That leaves opportunity for JV players to move up, though one who likely would have, tough-as-nails guard Alita Blouin, will miss the season with a back injury.

With player numbers down, a new wrinkle comes into play, as 2B schools can use 8th graders to help fill out its varsity and/or JV rosters.

However his lineup works out, Fox is ready for the challenge.

“We are young and don’t have the size or senior experience we had last year, but they were playing well together in the summer and fall before Covid shut us down,” he said.

“It does feel strange to be playing in May/June and with masks on,” Fox added. “We are going to compete in every game, but we have some talented schools in this league that make regular trips to the state tournament.

“Our goal is to be one of those teams, and I don’t think we are too far off.”

While all six of their league foes will bring a strong effort each time out, two stand out in particular.

“La Conner is really good!,” Fox said. “Scott Novak does a great job over there, and they have been to the (2B) state championship game a few times.

“Not far behind is Mount Vernon Christian, which is also talented and plays extremely hard,” he added. “They also make frequent state tournament runs at the 1B level.”

Getting away from private schools which often exist as “destination schools” for athletes who live in other areas is a plus for the small-town public school Wolves.

“I’m looking forward to the new league because it puts us on par with schools our size, but is still really competitive,” Fox said.

“Travel is always an issue when you’re going to Darrington, Concrete, Orcas, and Friday Harbor, but all schools in this league have to travel long distances, so it’s an equalizer.”

While Coupeville doesn’t have a lot of tall towers to clog up the middle, it does have girls who can play multiple positions, and have shown a desire to always be competitive.

Carolyn Lhamon stays calm under pressure.

“The strength of our team is our athleticism,” Fox said. “We have some real athletes out there that I want to run the court with while playing aggressive defense.

“I’d like to press more this year, but with the kids having to wear mandatory face masks, we need to be cognizant how much to push this style of play.”

With the pandemic-altered campaign sort of like an extended summer season, the young Wolves will continue to work on the small things, which can have a big payoff down the road.

“Our backbone is our defense, and I would like to improve on our transition offense from steals or missed shots,” Fox said. “We drill on this often in practice, and so far I like what I see.

“We’re looking to improve as a team, be competitive in every game, and have fun playing basketball again!”

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Scout Smith soars in to collect another bucket. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Anya Leavell has her eyes on the prize.

Hannah Davidson looks for an opening in the defense.

Chelsea Prescott floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

Izzy Wells cleans the glass.

Photos are the cherry on top of the playoff cake.

The games might be played, but things aren’t complete until you have pics to prove it all went down.

So here you go, thanks to the camera of wanderin’ paparazzi John Fisken.

To see everything he shot Tuesday night, and possibly purchase some glossy memories, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Basketball-2019-2020/GBB-2020-02-11-vs-Meridian-playoff/

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Anya Leavell scored 10 points Thursday as the Coupeville JV beat La Conner in the season finale. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s simple math — Anya plus Ella equals hardcourt domination.

Fueled by the one-two scoring punch of sophomores Anya Leavell and Ella Colwell, the Coupeville High School girls JV basketball squad ended its season Thursday on a high note.

Jumping on visiting La Conner early, the Wolves built a comfortable lead, then held off a late rally to exit with a 37-32 win.

The non-conference victory caps a 12-4 season for the CHS young guns, and it brought a huge smile to the face of Megan Smith.

The former Wolf hoops star, who returned to her alma mater to coach the JV, was pleased with the record, but more with the growth she saw from her players.

“Really, really proud of these girls!,” she said. “I could not have asked for a better group of girls to coach for my first year!

“It was an awesome season,” Smith added. “These girls worked really hard to have this outcome.

“I was just the coach, they did all the hard work.”

Thursday night the Wolves were down a few players thanks to illness, but it didn’t matter.

Leavell came out ready to rumble, slapping home six of her 10 points in the first quarter as CHS built a 14-6 lead it would never surrender.

From there, the Wolves stretched the lead out to 22-13 at the half, then 28-15 heading into the fourth.

Which is where things got a little dicey, as La Conner rallied behind the play of Salena Bailey, who went off for 14 of her game-high 23 points over the game’s final eight minutes.

Coupeville didn’t crack, however, with Colwell, Alita Blouin, and Leavell stepping up to notch big buckets in the final moments of the JV season.

Colwell finished with a team-high 11 points, with Leavell (10), Blouin (7), Gwen Gustafson (4), Ryanne Knoblich (3), and Savana Allen (2) also scoring.

Natalie Castano, Claire Mayne, Jessenia Camarena, Morgan Stevens, Heidi Meyers, and Mollie Bailey also saw floor time for the Wolves.

 

Final (unofficial) season scoring stats:

Alita Blouin – 101
Gwen Gustafson – 78
Ryanne Knoblich – 75
Ella Colwell – 71
Audrianna Shaw – 40
Anya Leavell – 32
Abby Mulholland – 30
Savana Allen – 24
Jessenia Camarena – 24
Natalie Castano – 11
Kylie Van Velkinburgh – 10
Mollie Bailey – 8
Morgan Stevens – 7
Heidi Meyers – 3
Maylin Steele – 2
Samantha Streitler – 2

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Freshman Carolyn Lhamon banked in 10 points Friday as Coupeville’s varsity girls improved to 4-1 with a rout of Concrete. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Some nights everything works.

Friday was just such a sublime moment for the Coupeville High School girls varsity basketball squad, as it rocked visiting Concrete to a 57-27 tune.

With 11 of 12 active players scoring, all led by hard-working freshman Carolyn Lhamon having a breakout game, the Wolves improve to 4-1 on the season.

All four wins have come against schools which are in the Northwest 2B/1B League, which Coupeville joins next season, while the lone loss was to undefeated 3A Oak Harbor.

Friday’s rumble was a good old-fashioned beatdown, as the Wolves struck quickly and never, ever let up.

Flying in from the left side of the floor, senior team leader Avalon Renninger drilled a runner to open the scoring, and that opened the floodgates.

Pick your poison if you were Concrete, cause everyone in a Wolf uniform was going to hurt you on this night.

Six different CHS players made the net sing in the opening quarter, as the home team bolted out to a 17-3 lead.

Wolf junior Chelsea Prescott led the way in the first frame, banging home five points with a variety of moves.

Her first bucket came off of an offensive rebound which she ripped down, then immediately took back up strongly, while her second basket was a pull-up jumper which barely rippled the net as it dropped through.

Concrete couldn’t focus just on Prescott, though, as Renninger was also in a groove, banking home a second shot on the move, while Scout Smith, Lhamon, Maddie Georges, and Anya Leavell also scored in the early going.

Coupeville kept its motor humming in the second quarter, with coach Scott Fox directing his hardwood warriors to attack on the fly and press their advantage.

While Smith and fellow senior Hannah Davidson were quietly effective, tossing in buckets off of steals and rebounds, respectively, the star of the second eight-minute stretch was Audrianna Shaw.

The sophomore sparkplug came charging off the bench and immediately erupted, blowing up a Concrete player as she tried to crash in for a breakaway layup.

Shaw, chasing her every step of the way, determined glare on her face, came swooping in from behind and (inadvertently) flat-out decked the Lion shooter, sending her crashing hard and preventing the bucket.

Coupeville’s friendly assassin meant no ill will, and immediately helped up her fallen rival and patted her on the shoulder, but the warning had been sent.

Run from Shaw, and she will hunt you down and annihilate your very soul.

One crowd-pleasing play wasn’t enough for Shaw, though, as she also set up running mate Kylie Van Velkinburgh for back-to-back buckets with crisp passes.

Then, just to put a cherry on the sundae, she slapped home her own layup, off of a sparkling pass from Renninger.

Smart, well-executed passes were Coupeville’s calling card Friday, as most of its buckets were set up by teammates working together in near-perfect rhythm.

Romping with a 33-9 lead at the half, the Wolves settled for a 6-6 stalemate in the third quarter, highlighted by Izzy Wells netting a sweet lil’ hook shot off a Davidson feed.

Rested a bit, Coupeville re-jammed the gas pedal through the floor in the final frame, throwing down a game-high 18 points.

Lhamon and Leavell made the perfect tag team in the quarter, powering up to deliver six points apiece as they shredded the last bit of the Concrete defense.

Leavell got hers off of a put-back and then two gorgeous jumpers, both set up by strong passes, one from Shaw, another from Mollie Bailey.

Her younger teammate did most of her damage down in the paint, again benefiting from her teammates making smart set-up plays.

One Lhamon bucket came off of a Shaw pass, another from a set-up by Leavell, as Coupeville’s underclassmen, who will face Concrete often in the future, carried a big portion of the play-making load.

The Wolves finished with their best offensive showing of the season, and a remarkably-balanced scoring sheet.

Lhamon, who had five points coming in, went off for a game-high 10, while Smith and Leavell finished with eight apiece.

Smith continues her charge up the CHS girls hoops career scoring chart, passing six more former Wolf stars Friday including Kassie Lawson, Heather Davis, and state tourney hero Jaime Rasmussen.

With 187 points and counting, the Wolf captain sits at #58 all-time, just 36 points away from cracking the Top 50.

Prescott (7), Renninger (6), Van Velkinburgh (4), Shaw (4), Davidson (4), Bailey (2), Georges (2), and Wells (2) also scored, and Prescott continues to chase Smith.

Having tallied 171 career points, the multi-talented junior rose five spots Friday to land at #66 all-time.

With freshman Nezi Keiper sidelined with an injury, the lone Wolf not to score against Concrete was Tia Wurzrainer.

But her calling card has always been defense, and the senior guard made her impact felt on that end of the floor, harassing the Lion ballhandlers and forcing numerous turnovers.

Coupeville won’t have terribly long to bask in the afterglow of the win, as it hits the road Saturday, traveling to Seattle to face The Bush School.

The Wolves play their first game of their last season in the North Sound Conference next Tuesday, Dec. 17, when they travel to Sultan.

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