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Posts Tagged ‘Ashley Manker’

Sisters Kassie (left) and Kayla Lawson were key players for the 2007-2008 CHS girls basketball squad. (Photo poached from Laurie Smith)

It was the best of times.

Jump back 13 years to January 4-5 in the year of Our Lord 2008, and the Coupeville High School girls basketball team was on fire.

Coming off of a two-week break between contests, the Wolves exploded into the new year with back-to-back wins in a 24-hour span, running their winning streak to five games.

While that CHS hoops squad eventually finished 10-10 (at least according to the scorebook), head coach Blake Severns got a taste of what was to come, with super sophomores Megan Smith and Ashley Manker ripping up the hardwood.

The Wolves, as usual, were repping a small school in a league full of athletic heavyweights like Archbishop Thomas Murphy and Cedarcrest, but they were ultra-competitive.

And that was never more apparent than during that two-day stretch in early January, when they won in two different towns, including taking down private school baddie King’s on its home floor.

Coupeville actually swept the two-game season series from the Knights in 07-08, beating the richniks a second time on The Rock Jan. 18.

So they had that going for them, which was really, really nice.

But back to Jan. 4-5, as the Wolves returned to the court after not playing since a Dec. 21 win over Friday Harbor.

Following thumpings of South Whidbey and Granite Falls, that ran their win streak to three, before Christmas and such arrived to shut things down.

Based on what we can glean from the scorebook, the layoff may have slapped some rust on Coupeville’s shooting touch, as it scraped together just two buckets in the first eight minutes, trailing visiting Sultan 10-6 after one frame.

Smith splashed home the first three-ball of the new year, while Shawna West matched her point total with a basket and a free throw.

Charity shots were a problem all night for the Wolves, though, as they converted just one of five from the line in the opening quarter, and finished 9-25.

Yet still won by double-digits, so, maybe free throws are overrated.

Said no coach ever.

The second quarter was a bit better, with Kayla Lawson and Manker each tossing in four points apiece, while the Wolf defense clamped down on the Turk shooters, forcing a 14-14 tie at the half.

With their shooting fingers loosened up, and their defense still locked-in, the Wolves used a 9-3 run in the third to take the lead, then coasted home for the win.

The final frame was a frantic one, however, at least on the scoreboard, as the two squads combined to score 46% of their total points in just one eight-minute stretch.

It was 23-17 at the end of the third, yet the fourth was its own game, with five Wolves scoring (and four successfully hitting free throws!) during a torrid 19-15 battle royal.

Smith tickled the twines for her third trey of the night, while Paige Mueller slipped through the defense for a quick four points, but it was Manker who stood tallest.

Capping a game-high 14-point performance, Coupeville’s inside threat racked up three buckets and a pair of free throws in the final quarter.

On the night, six of nine Wolves to see action scratched their names in the scorebook, with Smith (11), Mueller (6), Kayla Lawson (4), West (4), and Kassie Lawson (3) all scoring.

Marie Hesselgrave, Hayley Ebersole, and Sarah Vass also saw floor time, while future scrappy Wolf star Courtney Boyd was likely creating havoc while cheering from the bench.

While the win was a nice one, Severns and his crew had little time to bask in the afterglow of a 42-32 win.

They were heading off to Shoreline the very next day, their four-game win streak at stake as they prepared to face off with the evil empire.

King’s had the name, but not the game this time out, though, as Coupeville jumped on them early, survived a third-quarter scare, then escaped out the door with the big W.

Kassie Lawson peppered the rim for a pair of first-quarter buckets as the Wolves came out super-balanced, with six players netting points before the halftime break.

Up 10-6 after one frame, CHS held King’s to just a pair of free throws in the second quarter en route to amassing a 19-8 advantage through 16 minutes.

Then, the Knights woke up. At least for a bit.

Using a 21-11 surge in the third, King’s closed within a single, solitary point at 30-29 headed into the closing eight-minute leg.

To which the Wolves, to a woman, apparently said, “No problemo.”

Smith and West anchored Coupeville down the stretch, combining to score nine of their team’s 12 fourth quarter points, while Manker banked in a bucket and Kassie Lawson drained a key free throw.

It was a very-effective one-two punch, as Smith, who finished with a game-high 14 points, and West, who tallied 10, scored 18 of Coupeville’s 23 second-half points.

Backing them up, Manker finished with six, while Kassie Lawson (5), Mueller (4), and Ebersole (3) also scored in a 42-37 win.

Heading home, things must have looked really good for the Wolves, then 6-3, even though they would have known the remainder of the schedule was going to be brutal.

Just 10 days away was a rematch with King’s.

That turned out to be one of the biggest single-game moments in CHS hoops history, as Kassie Lawson banked in a buzzer-beating three-ball in overtime, sending the Knights weeping to the locker room after a 33-32 Wolf win.

Smith, who would finish her prep career as the #4 scorer in Coupeville girls hoops history (#3 at the time, but Makana Stone was on her way) led the Wolves in 07-08, banking in 255 points.

She was one of three CHS players to break triple digits that season, with Manker (151) and West (122) providing able support.

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Mason Grove (bottom, left) is joined by, clockwise, Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter and Paul Mendes, the coach of the 2010 CHS boys soccer team.

   Mason Grove (bottom, left) is joined by, clockwise, Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter and Paul Mendes, the coach of the 2010 CHS boys soccer team.

There’s a little something for everyone today.

As we prepare to induct the 77th class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, we’re hitting a lot of bases, with an emphasis on basketball and soccer.

Two athletes, one stellar team and a moment which happened less than 24 hours ago (an “instant” Hall o’ Fame induction) come together as we fling open the door to these hallowed digital halls.

So, with that, we welcome Ashley (Manker) Bailey, Jared Helmstadter, Mason Grove and the 2010 Coupeville High School boys’ soccer squad.

After this, you’ll find them up at the top of the blog, camped out under the Legends tab.

Our first inductee, Bailey, was a standout athlete in two sports, patrolling the goalie’s box on the pitch and defending the paint on the hardwood.

The best goaltender the CHS girls soccer program has had in its relatively short run, she used her height and knowledge picked up from coach/dad Gary to thoroughly frustrate opposing teams.

Put her on the hardwood, when her body would cooperate, and Bailey was a consistent scoring threat (the perfect #2 option to high-scoring teammate Megan Smith) who cleaned the glass like few other Wolves.

And when I say consistent, I mean it, as she scored in 42 of the 44 games she played as a sophomore and senior, breaking double digits 16 times.

Bailey went out battling, dropping a game-high 16 against King’s in a four-point playoff loss during her senior season in 2010, then went on to play both her sports at the collegiate level.

Our second inductee, Grove, is just starting his run. With a season of tennis tucked under one arm, the CHS freshman is now five games into his first basketball season.

And yet he may have already done something no other Wolf has ever accomplished.

As far as I can tell, Brad Sherman and Brian Fakkema, who both hit six three-pointers in a varsity game in the early 2000s, are the gold standard for long-range bombers.

Enter Grove, who nailed seven treys, including three in the fourth quarter, last night, part of a 24-point rampage that lifted the Coupeville JV to a roof-rattling 55-51 win over a South Whidbey squad that had two freshmen 6-foot-4 or taller.

Grove is listed at 5’4 on the CHS roster, but put a ball in his hands and he’s a giant. And now, an instant Hall o’ Famer.

Our third inductee, the 2010 Wolf boys’ soccer squad, stands as the best team in the history of the program.

Playing for legendary coach/original Seattle Sounder Paul Mendes, whose own induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame was maybe about #347 on his list of soccer accomplishments, the Wolves won a program-record 12 games that year.

Four of those victories came during a six-game playoff run, in which Coupeville toppled Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley, Orting and Meridian before falling to Overlake at the state tourney.

Led by a very strong pack of seniors (including five who netted All-Conference honors —  Spencer Tack, Justin Adams, Travis Curtin, Jordan Lamb and Evan Ameluxen-Coleman), the Wolves survived a brutal schedule that season.

Playing in the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, they faced King’s (4th in 1A) and ATM (which lost 1-0 to eventual 2A state champ Bellingham in the quarterfinals), while Overlake went on to finish second in 1A.

Through it all, they relied on an aggressive defense and the goal-tending of Ameluxen-Coleman to reach heights never seen before or since by a Coupeville soccer team.

Our final inductee, Helmstadter, may not have the same numbers as some of his fellow Hall o’ Famers, but he fully deserves his spot as one of the hardest workers I have witnessed in the prep sports world.

Few athletes got as much enjoyment out of their high school sports career as he did, a time when he was the only student in the CHS Class of 2016 to play all 12 seasons.

Through four years of tennis, basketball and track (which ended with a trip to state in the 4 x 400), there was never a moment when Helmstadter didn’t seize whatever opportunity was given him.

Born prematurely at 26 weeks (weighing just two pounds), he wasn’t expected to survive and has dealt with blindness in his left eye his entire life.

Some would give up early, others later. Not Jared.

A tremendously supportive teammate who gave every ounce of energy he had, Helmstadter is the person I would offer up to all young athletes as a role model.

Your high school days are going to be shorter than you think.

Enjoy whatever sports experience you get to have, never stop striving to be the best YOU can be, and walk away with a lot of memories.

Simply put, be like Jared.

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