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Freshman Morgan Stevens reached base four times Thursday afternoon, as Coupeville High School JV softball rallied for a wild 19-18 win over Oak Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves celebrate their big win. (Photo courtesy Greg Thomas)

Chloe Wheeler is having herself a moment.

Less than 24 hours after crunching her first-ever varsity hit, a magnificent two-run double to deep left field at Granite Falls, the softball slugger launched an even-bigger hit on her home field.

This time it was an RBI single smashed back up the middle, a walk-off bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday that lifted Coupeville’s JV squad to a wild win.

Down 11-2, the 1A Wolves came all the way back to upend their big-school neighbors, 3A Oak Harbor.

The 19-18 win, settled moments before the rain and darkness arrived on the prairie, gave Coupeville a season split in JV games with their North End foes.

Tack on a Wolf varsity win at Oak Harbor earlier this season, and CHS won two of three against the Wildcats this spring.

With the win, the Wolf JV evens its record at 3-3, heading into a Saturday doubleheader at Port Angeles.

Thursday’s game was a prime testament to a team not giving in, ever, as Coupeville only led once, when Wheeler’s hot shot bit a chunk out of the outfield grass, sending Ivy Leedy streaking home with the game’s final run.

Oak Harbor opened on fire, tossing five runs on the board in the top of the first, and another six in the second.

In between, Coupeville scraped together a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, with freshman Audrianna Shaw beginning a torrid day at the plate with a two-run triple to the wall in left field.

That plated Wheeler, who beat the throw to first on a dropped third strike, and Abby Meyers, who swatted a single to center.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, the rally ended as quickly as it began, with Shaw stranded at third and unable to come home.

Heading into the bottom of the second, CHS found itself mired in an 11-2 hole and looking for a spark.

And the Wolves found it.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh dropped a seeing-eye single into short right-center, Mckenna Somes beat out the first of her THREE bunt singles, and Morgan Stevens walked to juice the bags with no one out.

After poking at the Wildcats, picking up a run on a Wheeler RBI single and another on a bases-loaded walk to Heidi Meyers, the Wolves fully flexed their muscles.

The show of force came courtesy back-to-back huge base-knocks, with Izzy Wells parking a two-run double to center, followed by Shaw almost killing the OHHS pitcher.

Ripping a liner right back up the middle, she banked the ball off the girl’s face-mask with a vicious clang, sending two more runners scampering home and sending a tremor rolling across the prairie.

Back within 11-8, the stage was set not for a blowout, but for a war, and the two teams obliged.

Back and forth it went.

Oak Harbor stretched the lead out to 13-8, Coupeville cut it to 13-12 (with Wheeler crunching an RBI triple), the Wildcats stamped on the gas again to make it 18-12, then the Wolves slashed it back down to 18-17 by the end of the fourth inning.

In between, there were big hits — Van Velkinburgh whipping a two-run single to dead center that left her bat like it had bought a ticket on a jet liner.

There were big hustle plays — Leedy crashing hard down the third-base line, before ducking under the tag to score on a bunt single by Somes.

And there were big defensive moments — Wolf shortstop Abby Meyers gunning down a runner heading into third, and Leedy snagging a foul ball while threatening to crash into the first-base dugout.

Which all led us to the only way a game like this could end, or should end, with a nail-biter finish which blossomed into a home-town celebration.

Oak Harbor opened the top of the fifth inning, which was to be the final frame with the approach of darkness, by eking out a walk.

It would be the last happy moment for the Wildcats, unless they got to hit McDonald’s on the way home.

Van Velkinburgh, working strongly in the pitcher’s circle, induced an infield pop-up, at which point things got odd.

Coming from short and second, sisters Abby and Heidi Meyers almost ran into each other, the ball dropped in, the sisters started to argue, and the runner coming from first froze two steps into her journey, perhaps not wanting to get into the middle of a family spat.

Though maybe it was just a ruse, meant to throw off the runner, as Abby bellowed “Heidi, ball!!!!!” and her older sibling immediately snatched it up and calmly flipped it to her lil’ sis for the force-out.

At which point the Meyers sisters looked at each other, grinned, and slapped mitts, while the forlorn ‘Cat runner slowly, very slowly, walked off the field.

That left a runner at first (the batter who hit the pop-up), but it was nothing, as Coupeville promptly closed the inning with a double-play.

Van Velkinburgh got another pop up, this time right to third-base, where Shaw snatched it out of the air for out #2, before spinning and firing to Leedy at first to double up the straying runner for out #3.

Having held Oak Harbor scoreless for the only time in the game, Coupeville sprinted back to its dugout still down by a run, but with 99.89% of the fans convinced this was about to be a winner, winner, chicken dinner.

It wasn’t a question of if it would happen, but how, and the Wolves made quick work of the scenario.

Singles from Shaw and Van Velkinburgh, wrapped around a walk to Leedy, jammed the bases full with no outs, then the Wolves pulled off a rare play to knot the score.

Somes struck out, but when the ball skittered away from the catcher, she tore down to first base.

Since the base was occupied, she really had nowhere to go, but Oak Harbor seemed to forget that, and when they threw to first to try and get her, Shaw bolted for home, sliding in with the tying run.

Flustered and frustrated, the Wildcats were on the edge, just waiting to be pushed off.

Stevens gave them a little poke, dropping an infield single on a ball which spun about 485 times before coming to a stop right in front of the pitcher, which set up Wheeler for hero time.

Much like her varsity at-bat the night before, #2 was locked and loaded, her bat slicing downward and shooting the ball out where no one was going to catch it.

The wild finale capped a game in which CHS collected an astonishing 19 hits, at least according to my (generous) scoring.

Shaw and Van Velkinburgh each delivered four base-knocks, while Wheeler and Somes had three apiece.

Stevens reached base four times, collecting two singles and two walks, with Wells, Leedy, and Abby Meyers rounding out the hit parade.

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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:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Oak-Harbor-Basketball-2018-2019/GBB-2019-01-07-OH-vs-Coupeville/

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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Morgan Stevens tossed in four points and played inspired defense Tuesday as the Coupeville JV girls basketball team squashed Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First, the great news. Then, the good news.

The top buzz coming out of the world of Coupeville High School JV girls basketball concerns Kylie Chernikoff, who is off her crutches and due back at practice.

One of the hardest-working Wolves in the program, the sophomore has been recovering after hurting her ankle, and her return should deliver a nice jolt to her team’s defense and intangibles.

And, the news gets better, as the team she will be rejoining just shredded visiting Sultan 34-18 Tuesday, capturing its fourth-straight win.

Now 2-0 in North Sound Conference action, 4-3 overall, Amy King’s squad, which has shuffled players all season, is just starting to find its groove.

Imagine if the roster ever solidifies for two games in a row.

No matter which lineup King has to throw at opposing teams, she has multiple weapons at her disposal, as the Turks found out to their great detriment.

Leading from start to finish Tuesday, the Wolves needed just one play to effectively break the collective backs of the Turks.

It came from fab frosh Audrianna Shaw, who rolled around a defender and buried a running hook shot off the glass in the game’s opening moments.

If Sultan thought it still had at least a chance, that quickly vanished, as well.

Anya Leavell, snatching one of her three steals, beat the crowd to the basket, flying coast to coast, while switching hands at the last second. That allowed her to evade a trailing defender and slap the ball home with ease.

From there, it was pretty much all-Coupeville, all-the-time, whether Abby Mulholland was droppin’ jumpers, with Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Leavell feeding her with great set-up passes, or Morgan Stevens suddenly erupting.

The Wolf freshman, a solid role player who continues to show growth in her first year on the hardwood, had a second-quarter run where she brought her JV teammates, and their varsity counterparts, to their feet.

First, Stevens connected on a jumper, set up by a thread-the-needle pass from Kiara Contreras, then she went big-time, backing down her defender and lofting up a ball that banked off the glass and hit pay-dirt.

Inspired by her play on the offensive end of the floor, Stevens ramped up her game on the defensive end, as well, attacking the Sultan ball-handler and barking out “ball, ball, ball!!” like a new version of Chernikoff.

Up 16-7 at the half, with four different players having scored four points apiece, Coupeville continued to share the ball after the break.

Contreras, in particular, played with real precision, wheeling and dealing with flair while running the point for the Wolves.

Kiara had great selfless passing,” King said. “The highlight of the first half to me was her pass out to Morgan.

“It’s so nice to see these girls finding their teammates.”

Along with her passing, Contreras also showed off a deadly jumper, netting a third-quarter bucket with a ball which barely rippled the net as it dropped through.

Keeping alive the selfless theme of the night, that bucket came off a rebound and kick-out from Hoskins, who made the pass while weighed down by a Turk draped across her back.

Coupeville spread out its scoring, with six of 10 active players landing in the book.

Shaw and Leavell each rattled the rim for 10 points, while Mulholland (6), Stevens (4), Izzy Wells (2), and Contreras (2) also scored.

Mulholland yanked down eight rebounds, Shaw pilfered four steals, and the trio of Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Alana Mihill and Mollie Bailey all contributed defensive scrappiness.

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Freshman Audrianna Shaw filled up the stat sheet in her high school debut Wednesday, sparking Coupeville’s JV to a rout of South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“We were ready to go!”

And how.

Even missing offensive ace Anya Leavell, who was felled by illness, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team was unstoppable Wednesday night.

Ripping off the game’s first 16 points, the Wolves savaged host South Whidbey, crushing their arch-rivals 36-11 in a magnificent romp.

The win, coming in the North Sound Conference opener for both teams, lifts CHS to 1-0 in league play, 2-3 overall.

The Wolves have won back-to-back games, and continue to add players back to their roster, easing the loss of Leavell and defensive dynamo Kylie Chernikoff (leg injury).

Freshmen Audrianna Shaw and Ella Colwell made their high school debuts Wednesday, and immediately jumped in to help their teammates on both sides of the ball.

Shaw, in particular, got off to to a roaring start, filling up the stat sheet with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and a team-high four assists.

Coupeville was brutally efficient on defense, throttling South Whidbey to the tune of 11-0 in the first quarter, before stretching the lead out to 24-7 by the halftime break.

“Our defense in the first quarter was stifling,” said proud CHS coach Amy King. “Audrianna and Kiara (Contreras) led the attack up top on defense while Mollie (Bailey), Izzy (Wells) and Ja’Kenya (Hoskins) didn’t let anybody from South Whidbey near the basket.”

Coupeville ramped up the intensity, dropping a press into the defensive mix a few minutes into the game, and the flustered Falcons wilted under the pressure.

King was able to give quality floor time to all 10 girls in uniform, and everyone contributed.

“As substitutes came in to the game, they stepped in without much change in the effectiveness of our defense,” King said. “From Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) and Morgan (Stevens) cutting off wing and post shots to Ella and Abby (Mulholland’s) wingspans in not allowing shots around the key and Alana (Mihill) working hard up top to force the ball away from the key.

“It was exciting to see the girls fight regardless of the score,” she added.

The Wolves snatched 33 rebounds and made off with 19 steals, both stats which pop off the sheet for Coupeville’s coaching staff.

“It just shows the effort these girls put into the game and winning it as a team,” King said.

Wells paced Coupeville with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Shaw knocked down eight points, Hoskins and Mulholland each went for six and Van Velkinburgh notched four.

Bailey (2) and Contreras (1) rounded out the offensive show, with Contreras also driving South Whidbey’s ball-handlers bonkers while pilfering eight steals.

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Kiara Contreras and Co. set a season-best Tuesday in the 4 x 100. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Carolyn Lhamon came from behind to win the 800.

“The CMS Wolves ran like the Sequim wind.”

Coupeville Middle School track coaches Elizabeth Bitting, Jon Gabelein and Larry Hurlburt have put a lot of time and effort into teaching their young athletes, and it’s paying off big time.

Competing in the final regular-season meet Tuesday, a three-team rumble with Forks and host Sequim, CMS threw down multiple PR’s and captivated their coaches.

“The boys and girls threw further, jumped higher, ran faster, and/or jumped farther than ever before,” Gabelein said. “Our athletes continue to refine their craft.

“I wish there were several more weeks left for them to enjoy the results of hard work during outings like this.”

The Wolves host the Olympic League Championships May 23, an event which brings together the six conference schools for the final time.

And it’s not just a season-capper, but a farewell, as Coupeville jumps to the new North Sound Conference next fall for both high school and middle school sports.

Tuesday’s meet included big moments for both individuals, such as Carolyn Lhamon passing the leader in the final steps to win the 800, and for teams.

Both of Coupeville’s girls relay teams shattered their season-best times.

“With so many PR’s, improvement is being generated team-wide,” Gabelein said. “They may be discovering that the faster they run, the faster they’re done.”

 

Complete results (as best as I can do off of photos of hand-written notes):

GIRLS:

60 — Ja’Kenya Hoskins 8.45, Angelina Gebhard 8.70; Cristina McGrath 9.96; Abigail Place 10.04

100 — Gebhard 14.80; Claire Mayne 15.06; Jordyn Rogers 15.12; Place 15.30; Lita Woollet 15.96; McGrath 16.04; Helen Strelow 16.18

200 — Hoskins 30.04; Abigail Ramirez 34.92; Alana Mihill 37.35

400 — Maddie Andrews 1:24

800 — Carolyn Lhamon 2:52

1600 — Jaelyn Crebbin 6:22; Mihill 7:02

75 Hurdles — Kiara Contreras 15.77

200 hurdles — Audrianna Shaw 37.40; Bella Velasco 37.50

4 x 100 relay  — Velasco, Contreras, A. Shaw, Ramirez 1:01.17; Mayne, Noelle Daigneault, Eryn Wood, Gebhard 1:02

4 x 200 relay — Crebbin, A. Shaw, Velasco, Hoskins 2:05.79; Ramirez, Lhamon, Strelow, Mayne 2:17

Shot Put — Daigneault 25-01; Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson 22-11; Wood 22-05; Rogers 19-03; Andrews 17-00

Discus — Strelow 51-07; McGrath 35-00

Turbo — Mihill 55-05; Daigneault 47-05; Wood 46-05; McGrath 45-08; Mary Milnes 35-07; Ramirez 28-07; Andrews 27-00

Long Jump — Hoskins 12-02; Strelow 11-07; Place 10-02, Kalwies-Anderson 10-00; Mayne 10-00; Contreras 9-11; Daigneault 9-11; Milnes 9-09; Rogers 9-06; Andrews 9-00

 

BOYS:

60 — Lucious Binnings 8.15; Reiley Araceley 8.26; Ty Hamilton 8.50; Joven Light 8.79; Dominic Coffman 9.25; Connor Bachmann 10.00; Wesley Cowan 10.28; Jesse Cowan 10.59; Ty Duddridge 10.90; Brayden Coatney 11.46

100 — Aiden Burdge 12.50; Light 14.25; Lucas Salazar 14.90; Coffman 15.00; Matthias Anderson 16.80; Duddridge 17.00

200 — Araceley 27.25; Caleb Meyer 27.91

800 — Aiden Anderson 3:03; Bachmann 3:14

1600 — Elijah Pepin 6:29; Tate Wyman 6:52; Coffman 7:13

4 x 100 relay — DJ Stadler, Burdge, Hamilton, Meyer 52.03; Light, Araceley, Salazar, Binnings 56.14

4 x 200 Relay — Binnings, Tim Ursu, Gabe Shaw, Stadler 1:43.65

Shot Put — Logan Martin 35-01, Coatney 21-11; W. Cowan 17-08

Discus — A. Anderson 45-04; J. Cowan 37-00; W. Cowan 33-00

Turbo — Stadler 123-08; Salazar 89-00; Ursu 78-09; G. Shaw 75-01; Light 72-01; Bachmann 55-07, M. Anderson 47-04; Duddridge 44-00; W. Cowan 38-01; A. Anderson 36-00

High Jump — Martin 4-08, Meyer 4-06, G. Shaw 4-04

Long Jump — Meyer 14-07; Burdge 14-04; Coffman 13-00; Araceley 12-11; Ursu 12-07; Wyman 11-04; A. Anderson 10-01; J. Cowan 9-03, Bachmann 8-09; Duddridge 8-05

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