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Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

Bennett Boyles (Photos courtesy Lucienne Rivera, Pat Kelley, and Konni Smith)

Never forgotten. Always loved.

Three years ago today Bennett Boyles battle with cancer ended.

He didn’t lose, as he fought with everything he had. But his body reached its breaking point.

Facing off with cancer is something no one should have to endure, much less a 12-year-old with his life stretching out in front of him.

Having lost family members to cancer, I know the mix of sadness, of anger, and of disbelief.

In his fight, in the way he faced an unyielding foe, Bennett touched many lives.

His fellow classmates, who are now sophomores at Coupeville High School, have never forgotten him.

They are carrying Bennett with them through every step of their school journey, from messages on the rock outside the school, to honoring him when they play basketball, a sport he loved.

When Hawthorne Wolfe launches a three-ball and the orb slips through the net without a ripple, Bennett is there with Hawk, his name written on the shoes which carry Wolfe up and down the court.

As we watch Xavier Murdy, and Grady Rickner, and Logan Martin, and Wolfe in action, it’s very easy to imagine Bennett out there, once again running the court with his friends.

That his classmates and coaches and friends and family and teachers and strangers alike embrace his memory, celebrate his life and accomplishments, keep alive everything good, binds our community together.

We will not forget Bennett.

There is anger, and there is sadness, and those are justifiable, and a lot of that will never fade.

But there is love and there is hope, and that is what Bennett means to Coupeville.

Every time a basketball net snaps, he’s here.

Every time we show kindness and grace to someone else, he’s here.

Every time we celebrate his soaring spirit — and it was there, firmly in place, long before his health problems — he’s here.

When the CHS Class of 2022 walks to the podium to receive their diplomas, when players like Hawk and X celebrate their Senior Nights on the basketball court, he will be there with them.

As a community we carry Bennett with us every day, and that will never change.

Never forgotten. Always loved.

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Chelsea Prescott is killin’ it in “home school.” Come with us as she replaces toilets and much more. (Photos courtesy Josie Prescott)

Attention to detail, always.

Power washing the house after lunch.

Got a car issue? Prescott also worked on the brakes after this.

Swinging by home ec to show off her cake skills.

If we end up in an apocalyptic wasteland, all hail our new leader!

Apparently Chelsea Prescott can do it all.

As an athlete, the Coupeville High School junior has been at the forefront every step of the way.

Back in her middle school days, she once accidentally smashed a volleyball off a rival’s face with so much fury, school Athletic Director Willie Smith had to bring out the really big towel to deal with all the blood on the floor.

In little league, she passed on softball, chose baseball, and said “Give me the dang ball, coach!” and was her team’s best pitcher.

Through three years of high school, nothing has changed, as Prescott has been a stellar star on Wolf volleyball, basketball, and softball squads, helping take the spikers and diamond queens to state.

Now, with schools shut down and sports put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone has had to scramble to adjust.

When it comes to the new homeschooling, few have made the transition with as much flair as Prescott.

Instead of just doing a little math here, and some history there, she’s jumped feet-first into hands-on learning, from changing brakes to removing and replacing a toilet.

If this is the start of the apocalypse, you all might want to get on Chelsea’s good side now before you have to wander the wastelands.

Cause it’s pretty dang obvious which one of us in this town is built to survive the longest.

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Makana Stone, here with mom Eileen, continues to rake in college basketball honors. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s Makana Stone ends her college career as one of the best basketball players in the country.

The former Wolf, now a senior at Whitman College, was one of 25 players honored Tuesday when the D3hoops.com All-American teams were announced.

Already tabbed as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year and a First-Team All-West Region pick, Stone was one of five players to receive Honorable Mention status.

Erica DeCandido of Tufts University (Massachusetts) was selected as the NCAA D-III national player of the year.

Berea College (Kentucky) freshman Aaliyah Hampton was tabbed as Rookie of the Year, while Brian Morehouse, who led Hope College (Michigan) to an undefeated season, was named Coach of the Year.

The only West Coast player honored, Stone averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a night as Whitman went 26-3 this season.

She collected 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line.

The Blues won their first two games in the NCAA tourney, and were hours away from playing in the Sweet 16 when the season was prematurely ended by the coronavirus.

During her four years as a Blue, Stone played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finished as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

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Makana Stone received another major college basketball award Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Her basketball season ended prematurely, but she continues to be showered in awards.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, already honored as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, was named Tuesday to the D3hoops.com West Region First Team.

The Whitman College senior, who averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds, joins Emma Gerdes of Wartburg, Caitlin Navratil of Nebraska Wesleyan, Taite Anderson of Bethel, and Hanna Geistfeld of Bethany Lutheran.

Two other NWC players, Jamie Lange of Puget Sound and Kory Oleson of Linfield, earned Third Team honors.

Stone collected 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line this season.

During her four years as a Blue, the former Wolf star played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finished as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

Sparked by the play of Stone and teammates such as Mady Burdett, Whitman went 26-3, won its first regular-season title since 2014, and opened the NCAA tourney with back-to-back wins.

The Blues were in Maine preparing to play Oglethorpe University in the Sweet 16 when the remainder of the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Longtime coaches David King (left) and Jim Waller talk basketball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was the big blowout before the big shutdown.

Washington state high schools capped the winter sports season by deciding their basketball champs during the first week of March, and former Coupeville coaches David and Amy King were there in person to witness the drama and excitement.

Their thoughts on what they saw, and how it relates to current Wolves:

Heading to a basketball or for that matter any state tournament is the ultimate goal of any coach or player.

We were lucky enough to be part of some teams in the early 2000’s for basketball that made it to state.

We also led a basketball team to regionals a few years back and coached a softball team to state about eight years ago.

So to attend a state tournament as fans is something we wanted to do. No pressure, just sit back and watch and enjoy.

We wanted to see the best of the best teams on both the boys and girls side of things along with seeing some of the best individual players.

We weren’t disappointed!

The atmosphere is something every athlete should experience.

Just walking in on day one of four we could tell the stakes were higher and the spirit throughout was awesome.

Players, coaches, even the refs, fans and the bands, how could that not be worth experiencing.

Then by day four everything was elevated ten-fold.

And to think we didn’t have a team we were linked to. But we matched the excitement of the day and games.

Here are some things we would like to share.

Each and every team felt like they belonged.

They each had an edge but not over the top. Confident, but not too cocky.

Well, maybe a few teams and players.

As coaches and fans of the game, we could see the dedication and discipline of each player and team.

If a team found themselves down, they never felt like they were out of it until the final buzzer. They stuck to their team’s game plan and kept fighting.

We saw some examples of that.

Annie Wright girls down with 0.4 seconds left and the ball 3/4 court away. They hit a game winning shot beyond half-court!

Or, in the boys championship game when one team seemed to dominate for most of the game, then the other team knocked down a three to send it to overtime. Then went on to win.

We saw players with resolve and nerves of steel. They would step up in crunch time with the ability to make free throws in tight games at the end.

Many of those were loser-out games.

Or players “wanting the ball” to be able to take that big shot for their team.

These players didn’t get there by “just showing up at times in the summer for summer practices.”

Or “coast through practices during their season.”

These players put in the time and effort to be able to play at this level.

We could tell pretty quickly that the team’s best players led their teams.

They did this by including their teammates. These better players wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for their teammates.

They were willing to give up the ball for better shots. They trusted their teammates. The encouragement by all was a sight to see.

Every player made it about the team, it was never about individual stats. Every player played their role.

Ball handling. This is one thing that is so important for a successful program.

We witnessed guards, wings, posts and centers that ALL could handle the ball.

A player that can dribble is someone that improves their team.

Lastly, something that stuck with us was the fight and grit.

Players played through contact. Very rarely did players complain or expect a call. They were there to play basketball.

They gave their all every minute of every game.

Anyone serious about excelling at a sport and to help their team make state should attend tournaments like these if they can. The atmosphere is second to none.

Anyone who attends would understand the heart and sweat it takes to get to a state tournament.

We hope this helps those attending Coupeville to dedicate themselves to their team and teammates and put in the work to be able to experience state as a player.

Now that we are all off from school for six weeks, dribble a ball in the house. Work on your shooting form.

It’s the player that does things like this that elevates their individual game.

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