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Posts Tagged ‘Bellevue Christian’

   Kyla Briscoe and the Coupeville girls played five teams this season which made it to the state tourney. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Do you want a team you played to win a state title, or at least do well in the season-ending tourney?

Or would you rather cheer as they flame out and crash hard on the biggest stage?

Coupeville High School basketball players get to make that choice starting this weekend, as seven Wolf foes from the past season take the court for the regional round of the state tourney.

Bellevue Christian and Orcas Island are sending both their girls and boys squads to the round of 16, while the Port Townsend, Meridian and Mount Vernon Christian girls teams punched their tickets as well.

Of those seven state-bound teams, the MVC girls (20-6) boast the best record, while the PT girls (10-11), the Olympic League champs, are the biggest shock.

The RedHawks are a modest #46 in RPI (out of 66 1A schools), but shocked Cascade Christian in overtime to earn a trip to state, their first since 2004.

The biggest bracket-buster on the boys side in 1A is #27 King’s, which surged late in the season, knocked off Cascade Conference champ South Whidbey twice in a row, and eliminated the Falcons.

For those interested, here’s what the regional match-ups look like for the seven Wolf foes.

The numbers for each team are their seed in the 16-team field, with #1-#8 already in double-elimination mode while #9-#16 face loser-out status in that first regional game.

And, no, that’s not a misprint below. It really does appear both Orcas teams will face the same school, Life Christian Academy.

GIRLS:

1A:

#8 Meridian (20-7) vs. #1 Lynden Christian (24-0)
#13 Bellevue Christian (14-9) vs. #12 Cle Elum (17-6)
#16 Port Townsend (10-11) vs. #9 Nooksack Valley (18-7)

2B:

#16 Orcas Island (10-8) vs. #9 Life Christian Academy (16-5)

1B:

#5 Mount Vernon Christian (20-6) vs. #4 Sunnyside Christian (21-2)

BOYS:

1A:

#5 Bellevue Christian (18-5) vs. #4 Royal (20-4)

2B:

#16 Orcas Island (10-8) vs. #9 Life Christian Academy (21-4)

And the brackets:

1A girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2530&sport=12

2B girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2533&sport=12

1B girls: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2532&sport=12

1A boys: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2501&sport=3

2B boys: http://www.olympicleague.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2515&sport=3

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   Wolf senior Allison Wenzel had three rebounds and two steals Saturday in her final high school hoops game. (Susan Wenzel photos)

   With nine players set to return next year, the future remains bright for Coupeville basketball.

There are several ways to look at the final game, and the year as a whole.

After three straight seasons of dominating the Olympic League, with a trip to the state tourney in the middle, the Coupeville High School girls basketball squad wasn’t able to reach those lofty levels this time around.

Battered by graduation and injuries, the Wolves, who won 15+ games in each of the last three seasons, finished 8-14 in 2017-2018, capping their season with a 55-23 first-round playoff loss Saturday to visiting Bellevue Christian.

And yet, CHS coach David King was still smiling in the aftermath, calling it “one of our best seasons” and his players exited, heads high, a glimmer of determination in their eyes in place of tears.

That’s largely because almost the entire roster, after learning under fire as underclassmen, can return next season.

Having lost four starters before the season, the Wolves played Saturday minus two of their three leading scorers, with Mikayla Elfrank (and her badly-injured ankle) in street clothes and Sarah Wright out of state.

That gave King a chance to give solid minutes to freshman Chelsea Prescott, sophomores Scout Smith, Hannah Davidson and Avalon Renninger and swing players Ashlie Shank and Maddy Hilkey.

Despite facing a tall, aggressive BC squad, the Wolf young guns never backed down, showing the same guts and determination they have all season.

Five of the six scored, with Shank knocking down a three-ball for her first varsity points and Renninger swishing her first varsity field goal.

The only player from that six-pack not to take a shot was Hilkey, and she tied for the team lead on the night with two assists, both off of especially sweet set-up passes.

Coupeville’s active players, which also included seniors Kyla Briscoe and Allison Wenzel and juniors Ema Smith and Lindsey Roberts, didn’t lack for heart or desire.

Or, in Briscoe’s case, refreshing chippiness, as the easy-going one inadvertently body-slammed a rival player off the hard-wood while trying to stuff a shot.

Catching the Viking right across the forehead as she went airborne, then hooking her, Briscoe put the BC player to the floor with enough force that the rafters in the gym shook.

That she immediately profusely apologized to her fallen foe showcased Briscoe’s eternal class and compassion, even if her rooting section went bonkers screaming for their newly-minted WWE superstar.

Coupeville’s biggest issue on this night was simply that BC had a lot more offensive fire power.

Freshman gunner Rylee Reese paced the Vikings with a game-high 15, three times pulling up to knock down a trey from behind the arc, while BC’s multiple tall trees crashed through the paint all night.

Roberts, who gave up several inches to Bellevue’s post players, fought like a wild woman, however, and refused to cede ground.

After battling illness all week which required her to sit out several practices, the long ‘n lanky speed demon paced the Wolves with nine points and 16 rebounds.

With her work on the glass, Roberts accounted for nearly half of Coupeville’s 34 rebounds by herself.

BC had a sweet shooting touch, from inside, outside and every place, however, and twice used 12-0 runs to cripple any Wolf comeback hopes.

The best Coupeville could do in response was a 9-2 mini-surge that started with Roberts dropping a three-ball from the left side on the final shot of the first half.

She then opened the third quarter with a put-back, before Scout Smith drilled a pair of soft jumpers while on the move.

CHS put together one other short run, with Renninger’s pull-up jumper, a beautiful bank shot by Prescott and another put-back off of an offensive board from Roberts accounting for six consecutive points.

King came away pleased with what he saw from his still very raw, developing roster.

“We settled down a little in the second half, got over some early nerves and dealt better with Bellevue’s pressure,” he said. “I thought we fought and worked hard as a team.”

With her nine points, Roberts raised her career total to 298, putting her in 36th place on the Wolf girls all-time scoring chart as she eyes her senior season.

Her scoring totals have increased each season, as she has jumped from #6 on the team as a freshman to #4 as a sophomore to #1 this season.

Prescott and Scout Smith each added four, Shank knocked down three on her long-ball, Renninger netted a bucket and Davidson swished a free throw to round out the scoring.

Next season will bring a jump from the four-team Olympic League to the newly-formed six-team North Sound Conference.

With just seniors Elfrank, Briscoe and Wenzel departing, there is prime opportunity awaiting the young players who learned on the fly this time around.

“I hope they embrace it,” King said. “If they are willing to put in the work, to go to camp and take advantage of off-season opportunities, they can accomplish great things.”

 

2017-2018 varsity scoring stats:

Lindsey Roberts 161
Mikayla Elfrank
99
Sarah Wright
99
Ema Smith
94
Kyla Briscoe
78
Scout Smith
56
Kalia Littlejohn
38
Chelsea Prescott
38
Hannah Davidson
11
Allison Wenzel
5
Avalon Renninger
3
Ashlie Shank
3

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   Wolf frosh Daniel Olson banked home three points Saturday in a narrow JV loss. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“This game will lay the foundation for our continued improvement over the remainder of the season.”

The Coupeville High School JV boys basketball squad came up a play or two shy of a win Saturday, but Wolf coach Chris Smith walked away largely satisfied.

Despite missing several players and being restricted on how they could use others, CHS chased visiting Bellevue Christian to the very end of a narrow 47-43 loss.

The Wolves survived and thrived despite suffering through a cold spell in the second quarter — when they were outscored 16-4 — “winning” every other eight-minute period.

Coupeville jumped out to a 15-13 lead after one quarter, with Mason Grove going off for 13 points by himself.

Smith could only call on his sophomore gunner in two quarters, leaving Grove available for varsity play.

He still finished with a game-high 18 points, including four balls from behind the three-point arc.

Grove wasn’t Coupeville’s only weapon, though, as fellow sophomore Koa Davison dropped in 10 of his 13 points during a third-quarter run.

Koa hit the gear I have been waiting to see,” a satisfied Smith said.

After falling behind by 10 at the break, the Wolves steadily chipped away at the lead in the second half.

“I was thrilled that at the end of the game we were thinking about strategy and what we needed to do to win down by four with :47 left on the clock,” Smith said. “We came up a little short, but the energy and excitement were there.”

Ulrik Wells banged home six points in support of Grove and Davison, while Daniel Olson and Jean Lund-Olsen added three apiece.

Sage Downes, Gavin Knoblich, Alex Jimenez, David Prescott and Jacobi Pilgrim also saw floor time for the Wolves, who have played much better than their 1-6 record might indicate.

“I may call this one of our best games of the season,” Smith said. “This was the most balanced game we have played offensively and defensively.

“We went into the game with the goal of playing patient/attacking offense and aggressive/efficient defense,” he added. “For the most part that is what we did and it was working.”

As the Wolves get ready for their final game before the winter break, next Wednesday at home against Concrete, their coach likes the direction they are headed.

“Overall an extremely positive game for us,” Smith said. “If this group plays fundamental basketball, while playing together as a team, they will be tough to beat.”

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   Tia Wurzrainer was a wild woman on defense Saturday, recording six blocks against Bellevue Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Almost at full strength. Almost.

While the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball roster still isn’t 100% healthy, it was as close Saturday as it has been at any point this season.

With nine warriors at her disposal, Wolf coach Amy King almost had to put out a call for extra chairs. Almost.

Facing off with a well-seasoned foe in visiting Bellevue Christian, strength in numbers offered a huge emotional boost for Coupeville.

Now, if a few more shots had dropped, the Wolves might have also had a win to commemorate the moment.

Instead, despite a second-half rally, CHS fell 30-17.

The non-conference loss drops the young Wolves to 4-3 on the season, but they still boast the most successful record of any of the school’s four hoops teams.

Saturday was a tale of two different styles of play, as Coupeville was red-hot on defense for 32 minutes but ice-cold on offense for a considerable chunk of time.

Other than a few razzle-dazzle plays, such as a steal and sizzlin’ pass from Kylie Chernikoff to Ashlie Shank for a bucket, CHS had trouble getting the rim to cooperate.

“Shots went up, but the lid was on, on our end,” King said.

Down 6-1 at the first break, the Wolves gave up a string of fast-break buckets in the second quarter, finding themselves staring up at a 17-4 halftime deficit.

Some locker room adjustments, perhaps a Knute Rockne-style speech from King, and Coupeville came out fired up in the second half, playing to a 13-13 tie over the final 16 minutes.

“The third quarter was better,” King said “Our offense started to have more movement, the girls moved the ball better and took care of it better, less steals for Bellevue.”

Kick-starting the offense was the defense, as Coupeville staged a block party.

Coupeville rejected 11 Bellevue shots, with feisty sophomore Tia Wurzrainer pulling off a Dikembe Mutombo-style rampage with six blocks of her own.

Tia was a monster on defense,” King said. “Block after block and shutting off a number of shots.”

Toss in two rejections apiece for Avalon Renninger and Mollie Bailey and one for Nicole Lester, and it quickly became a no-shoot zone for the Vikings.

When BC did get a shot up and away, the Wolves cleaned the glass with a fury, with Maddy Hilkey and Bailey pacing the team by snatching four caroms apiece.

While the Vikings had a height advantage, Chernikoff and Lester “fought all night against a couple of tough post players,” doing a “nice job keeping the other team from driving into the key.”

Lester paced the scoring attack with five points, while Renninger (4), Bailey (3), Hilkey (2), Shank (2) and Chernikoff (1) all chipped in to the effort.

Chelsea Prescott, limited to one quarter so she could play varsity, racked up two rebounds, a steal and an assist, while Shank snagged two boards in her season debut and foreign exchange student Julia García Oñoro “held her own on the defensive end.”

Even in defeat, King came away with positives.

“We did some good things despite the loss,” she said. “The girls are getting more confident with dribbling against pressure, rebounding and putting the ball back up and shooting in general.

“We will make a few adjustments over the next few practices and will be ready for our next game.”

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   Hunter Smith singed the nets for a game-high 20 Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Facts are facts – Bellevue Christian has a very strong boys basketball squad.

Blessed with a six-foot-six guy who can play inside, shoot three-balls and get out and run the floor, plus a pack of speedy gunners to fly cover for him, the Vikings are 7-0 for a reason.

And yet, Coupeville, missing two starters and playing a lineup made up entirely of sophomores at one point Saturday, didn’t get embarrassed.

The Wolves, led by a game-high 20 points from senior Hunter Smith, stayed close through the first half and “won” the fourth quarter.

But, a poor third quarter, in which the visitors went on a 17-3 run and CHS scored on exactly one play in eight minutes, doomed any upset bids and BC left the Island with a 61-38 win.

The non-conference loss, the second in as many nights against a top-level Nisqually League foe, drops Coupeville to 2-5.

The record is a bit deceiving though, as the Wolves sit atop the Olympic League standings at 1-0, and are enduring a rough non-league schedule which should, hopefully, make them stronger when the games start counting towards playoff positioning.

First-year coach Brad Sherman is preaching patience, and using non-conference games as building blocks, and you can see the Wolves making strides.

Saturday, even without starters Cameron Toomey-Stout and Joey Lippo, Coupeville held its own against the much-taller, quicker Vikings.

With Smith rattling home eight points in the first quarter, and Hunter Downes and Jered Brown chipping with a bucket apiece, CHS forced five first quarter ties, and trailed just 14-12 with seconds left on the clock.

Bellevue cashed in with a last-second three-ball to cap the quarter, however, then stretched the lead out to double digits early in the second period.

Coupeville responded by showing toughness in the paint, with Downes converting a put-back off of a rebound before Kyle Rockwell got dynamic.

Taking a pass down low, the senior enforcer squared up Bellevue’s biggest player, backed him down and drained a bank shot while getting hammered on the arms.

Swishing the ensuing free throw, he pulled CHS within 23-17, the closest it would get the rest of the way.

BC, which has eliminated Coupeville from the playoffs the last two years, proved to be too deep and too talented on this night, turning an 11-point bulge at the half into a 25-point lead exiting the third.

The Wolves couldn’t get a thing to drop in the third, with several would-be buckets popping back out under pressure.

Smith broke the skid with a coast-to-coast romp, turning a steal into a breakaway layup, then slipping home a free throw after being mugged on his way to pay dirt.

In the fourth, Sherman gave his young guns some precious floor time, with Brown being joined for several minutes by fellow sophomores Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Mason Grove and Jakobi Pilgrim.

Wells earned a well-deserved roar from the crowd when he soundly rejected a BC shot into the cheap seats, while Grove toasted the net on a three-ball for his first-ever varsity points.

Smith’s 20 points gives him 594 for his stellar career, allowing him to pass Gabe McMurray (592) and tie Mike Syreen (594) at #31 on the Wolf boys career scoring list.

Rockwell (5), Downes (4), Brown (4), Grove (3) and Ethan Spark (2) rounded out the scoring attack, while Dane Lucero chipped in with a solid effort on defense.

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