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Posts Tagged ‘Boys Basketball’

Jermiah Copeland looks for an open man. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

They bounced back in a big way.

Coming off a tough road loss at Mount Vernon Christian, the Coupeville High School varsity boys’ basketball team rebounded to drill host Concrete Tuesday.

Capping a four-game road trip, the Wolves won for the eighth time in their last 10 games, demolishing the Lions 75-22.

With 10 different players scoring, including sophomore Hunter Bronec tossing in his first varsity bucket, CHS gets to 3-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 10-6 overall.

Up next is a return home, for the first time in two weeks, and a rumble with Friday Harbor Jan. 27.

That Friday-night tilt has major playoff implications, as Coupeville tries to move a step closer to clinching District 1’s top seed for the bi-district tourney.

Two of three 2B schools from the NWL punch playoff tickets, with the games between the trio of teams the deciding factor.

Coupeville is 1-0 in that saucy round-robin dance, La Conner 1-1, and Friday Harbor 0-1 with the Wolves hosting the Braves Feb. 7, then traveling to Friday Harbor Feb. 10 for the regular season finale.

Tuesday’s battle in the town Leonardo Di Caprio and Robert De Niro made infamous in This Boy’s Life was a romp from start to finish, save for one brief spell in the first quarter.

Jumping out to a 9-0 lead, Coupeville didn’t let Concrete score until the 4:40 mark of the opening frame, only to see the Lions then slap home seven unanswered points.

If they were fazed, the Wolves didn’t show it, merely going right back to work.

Nick Guay stopped the brief bleeding with a layup off of a lob from Alex Murdy, then the Wolf junior came back around to cap a 13-2 run by firing a full court pass to a sprinting Murdy, who beat the buzzer by a step.

Up 22-9 at the first break, Coupeville continued to push its lead out, combining three-balls from Ryan Blouin and Logan Downes with hard-fought buckets in the paint courtesy Jonathan Valenzuela and Cole White.

The halftime advantage was 41-17, though it could have been bigger.

Guay bounded high, snagged an offensive board and drilled the put-back jumper at the buzzer, only to have hometown refs wave off his highlight reel play, claiming it left his fingers too late.

Not that Coupeville needed the extra bucket, as it broke Concrete’s spirit in the third quarter, rolling up a 27-0 advantage across eight frantic minutes.

Murdy was wheelin’ and dealin’, firing beautiful set-up passes to his teammates, with seven different Wolves tallying points in the frame.

Leading 68-17 headed into the fourth, Coupeville coach Brad Sherman, who had been liberally substituting all night, gave his support players a chance to own the quarter.

Hunter Bronec is in a hurry to get somewhere. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

Jermiah Copeland splashed home his first three-ball as a Wolf, banking the ball off the glass while doing so, while both Bronec brothers, Hunter and Hurlee, got extensive floor time.

With Coupeville’s starters playing limited minutes, the scoring sheet was super-balanced.

Downes led the way with a game-high 20, while Murdy banked in 14, and White snapped the net for 10.

Dominic Coffman (7), Valenzuela (7), Blouin (5), Copeland (5), Guay (3), Hunter Bronec (2), and Zane Oldenstadt (2) also scored, with William Davidson and Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim pounding the boards.

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Cole White rained down jumpers Friday night. (Andrew Williams photo)

A bump in the road.

Friday night’s loss at Mount Vernon Christian stings, but it’s not fatal for the Coupeville High School varsity boys’ basketball team.

Facing a Hurricane team which seemed unable to miss all night, the Wolves fell 73-53, snapping a four-game winning streak.

For the moment, the loss drops Coupeville to 2-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 9-6 overall.

But the silver lining is MVC is a 1B school, and the Wolves rep a 2B program.

So, while the Hurricanes earned a split in the team’s two-game series, this is the last time the squads will play this season.

Coupeville, which won the first time the schools squared off, still controls its own playoff destiny, as only its games against fellow 2B rivals La Conner and Friday Harbor decide who makes it to the postseason.

With one matchup against the Braves, and two against the Wolverines still ahead on the schedule, the Wolves head to Concrete Tuesday to face a 3-11 Lions team.

For CHS coach Brad Sherman and his team, basketball offers the reprieve of not having to wait long for the next game.

A day off Sunday, a day of practice Monday, and then back to the hardwood.

Coupeville didn’t play all that badly against MVC, matching them with five three-balls and getting big performances from its role players.

Problem is, the Hurricanes just had one of those nights when everything they threw up in the air seemed to catch the rim just right.

Once the Wolves were trailing, they would slice a bit here, a bit there, only to see MVC deliver yet another dagger in front of its home fans.

With Cole White popping for a quick five points in the early going, Coupeville led 11-9 heading towards the first break.

Then the Hurricane(s) hit and hit hard.

Using a 6-0 run to claim a 15-11 lead at the first break, MVC stretched its advantage out to 36-24 by halftime.

The Hurricanes clamped down on Coupeville’s leading scorers, Logan Downes and Alex Murdy, but the Wolves got help from the bench.

Nick Guay tossed in three buckets during the second quarter, while Zane Oldenstadt, normally a defense-first big man, connected on back-to-back jumpers to give CHS a fighting chance.

Zane Oldenstadt (far right) played strongly on both ends of the floor against Mount Vernon Christian. (Delanie Lewis photo)

Coupeville got the lead down to seven at 45-38 late in the third quarter on a White pullup jumper, but the ‘Canes responded immediately.

Same thing in the final frame, as the Wolves cut a 12-point deficit to eight, only to have MVC go on an 8-0 run.

Another late Hurricane surge, this one 9-0, made the final score seem like more of a blowout than the game really was.

White paced the Wolves with a varsity career-high 15-point performance, while Guay tossed in 13, and Downes added 12.

Alex Murdy (7), Oldenstadt (4), and Dominic Coffman (2) also scored, with Jonathan Valenzuela, William Davidson, Chase Anderson, and Ryan Blouin seeing floor time.

Liam Millenaar led MVC with 23 points, with Billy DeJong knocking down 18 in support.

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Coupeville senior Jonathan Valenzuela overcame an eye injury Wednesday, hitting a buzzer beater to upend La Conner on its home floor. (Morgan White photo)

Did he call glass?

For that matter, how clearly could he even see the glass?

Playing with his right eye partially closed off after an early game injury which twice sent him to the sidelines, Coupeville High School gunner Jonathan Valenzuela hit one of the biggest buckets in program history Wednesday night.

Hauling in a cross-court pass from freshman Chase Anderson, the Wolf senior banked in a buzzer-beating three-ball from WAY behind the arc, lifting the Wolves to a stunning 57-56 win over host La Conner.

The shot capped a wild game which featured two Coupeville starters fouling out, the Braves clanging 16 free throws, and massive mood swings.

The fourth-straight win for the Wolves, and seventh in their last eight games, it lifts CHS to 2-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 9-5 overall.

It also keeps Coupeville’s record perfect against fellow 2B schools at 4-0, and flawless in games played off of Whidbey Island, with Brad Sherman’s squad 6-0 when away from the misty isle.

The victory could also have huge repercussions on playoff seeding, with two of three 2B schools in the NWL making the playoffs, and the top seed from that trio hosting its opening bi-district game.

Wednesday’s win leaves Coupeville at 1-0 in the three-team tango, with a home rematch against La Conner Feb. 7 and two bouts with Friday Harbor still ahead.

The Wolverines, struggling at 1-10 on the season, visit Whidbey Jan. 27, then host Coupeville Feb. 10 in the regular-season finale.

La Conner beat Friday Harbor in their first meeting, so the Braves are 1-1 in the seeding chase, with the Wolverines at 0-1.

Those teams play a second time Feb. 3.

For now, thanks to Anderson and Valenzuela’s magic, and a lot of small hustle plays which loomed large in a titanic rumble, Coupeville controls its own destiny.

To get to that point, the Wolves had to overcome the loss of sparkplug Dominic Coffman and leading scorer Logan Downes, who both picked up a fifth foul in a game where CHS was whistled for 23 fouls to just 15 for the home team.

Having overcome a 10-point deficit thanks to a torrid run late in the third quarter, Coupeville was clinging to a 47-44 lead when Downes was sent to the bench with six minutes to play.

With the Wolf junior averaging 25 points a game, the Wolves had to find their offense someplace else in the stretch run, and they did.

Cole White snapped the net on a short jumper, before Alex Murdy buried a three-ball from the top of the arc, and CHS looked golden, up 52-44.

The good times didn’t last, however, as La Conner closed the game on a 12-2 surge across almost all of the final five minutes.

Murdy knocked down Coupeville’s lone bucket in that stretch, converting a highlight-reel run through a pack of Braves, and the final two of his team-high 17 points proved to be huge.

But La Conner was trying to write its own miracle finish, and almost pulled it off, capping an 8-0 run when Braden Thomas sank a short jumper to stake the Braves to a 56-54 lead.

That left four ticks on the clock, the home fans were losing their minds, and everything, and I mean everything, had to go right for Coupeville to pen a Hoosiers-style finale.

So, that’s exactly what happened.

Wolf big man William Davidson alertly called a timeout on the inbounds play, moving the ball from the backcourt to halfcourt.

That put the ball in the hands of Anderson, a stone-cold killer who rarely betrays his youth in the heat of the moment.

The fab frosh had ended the third quarter with a fairly sensational buzzer beater of his own, banking in a runner from the left side to cap a 10-0 Wolf spurt.

That earned high praise from his fellow players and Coupeville fans, who chanted “He’s a freshman!” over and over during the ensuing break in action.

Chase Anderson, seen here in an earlier game, came up huge against the Braves. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

A quarter later, Anderson found himself handed the ball on the sideline, and, as his teammates broke, “The Magic Man” made the absolute perfect entry pass.

Murdy went flying by, sucking defenders with him, which allowed Valenzuela to pop open on the other side of the court.

Anderson, showing off the powerful throwing arm which marks him as Coupeville’s likely starting quarterback once Downes departs the gridiron, launched the ball and dropped it on a dime.

Valenzuela, his right eye bandaged, puffy, and still marked by blood after being roughed up by the Braves during an early-game scrum, never hesitated.

Ball on his fingers, ball flies far away, ball banks home, Wolf faithful lose their collective minds and storm the floor.

Jimmy Chitwood would be proud.

Valenzuela’s bomb capped a rough-and-tumble affair which La Conner controlled for much of the first half.

The Braves, behind a rampaging Isaiah Price, who scored 22 of his game-high 29 in the opening 16 minutes, led 17-13 at the first break, then pushed the lead to double digits twice in the second quarter.

The final time came at 36-26, but Coupeville didn’t break.

Instead, just as they did in their previous game against Neah Bay — another one-point win, just without the buzzer beater — the Wolves clawed back, cutting the lead right before halftime.

Valenzuela and Coffman each hit a free throw, off of the same foul, as Valenzuela, blood dripping down his face, was sent to the sideline after converting the first of what was supposed to be two charity shots.

Anderson closed the half by burying a three-ball, with Murdy snagging an offensive rebound and kicking it out to the young gunner.

The third quarter raised the intensity, with Murdy rejecting a La Conner shot, and Coffman and Cole White drawing offensive charges on the Braves.

Still trailing 42-35 midway through the third, Coupeville reclaimed the lead by scoring the final 10 points of the period, with Valenzuela, White, Nick Guay, and Anderson rattling the rim on successful shots.

That set up the fourth quarter fireworks, with the final result leaving CHS coach Brad Sherman mentally exhausted, but happy.

Winning back-to-back games by a point will do that for a guy.

“Wow! These guys never quit,” Sherman said. “A lot of guys stepped up tonight.

“La Conner is a tough team,” he added. “Really big to leave with a win – specially to do it that way!”

With Downes saddled with rare foul trouble, Coupeville spread its offense among multiple players.

Murdy led the way with 17, reaching an even 350 for his high school career, while Downes banked in 16 of his own in limited minutes.

That was still enough to lift him to 564 career points, and he moves from #44 to #39 on the all-time CHS boys’ career scoring chart for a program launched 106 years ago.

With his work against La Conner, Downes passes old-school Wolf hoops stars Marc Bissett (549), Jim Syreen (550), Roy Marti (551), and Randy Duggan (552).

Anderson (9), Valenzuela (8), White (4), Guay (2), and Coffman (1) also scored Wednesday, with Zane Oldenstadt, Ryan Blouin, and Davidson seeing floor time.

Riding high after back-to-back thriller wins, Coupeville faces one of its biggest tests Friday, when it travels to Mount Vernon Christian to face a 12-5 squad.

The Wolves beat the Hurricanes 44-39 the first time around, but that game was a “non-league” game against a league foe.

Friday’s matchup, however, counts in the NWL standings.

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Aiden O’Neill makes his move. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

They may never lose again.

Getting buckets from nine players Wednesday, the Coupeville High School JV boys’ basketball team roared past host La Conner, winning 51-30.

The fifth straight victory for the young Wolves, it lifts them to 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 6-3 overall.

Hunter Smith’s squad built an early lead against the Braves, before blowing things wide open with a dramatic third-quarter run.

Up 14-11 at the first break, Coupeville stretched the margin to 29-19 by the half, while saving its best for right after halftime.

Jack Porter and Aiden O’Neill both popped for five points in the third frame, including a three-ball apiece, as CHS torched La Conner 14-0.

From there, the Wolves strolled in for the win, running their road record to a pristine 4-0 on the season.

With Coupeville’s next game involving a bus trip to Mount Vernon Christian Friday, that bodes well for the young guns.

Landon Roberts prepares to break a defender in half. (Delanie Lewis photo)

O’Neill paced the Wolves at La Conner, splashing home a pair of three-balls en route to a game-high 10 points.

Hunter Bronec (8), Malachi Somes (7), Jack Porter (7), Chase Anderson (6), Landon Roberts (4), Johnny Porter (4), Hurlee Bronec (3), and Camden Glover (2) also scored, with Carson Field and Yohannon Sandles seeing floor time.

Somes, Hunter Bronec, and Jack Porter all connected on three-balls, joining O’Neill in the long-distance club.

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Cole White kickstarts the offense. (Bailey Thule photo)

Pull on your padded underwear and get ready to rock.

Saturday’s varsity boys’ basketball bout between host Neah Bay and visiting Coupeville was not for the faint of heart.

The teams combined for 151 points, and probably just as many bruises, in the kind of down-and-dirty brawl which had fans on both sides of the bleachers hyperventilating.

And the best news, at least for faithful readers of this blog?

Coupeville roared back from a 13-point deficit, overcoming both the scrappy Red Devils and a hail of foul calls to pull out an electrifying 76-75 win in CHS coach Brad Sherman’s 100th game on the bench.

Then the Wolves and their fans booked it out of town, fleeing seconds after Neah Bay’s potential buzzer-beater clanged off the rim — intent on making it to the final ferry of the night.

While bouncing across the rutted backroads of small-town America, Coupeville’s hoops stars could bask in the glow of a job well done.

Playing their second game in less than 24 hours, the Wolves proved to be resilient second-half warriors and are now 8-5 after winning for the sixth time in their last seven games.

Friday’s home league win against an overmatched Darrington squad was just the appetizer, with Saturday’s non-conference tussle a true test.

The Wolves, who have played a tough early-season schedule as they prep for making a run at earning a repeat trip to the state tourney, went toe-to-toe with Neah Bay in the early going.

Logan Downes had a hot hand, pumping in 12 in the first quarter, with a final free throw being his 300th point of the season.

That charity shot, coming after teammate Jonathan Valenzuela yanked down an offensive rebound, then spun and nailed a dagger of a jumper, pulled Coupeville within 17-16.

Jonathan Valenzuela floats in for a bucket. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

If there was a downside, it came courtesy of the refs, who seemed to delight in whistling Coupeville on a frequent basis, including handing out a questionable technical foul on the Wolves.

What’s funny is you look at the scorebook, and the final foul tally for the entire day was 20 for CHS, and 17 for Neah Bay.

Yet it felt, at least in the first half, much more unbalanced than that, proving perception doesn’t always equal reality.

And to be fair, it wasn’t just the fouls, as Neah Bay was locked-in and stroking the ball, popping shots to push its lead out to 36-23 late in the half.

Coupeville rallied right at the end, with Dominic Coffman turning a steal into a breakaway bucket and Alex Murdy nailing one of his four three-balls, but the Red Devils still led 36-28 at the break.

Whatever wisdom was imparted in the locker room was crucial, however, as the Wolves seemed like a different team in the second half.

A 14-2 run, kicked off by a Cole White jumper and capped by eight straight points from Downes — including both a three-ball and a three-point play earned the hard way — gave CHS its first lead in forever.

Then, after a brief rally by Neah Bay to go back in front at 49-46, Coupeville claimed the advantage for good.

Murdy lowered his shoulder and rumbled up the middle for a bucket, followed by back-to-back treys from Downes, and Coupeville never trailed again.

Not that Neah Bay faded away, as the Red Devils cut their deficit to 54-53 heading into the fourth quarter and responded to every Wolf run with one of their own.

Downes and Murdy both dropped a pair of three-balls in the final frame, but Coupeville couldn’t pull away as the clock ran down.

First the Wolves were up seven, then later nine, and both times the Red Devils charged back into the fray.

Neah Bay only had four three-balls to Coupeville’s nine, but the two biggest came in the final seconds, as Red Devils sophomore Makyah Chambers buried a pair of pressure-packed treys with Wolf defenders hanging all over him.

Coupeville’s secret weapon down the stretch turned out to be Nick Guay, who scored all six of his points in the white-hot glare of prime time.

Three times the lanky junior sliced through the defense and banked in layups to preserve his team’s lead in the final minute, with Murdy and Downes setting him up with note-perfect passes.

In the end, the game came down not to a big shot, but to the Wolves executing the small play, and doing it on repeat.

Three times in the final 10 seconds Coupeville had to get the ball inbounds in the backcourt, knowing Neah Bay would quickly foul.

The Red Devils couldn’t send the Wolves to the free throw line until foul #3, but they could hack and chop and hope for a turnover while trying.

Instead, three times White stepped out of bounds, and three times Downes faked, spun, pivoted and made just enough room between himself and his defender to pull in the pass, cling to the ball with an iron grip and absorb getting smacked.

Try as they might, the Red Devils never came close to a steal, and finally sent Coupeville to the line for a one-and-one attempt.

Deciding the day needed just a bit more drama, the basket spit out Downes initial free throw try, giving Neah Bay a chance to make a miracle as it grabbed the rebound.

To the joy of the Wolves, and the staggering disappointment of the Red Devil fans, though, a long three-ball clanged off the rim, and a put-back wouldn’t go down.

That set off a half-celebration, half-stampede for the door from anyone with a Whidbey address.

Later, after the hubbub settled down, the 100-game coach marinated in a memorable win.

“Really just very proud of the way our guys came together and got it done against a tough, scrappy team tonight on the road,” Sherman said.

“Showed a ton of grit – especially the energy the boys came out of halftime with!”

Dominic Coffman (on floor) and William Davidson bring the defensive heat. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville got big contributions from all 10 players to see the floor, with Zane Oldenstadt, William Davidson, and Ryan Blouin fueling the defensive effort.

Downes torched the nets for a game-high 36 points — the second-best effort of his high school career — marking the fourth time he’s topped 30 in the last seven games.

That pushes him to 324 points on the season (24.9 a night), and 548 for his career.

Downes passed former Wolf greats Cody Peters (518), JJ Marti (520), Gary Faris (524), Brad Miller (526), Jerry Zylstra (527), and Gary Hammons (533) Saturday, and sits #43 on the Wolf boys all-time scoring chart for a program launched in 1917.

Murdy came up huge on both ends of the floor, adding 18 points of his own to the cause, lifting his own career total to 333, while Guay (6), White (6), Valenzuela (4), Coffman (4), and Chase Anderson (2) also scored.

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