Posts Tagged ‘Brad Sherman’

The sluggers repping Kapaws kick off a series of light-hearted Central Whidbey Little League team pics. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Little league season is going strong, even between the frequent bursts of rain.

On one of those rare non-wet days, wanderin’ photographer John Fisken ended up down in Coupeville, and the photos above and below are courtesy him.

They capture the lighter side of things in between the more-serious team photos.

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Greg (left) and Cole White hit the road to Spokane. (Morgan White photos)

Let the 27-hour trip begin!

Well, OK, the trip from Coupeville to Spokane probably takes a little less time than that – though sitting in a school bus, it’s likely to feel that long.

The CHS boys basketball team is bound for the 2B state tournament, where it will put its 16-1 record on the line against Lake Roosevelt (16-6) Wednesday.

That game tips off at 9 PM and is a loser-out affair.

Win Wednesday, and Coupeville is guaranteed to play at least twice more, and maybe three times, at the Spokane Arena.

This is the first trip to the big dance for the Wolf boys hoops program since 1988.

The photos above and below, which capture the town-wide celebration send-off this morning, come to us courtesy Morgan White.

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Grady Rickner and the Coupeville High School boys basketball team leave Tuesday for Spokane, and the state 2B tournament. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wave bye-bye-bye as the wheels on the bus go round and round.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball team hits the road Tuesday, on its way to Spokane for the 2B state tournament.

The Wolves leave the CHS gym at 11 AM, then roll down Main Street on their way to the highway.

That’s to allow Coupeville Elementary School students a chance to participate in the fond farewells, and the community is also invited to join the celebration.

Coupeville, 16-1 on the season after a narrow loss to top-seeded Kalama in the state opener Friday in Battle Ground, begins play Wednesday at the Spokane Arena with a 9 PM game against Lake Roosevelt.

That’s a loser-out game, with the winner moving on to the double-elimination quarterfinals.

The state tourney runs through Saturday, with the top six teams bringing home trophies.

This is the first time the CHS boys basketball team has made it to state since 1988 and continues a season of excellence.

Brad Sherman’s squad won a Northwest 2B/1B League title, the program’s first league crown since 2002.

The Wolves followed that up with a District 1/2 title — its second district title in 105 seasons, and first since 1970.

Injured senior Miles Davidson has stayed busy compiling stats.

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“State, here we come!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It won’t be a one-night stand.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball team is headed back to the state tournament for the first time in 34 years, and the Wolves will play at least two games.

Depending on how things work out, those two rumbles could stretch out to as many as five.

Coupeville is guaranteed at least two games thanks to being ranked #8 in the 16-team 2B field.

Teams seeded #1-#8 start off in double-elimination mode, while #9-#16 play loser-out games, with all first-round bouts held at “regional sites.”

Twelve of the 16 teams then advance to the main site, which for 2B teams, is the Spokane Arena.

This is the first time the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has used seeding committees for basketball.

At first glance, it might be easy to think the Wolves are being underrated a bit.

Coupeville (16-0) is the only unbeaten boys team left in 2B, its RPI ranking was higher than #8, and it won a district title — something four of the seven teams ranked ahead of it did not accomplish.

The most likely reasons for Coupeville being seeded #8, and not higher?

Its strength of schedule was low compared to some other schools.

Plus, four of the top seven seeded schools hail from hoops hotbed District 4, and the WIAA pledged not to pit teams from the same district against each other in the first round if possible.

Also, you miss the big dance for 30+ years and you don’t have a rep, something which factored in during the season when Associated Press voters virtually ignored Coupeville.

But hey, it’s a weird, wild hoops world out there, where Chief Leschi started 13-1 and did NOT make it to state, while River View started 0-13, and DID.

Ultimately though, even at #8, the Wolves got what they wanted — a guarantee their first game is not a loser-out affair, and that they will play in Spokane.

“All is good. No complaints here,” said CHS coach Brad Sherman. “Very cool for the guys.”

Coupeville opens against top-seeded Kalama (19-1), which escaped with a District 4 title after two close calls.

The Chinooks, who feature several players from this year’s 2B state champion football team, were pushed hard in their postseason tourney.

Kalama needed a buzzer-beating three-ball to nip Napavine in the D4 semifinals, then edged Morton-White Pass by a point in the title game.

Coupeville’s showdown with the Chinooks is set for Friday, Feb. 25, with a 6 PM tip-off at Battle Ground High School.

Win, and the Wolves jump straight to the quarterfinals of the state tourney.

In that scenario, Coupeville starts play in Spokane Mar. 3.

Lose to Kalama, and the Wolves instead play Mar. 2 against either #9 Lake Roosevelt or #16 River View in a loser-out game.

The state tourney, which runs through Mar. 5, is a modified double-elimination royal rumble, with the top six teams earning trophies.


To see the complete bracket, pop over to:


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Coupeville High School boys basketball celebrates its first district title since 1970. (Michelle Glass photo)

In uncertain times, one thing remains consistent — they’re making history.

When the final buzzer sounded Thursday night, bedlam ruled as an undefeated Coupeville High School boys basketball team achieved a feat last accomplished by the Wolves in 1970.

With a 67-27 win over visiting La Conner, the CHS boys captured the District 1/2 title, only the second such championship in the 105-year history of the program.

And now the Wolves, a pristine 16-0, are off to the state tourney for the first time since 1988, breaking the longest dry spell of any of the school’s athletic programs.

Brad Sherman and crew await the work of the WIAA seeding committee, which will rank the 16 teams in the 2B field Sunday, then announce first-round opponents and game sites.

Regionals, which is the first round of the state tourney, goes down Feb. 25-26, with 12 of 16 teams advancing to the Spokane Arena for the Mar. 2-5 main event.

Coupeville, as the only unbeaten boys team in 2B, should be a lock for a top-eight seed, which means their regional round game would NOT be a loser-out affair.

Based on past history, Thursday’s Coupeville vs. La Conner rumble might have seemed like a bit of a mismatch.

The Wolves rep a hoops program with four previous trips to state.

Meanwhile the Braves have made it to the promised land a staggering 42 times, and still have a chance at #43, with a loser-out, winner-to-state game Sunday against a school from District 4.

But this year’s Coupeville squad, anchored by a strong group of seniors who grew up together, playing ball as teammates since their SWISH days, is making its own history.

These Wolves thunked La Conner 54-26 and 79-45 in regular-season matchups, and Thursday was beat-down #3.

Which should greatly delight old-school fans who remember too many heartbreaking losses in key games to the Braves over the decades.

Thursday’s royal rumble played out in front of the biggest, loudest, rowdiest crowd to stuff the CHS gym in years.

Old timers still talk about the 1970 district title game, when 2000+ plus fans stuffed into an off-Island gym to watch Jeff Stone drop a school-record 48 points as the Wolves thrashed Darrington.

That was the first district hoops title for any Whidbey Island school, and Thursday’s tilt brought together the past, present, and future into one wild mash-up of red and black kickin’ butts and takin’ names.

Nearly every inch of the “Coupeville sports emporium” was crammed, fan after fan of all ages trying, and often failing, to find a comfortable perch on the unforgiving hard plastic bleachers.

Not that anyone seemed to mind, as the roar started as Hawthorne Wolfe, the only four-year varsity starter on the team, led his teammates onto the floor.

And once the screaming, and the wailing, and the wild giggling from a super-hyped band of elementary school boys gathered behind the CHS bench, began, it never abated.

Sarah Flay gets loud ‘n proud for son Caleb Meyer. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves seized the momentum from the opening tip, Wolfe dishing to fellow senior Caleb Meyer for a quick inside bucket, and Coupeville was off to the races.

With the Marauding Murdy boys — Xavier and Alex — leading the way, the Wolves attacked with wild glee on defense, and La Conner buckled.

The Braves could barely get a shot skyward, all too often committing turnovers in the face of a withering defense, and Coupeville took advantage.

Rampaging to an 18-0 lead before La Conner finally got on the board six minutes into the game, CHS got points from all five starters during the opening barrage.

Grady Rickner, giving an advance preview of what would be his best scoring night in a Wolf varsity uniform, tossed in back-to-back buckets in the paint.

In the stands, dad Chad, having hastily changed hoodies after inadvertently showing up wearing La Conner’s colors, beamed with pride, now clad in a more-appropriate black jacket.

On the floor, Wolfe delivered the daggers, rippling the nets on a pair of three-balls to really set the Braves on their heels.

The first trey was a stop-and-pop shot, while the second was set up by Rickner soaring to the heavens to snatch a rebound, then pivoting and zipping the ball to his trailing teammate.

Add another three-ball to end the first quarter, this one courtesy Xavier Murdy, and the romp was on at 21-2 as the teams went to the first break.

But La Conner didn’t get to the title game by flopping over and playing dead, and the Braves found one decent rally deep inside themselves.

Calling on some of the mojo which led it to recent wins over Friday Harbor and Auburn Adventist Academy in loser-out games, La Conner opened the second frame on a 12-4 tear.

Dropping four treys in a seven-minute span, the Braves actually got all the way back to 30-20, before Alex Murdy and Rickner each slipped a free-throw through the twines to cap the half.

If there was a little tension in the air coming out of halftime, it vanished quickly.

“The Wolves are a second-half team!” yelled out a nearby fan, and Coupeville’s players more than lived up to her proclamation.

The third quarter was Grady Time, with Rickner going off for 10 points in the frame, with seemingly every bucket achieved by him forcing his will while being repeatedly smacked in the face by multiple defenders.

Another three-ball from Wolfe — the net jumping as the shooter shrugged and the overflow crowd went berserk — and a sweet lil’ runner from Cole White helped capped a game-busting 18-0 run.

Each bucket sent the gathered masses into delirium, with a three-ball from Logan Martin, the ultimate blue-collar hoops dude, causing the Wolf bench players to lose their collective minds.

With the game out of hand, CHS coach Brad Sherman made sure to get floor time for all 12 healthy players, while injured senior Miles Davidson joined the celebration from the bench.

Brad and Abbey Sherman and their four future All-Conference players bask in the afterglow. (Deb Sherman photo)

Calling a timeout at the end, Sherman — a prairie lifer who once dropped three-balls from every angle in this same gym as a star player — sent his seniors back on the floor.

Wolfe, X-Man, Martin, Rickner, and Meyer, who lit up the middle school gym in their youth, shared a moment together at the end, now as semi-grizzled vets.

The ball went back-and-forth, with Martin stopping to kiss the orb before flicking it on, and the crowd chanting “On to state! On to state!” as the buzzer blared.

And you have to believe there was a sixth player on the floor with them.

Bennett Boyles, who played SWISH basketball with this group, would have been part of the CHS Class of 2022, had he not lost a fight with brain cancer.

Throughout every step on this path, from middle school, to high school, to achieving success like no Wolf boys hoops team has in decades, his classmates have held his memory close.

He was with them on Senior Night, and Bennett was with his friends Thursday night as well.

That I believe.

The rest of the playoff run will be on the road, but Coupeville capped its final home game by playing the way it has all season — with every guy making a contribution, and the hot hand always being fed.

Thursday that was Rickner, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

Xavier Murdy banked in 12, Wolfe snapped the nets for nine, and Alex Murdy tickled the twines for eight in support.

Meyer (7), Martin (3), White (2), Dominic Coffman (2), Logan Downes (1), and Nick Guay (1) also scored, with Zane Oldenstadt and Jonathan Valenzuela seeing floor time as well.

On to state! (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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