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Freshman Carolyn Lhamon banked in 10 points Friday as Coupeville’s varsity girls improved to 4-1 with a rout of Concrete. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Some nights everything works.

Friday was just such a sublime moment for the Coupeville High School girls varsity basketball squad, as it rocked visiting Concrete to a 57-27 tune.

With 11 of 12 active players scoring, all led by hard-working freshman Carolyn Lhamon having a breakout game, the Wolves improve to 4-1 on the season.

All four wins have come against schools which are in the Northwest 2B/1B League, which Coupeville joins next season, while the lone loss was to undefeated 3A Oak Harbor.

Friday’s rumble was a good old-fashioned beatdown, as the Wolves struck quickly and never, ever let up.

Flying in from the left side of the floor, senior team leader Avalon Renninger drilled a runner to open the scoring, and that opened the floodgates.

Pick your poison if you were Concrete, cause everyone in a Wolf uniform was going to hurt you on this night.

Six different CHS players made the net sing in the opening quarter, as the home team bolted out to a 17-3 lead.

Wolf junior Chelsea Prescott led the way in the first frame, banging home five points with a variety of moves.

Her first bucket came off of an offensive rebound which she ripped down, then immediately took back up strongly, while her second basket was a pull-up jumper which barely rippled the net as it dropped through.

Concrete couldn’t focus just on Prescott, though, as Renninger was also in a groove, banking home a second shot on the move, while Scout Smith, Lhamon, Maddie Georges, and Anya Leavell also scored in the early going.

Coupeville kept its motor humming in the second quarter, with coach Scott Fox directing his hardwood warriors to attack on the fly and press their advantage.

While Smith and fellow senior Hannah Davidson were quietly effective, tossing in buckets off of steals and rebounds, respectively, the star of the second eight-minute stretch was Audrianna Shaw.

The sophomore sparkplug came charging off the bench and immediately erupted, blowing up a Concrete player as she tried to crash in for a breakaway layup.

Shaw, chasing her every step of the way, determined glare on her face, came swooping in from behind and (inadvertently) flat-out decked the Lion shooter, sending her crashing hard and preventing the bucket.

Coupeville’s friendly assassin meant no ill will, and immediately helped up her fallen rival and patted her on the shoulder, but the warning had been sent.

Run from Shaw, and she will hunt you down and annihilate your very soul.

One crowd-pleasing play wasn’t enough for Shaw, though, as she also set up running mate Kylie Van Velkinburgh for back-to-back buckets with crisp passes.

Then, just to put a cherry on the sundae, she slapped home her own layup, off of a sparkling pass from Renninger.

Smart, well-executed passes were Coupeville’s calling card Friday, as most of its buckets were set up by teammates working together in near-perfect rhythm.

Romping with a 33-9 lead at the half, the Wolves settled for a 6-6 stalemate in the third quarter, highlighted by Izzy Wells netting a sweet lil’ hook shot off a Davidson feed.

Rested a bit, Coupeville re-jammed the gas pedal through the floor in the final frame, throwing down a game-high 18 points.

Lhamon and Leavell made the perfect tag team in the quarter, powering up to deliver six points apiece as they shredded the last bit of the Concrete defense.

Leavell got hers off of a put-back and then two gorgeous jumpers, both set up by strong passes, one from Shaw, another from Mollie Bailey.

Her younger teammate did most of her damage down in the paint, again benefiting from her teammates making smart set-up plays.

One Lhamon bucket came off of a Shaw pass, another from a set-up by Leavell, as Coupeville’s underclassmen, who will face Concrete often in the future, carried a big portion of the play-making load.

The Wolves finished with their best offensive showing of the season, and a remarkably-balanced scoring sheet.

Lhamon, who had five points coming in, went off for a game-high 10, while Smith and Leavell finished with eight apiece.

Smith continues her charge up the CHS girls hoops career scoring chart, passing six more former Wolf stars Friday including Kassie Lawson, Heather Davis, and state tourney hero Jaime Rasmussen.

With 187 points and counting, the Wolf captain sits at #58 all-time, just 36 points away from cracking the Top 50.

Prescott (7), Renninger (6), Van Velkinburgh (4), Shaw (4), Davidson (4), Bailey (2), Georges (2), and Wells (2) also scored, and Prescott continues to chase Smith.

Having tallied 171 career points, the multi-talented junior rose five spots Friday to land at #66 all-time.

With freshman Nezi Keiper sidelined with an injury, the lone Wolf not to score against Concrete was Tia Wurzrainer.

But her calling card has always been defense, and the senior guard made her impact felt on that end of the floor, harassing the Lion ballhandlers and forcing numerous turnovers.

Coupeville won’t have terribly long to bask in the afterglow of the win, as it hits the road Saturday, traveling to Seattle to face The Bush School.

The Wolves play their first game of their last season in the North Sound Conference next Tuesday, Dec. 17, when they travel to Sultan.

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Freshman Carolyn Lhamon, launching an impressive long ball, came within an inch of scoring Tuesday against King’s stellar varsity defense. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Brekyn Clark collected an assist in the JV game, as Coupeville and King’s combined rosters and played a one-goal thriller.

“I think this might be the best girls team I’ve had here.”

No matter what the win/loss record says, Coupeville High School girls soccer coach Kyle Nelson has never swayed in his belief in his injury-plagued, but resilient players.

Tuesday night made for rough sledding for the Wolves, as they welcomed one of the premier 1A programs to town, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 7-0 rumble with visiting King’s.

The loss drops CHS to 0-6 in North Sound Conference play, 0-8-2 overall, but it is still just a game off of a playoff berth.

After facing the high-powered Knights, who have been a regular visitor to the state tournament, the schedule gets much, much easier over the next week.

Coupeville heads to Port Townsend Thursday for a non-conference tilt with an 0-8 RedHawk team which has only scored in one game, before hosting Sultan (1-5 in league, 1-8-2 overall) Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The Turks nipped the Wolves 1-0 on turf in Sultan the first time around. Playing on regular grass in front of its home crowd, the chance for Coupeville to net some revenge is huge.

And necessary, if CHS wants to remain in the race for the fifth, and final playoff berth out of the six-team NSC.

While Tuesday’s tango might have seemed one-sided on the scoreboard, if the Wolves can bring the same energy they had against King’s, anything is possible.

“They played hard all game long against a very tough opponent,” Nelson said. “I never saw any hanging of heads, which I’m very happy with.

“From start whistle to end whistle, they competed.”

The Wolves also came close to puncturing a strong Knights defense which has collected six shutouts in 10 games.

“We definitely had a lot more shots on goal than the first time around, which is really good,” Nelson said. “We were inches away from scoring on them.”

Coupeville’s best chance came on a free kick awarded after a Wolf player was sent sprawling by a rival.

Freshman Carolyn Lhamon took the shot, and emulating former Wolf Jennifer Spark’s bionic leg, crushed a high, arcing ball which curved away from the King’s goalie as it picked up speed.

Unfortunately, the curve was just slightly too far, as the ball slammed off the far post, then rebounded to a teammate who immediately fired again, only to send the ball just wide on the right.

“Close, very, very close,” Nelson said with a small smile.

King’s got on the board less than 70 seconds into the game, slapping in a short shot, then followed that up with three more scores in the first half.

Wolf goaltender Mollie Bailey turned away her fair share of shots, including making a sensational diving save to deny a Knights player who had a one-on-one breakaway and seemed destined to hit pay-dirt.

Sprawling to her right at the last second, the 25th generation (give or take a generation) Coupeville native hit the turf, slid, and snared the ball, pulling it to her chest and not letting go while almost being stepped on by the rampaging shooter.

That play was symbolic of how the Wolf defense played all night.

King’s, with its band of club ball pros, can hit from anywhere, and came in waves, hitting one goal on the third rebound, as Bailey stopped back-to-back shots in rapid-fire motion before being unable to twist into a pretzel fast enough to deny the final shot.

But she and CHS defenders such as Tia Wurzrainer and Nezi Keiper stood tall, fighting for every ball, and frequently forcing the Knights out of their comfort zone.

On one play, a King’s player came curling in from the right side, seemingly with an open shot, only to be met by Wurzrainer, who hip-checked her into the stands to a mighty roar from the Wolf faithful.

Along with Lhamon’s blast, the Wolves got several shots on goal from Avalon Renninger, including one from distance, which curved just wide at the last second.

Coupeville also got strong attacks out of Mallory Kortuem and Audrianna Shaw.

 

JV mixes things up:

The Wolves only had six JV players in uniform, so King’s offered up a couple of players to even out the sides, and the teams played to what would be a 3-2 win for the “bad” Knights over the “good” Knights/Wolves.

Since it was regarded as a friendly, the loss doesn’t affect Coupeville’s record.

Both CHS goals were knocked in by rented players, with Wolf Brekyn Clark assisting on the first score.

Also seeing action for the Wolves were Lily Leedy, who came dangerously close to scoring on a second-half shot, and Izzy Wells, Camryn Clark, Anna Myles, and goalie Katelin McCormick, who snagged several nice saves.

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Sam Wynn is the top returning male runner for Coupeville High School cross country. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Alana Mihill (center) and Catherine Lhamon are back to pace an expanding girls team.

Step by step, the program is coming back.

Coupeville High School jumped back into cross country last season, after a two-decade absence, and found some immediate success.

Now, with a new coach on hand, the Wolves want to keep building numbers, while preparing their harriers to run far into the postseason.

Luke Samford, who spent the previous seven years coaching cross country and track at the college level, replaces Natasha Bamberger, who stepped down to focus on her real-world job.

The new Wolf head man immediately jumped into things, and has a good mix of returning runners and newcomers.

Juniors Sam Wynn and Catherine Lhamon and sophomore Alana Mihill top the letter winners, while three freshmen have already made their presence felt.

“Right now, on the men’s side, Mitchell Hall has been looking really good at the first few practices,” Samford said. “It is evident he put in some miles over the summer, and it shows.

“On the women’s side, our two freshmen girls, Claire (Mayne) and Helen (Strelow), have both been finding their strengths!,” he added. “I’m really pleased with their attitudes and work ethic. They are going to be good running partners for the future, too.”

The biggest challenge for the Wolves will be to grow, both as individual runners and as a unit.

“We are a young team!,” Samford said. “There’s not a lot of racing experience in the upperclassmen either, since the program is so new.”

Putting in the miles should pay off down the road, however.

“Cross country is a sport where the big competitions happen in October and November, but the season is won during July and August!,” Samford said. “It takes time to get ready for high-level racing.

“I think we missed some miles over the summer, but our raw talent, work ethic, and systematic approach to training will shore up these weakness,” he added. “What we need most, is to put our noses to the grindstone, and get the work done.

“Focusing on having consistent days of quality training turn into weeks, into months, and into seasons, is the key to success in this sport.”

With Coupeville also restarting its cross country program at the middle school level in 2018, one of the key building blocks was set in place.

Runners shaped by CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting are already making the jump up to high school, while the next waves will be where the real pay-offs happen.

“On the boys and girls sides we have a lot of freshman with a tremendous amount of potential,” Samford said. “Our returners also had a year of great coaching last year, so they know what it’s going to take to get to the next competitive level.

“Our middle school program is AWESOME and will be a great source of getting talented athletes in Coupeville into the sport.”

While numbers are up for both girls and boys, the girls are still a hair away from having a full roster.

Mihill and Lhamon ran last year, and the addition of Strelow and Mayne bumps the girls team to four harriers, but they need a fifth runner to be a full-scoring team in competition.

“We need a few more girls to join us!!!!!,” Samford pleaded. “To any parents, grandparents, or to the kids themselves — cross country is a sport about camaraderie, inclusion, and self-improvement.

“Yes, it’s difficult. It’s worth it, though!”

Coupeville, which has seven regular-season meets on the books, kicks off its season Sept. 12 at Granite Falls.

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Fast-rising Wolf star Carolyn Lhamon (left) plans to compete in soccer, basketball, and track and field at the high school level. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

If Coupeville wants to head to the water, I know one talented athlete who would be the first to pick up an oar.

Carolyn Lhamon, who will be a freshman at Coupeville High School this fall, where she’ll join older sister Catherine, has made it clear she’d consider rowing crew if the Wolves ever offered the sport.

But, while she waits for CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith to add the activity (don’t hold your breath), the younger Lhamon is content to plan out a future in which she’ll bounce from sport to sport over the course of the school year.

That run will start with soccer in the fall, go inside for basketball in the winter, then head back outdoors for track and field when spring arrives.

After she ran cross country in middle school, there was probably some hope Carolyn would team up with Catherine as high school harriers, chasing down rivals and carrying the Wolves back to the heights of success enjoyed in earlier decades.

There’s just one problem with that scenario — the younger Lhamon loves soccer.

“I’ve been playing it the longest and find it overall really fun,” she said.

A veteran of select soccer, SWISH, AAU, and school basketball, as well as school cross country and track, Lhamon has excelled at every sport she’s played.

Tuesday, she claimed 2nd in the shot put at the Cascade League Track and Field Championships, despite only picking up the event recently while dealing with shin splints.

Yet, she ripped off a throw at Lakewood High School which was more than five feet better than her previous PR, and is now ranked #9 in the entire state among female middle school throwers.

Lhamon, who enjoys “practices and socializing with teammates and winning,” would like to work on “stressing out less about games and meets.”

That being said, the fast-rising star, who credits mom Helene “and all my coaches and too many teammates to name” for their support, has bold plans for her athletic future.

“Varsity basketball three or four years, varsity soccer three or four years, (go to) state one to two times for track,” are her goals.

And, while she works hard in the arena, Lhamon also devotes considerable effort to the academic side of things, while still carving out time to be social.

“When I’m not playing sports I like hanging out with my friends,” she said. “And, even though I don’t like it, I spend a lot of time studying and doing homework.”

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Coupeville’s Carolyn Lhamon lets it rip Tuesday, beating her shot put PR by more than five feet. (Helene Lhamon photo)

It was a long and eventful day.

The Coupeville Middle School track and field squad opened the two-day Cascade League Championships Tuesday at Lakewood, and got a bit of everything.

With day one a mix of prelims and finals, the Wolves piled up 25 PR’s, advanced several athletes in highly-competitive races, then celebrated with dinner at a surprise location.

“To celebrate our great performance at our first prelims within this league, we stopped at Costco on the way home to eat!,” said CMS coach Jon Gabelein.

“The athletes were surprised at how much more of an adventure it was compared to what an ordinary McDonald’s visit would have offered.”

The tasty treats compensated for the hardships the Wolves faced at the track oval.

“Officials shared that due to a headwind at the Lakewood High School track, run times for sprints trended slower than they would have otherwise been,” Gabelein said. “So any PR earned was actually even more amazing than the recorded time.”

The day was full of top-notch performances, with Coupeville 8th graders Carolyn Lhamon (shot put) and Alex Murdy (long jump) claiming 2nd in the finals of their events at the seven-team meet.

Lhamon, who only recently picked up the event as a substitute for the 1600 while recovering from shin splints, had a phenomenal performance.

Her previous-best throw was 27 feet, nine inches, but Tuesday she uncorked a lob of 32-11.50.

Other Wolf highlights included 7th graders Allison Nastali and Brionna Blouin nailing PR’s in the shot put under unusual circumstances.

Nastali was throwing for the first time while using the glide strategy, while Blouin competed in someone else’s shoes, after getting an assist from teammate Desi Ramirez.

Coupeville advanced five runners from the prelims to Thursday’s finals in running events, with 8th grader Claire Mayne kicking things off by hitting a PR in the 100 hurdles.

Joining her in making the jump to finals are 7th grader Nick Guay (200), along with 8th graders Reiley Araceley (100), Murdy (200), and Joven Light (400).

 

Complete Tuesday results:

 

GIRLS:

100 (7th grade) (Prelims) — Erica McGrath (20th) 16.27; Brielle Armstrong (26th) 17.60; Alena Osborne (27th) 17.73 *PR*; Isabella Schooley (28th) 17.78 *PR*

100 (8th grade) (Prelims) — Abigail Ramirez (16th) 15.65 *PR*; Taygin Jump (19th) 15.73; Trinity McGee (22nd) 15.84

200 (8th grade) (Prelims) — A. Ramirez (16th) 32.75 *PR*; Jump (15th) 34.03; Camryn Clark (20th) 36.66 *PR*

800 (8th grade) (Finals) — Carolyn Lhamon (6th) 2:57.92; Helen Strelow (7th) 3:01.08 *PR*

100 Hurdles (8th grade) (Prelims) — Claire Mayne (7th) 19.98 *PR*; Camryn Clark (17th) 23.77 *PR*

Shot Put (7th grade) (Finals) — Brionna Blouin (4th) 24-09.50 *PR*; Allison Nastali (5th) 24-03 *PR*; Schooley (14th) 21-00.50; Desi Ramirez (15th) 20-10

Shot Put (8th grade) (Finals) — Lhamon (2nd) 32-11.50 *PR*; Jordyn Rogers (18th) 19-02

High Jump (8th grade) (Finals) — Ryanne Knoblich (6th) 4-03; Jump (11th) 3-10; McGee (11th) 3-10; Cristina McGrath (11th) 3-10

 

BOYS:

100 (7th grade) (Prelims) — Logan Downes (12th) 14.68; Nick Guay (13th) 14.74 *PR*; Mikey Robinett (16th) 14.91; Timothy Nitta (18th) 15.14 *PR*; Ryan Blouin (30th) 17.07

100 (8th grade) (Prelims) — Reiley Araceley (3rd) 12.94 *PR*; Coen Killian (10th) 13.31 *PR*; Joven Light (12th) 13.72; Dominic Coffman (19th) 14.30; Jacob Mathusek (25th) 14.88

200 (7th grade) (Prelims) — Nick Guay (6th) 29.23; Nitta (14th) 31.25 *PR*; Blouin (22nd) 34.48; Alex Clark (23rd) 35.71 *PR*

200 (8th grade) (Prelims) — Alex Murdy (2nd) 25.25 *PR*; Josh Upchurch (17th) 30.11 *PR*; Josh Guay (22nd) 32.92

400 (8th grade) (Prelims) — Light (6th) 1:05.17; Upchurch (14th) 1:14.70

1600 (7th grade) (Finals) — Cole White (8th) 5:49.18 *PR*; Hank Milnes (9th) 5:54.28 *PR*

1600 (8th grade) (Finals) — Aiden Anderson (6th) 6:01.64 *PR*; Tate Wyman (11th) 6:45.60

110 Hurdles (7th grade) (Prelims) — A. Clark (16th) 28.86

Discus (7th grade) (Finals) — Zane Oldenstadt (6th) 69-09.50; William Davidson (18th) 51-01

Discus (8th grade) (Finals) — Anderson (13th) 65-07; Upchurch (15th) 63-11; Light (20th) 59-11; Mathusek (23rd) 53-03.50; J. Guay (24th) 51-05

Long Jump (7th grade) (Finals) — Robinett (7th) 13-09 *PR*; White (11th) 13-01; Downes (13th) 12-10; Milnes (17th) 12-05 *PR*; A. Clark (30th) 10-05

Long Jump (8th grade) (Finals) — Murdy (2nd) 16-05; Killian (4th) 15-06 *PR*; Araceley (12th) 14-01; Mathusek (15th) 12-11; Wyman (20th) 11-09.50

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