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High winds affecting the Coupeville/Port Townsend ferry run Friday prevented Gavin Knoblich and Co. from traveling to Chimacum. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The wait for basketball to return will go on a bit longer than expected.

Coupeville High School was slated to return from a 12-day break Friday, with three teams planning to set sail to the mainland to play Chimacum.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

Shortly before the Wolves were set to meet at the CHS gym, school officials announced Coupeville’s teams wouldn’t be traveling after all.

The Coupeville to Port Townsend ferry run had been disrupted off and on Friday by high winds and choppy seas, but was back on schedule as of 1:52 PM.

The Wolves were scheduled to leave Whidbey on the 2:45 ferry.

But, with a wind advisory having been stretched out to 10 PM, the chance Coupeville’s hoops stars would be stuck on the other side overnight — or have to take a much-longer return route — became a definite possibility.

Friday’s games, which would have featured girls and boys varsity games, as well as boys JV (Chimacum has no girls JV), were non-conference affairs.

They are also the second set of non-league games removed from the schedule due to wind, as Coupeville’s trip to play Port Townsend December 19 was also sidelined.

There is a slight possibility both matchups will be rescheduled, but put plenty of emphasis on that word “slight.”

With league play kicking into high gear next week for everyone involved, and a far greater emphasis put on getting those games in, it’s unlikely any of the officials at the three schools involved will spend much time looking for open dates.

Coupeville will now be coming off a 16-day break when it returns to play Tuesday.

The Wolf girls host Cedar Park Christian, while the CHS boys travel to Granite Falls, with both games being North Sound Conference bouts.

All Coupeville teams are home Friday, Jan. 10, as well, with Sultan on tap that night.

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Tucker Hall scored his first varsity points Tuesday as Coupeville crunched Chimacum. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jacobi Pilgrim rumbles in the paint.

It was sort of like taking medicine.

At first, you get hit with a bitter taste and you wince. But then all the good parts kick in and you start feeling a whole lot better.

After briefly falling behind Tuesday night against visiting Chimacum, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball players looked deep into their souls, flexed their biceps, and opened a giant can of whup-ass.

Controlling the paint, crashing hard to the hoop, and harassing the Cowboys on defense, the Wolves turned a 10-5 deficit into a 69-43 non-conference win, keeping alive their undefeated run on their home court.

Coupeville is 3-4 on the season, 3-0 in the CHS gym, and 0-4 away from it.

So it could be a good thing the Wolves final two games before winter break — Thursday against Port Townsend and Saturday against Nooksack Valley — are both home affairs.

Continue to get the kind of balanced scoring they did against Chimacum, and things will be just fine.

The Wolves put nine of their 11 active players into the scoring column Tuesday, with the trio of Sean Toomey-Stout (15 points), Ulrik Wells (13), and Hawthorne Wolfe (11) leading the attack.

Chimacum exited the Coupeville gym still winless at 0-6, but the Cowboys showed promise in the early going.

Opening the game with a three-ball from the top of the arc, the visitors held the lead until midway through the first quarter.

Then, in the blink of an eye, it all changed.

Wells banged home a bucket off of an inbounds pass — his third score of the quarter — and the Wolves seized control of things with a 9-0 run to close the frame.

A rainbow three-ball from Wolfe knotted the game at 10-10, before Toomey-Stout got explosive.

The power-packed senior, who plays as if he has springs in the soles of his shoes, knocked down four straight baskets, the final two of the first quarter, and the first two of the next frame.

Toomey-Stout mixed and matched, slapping offensive rebounds back up and off the glass, slashed to the hoop with wild abandon, and went coast-to-coast in .0003 of a second (or close, at least).

Chimacum had no answer for “The Torpedo,” but, even if it had, it probably wouldn’t have mattered, as everyone repping a Wolf uniform was feeling it.

The second quarter, which ended with Coupeville up 38-20, was a series of streaks, with one player after another taking turns and cranking up the highlight reel.

Just off the court, Wolf senior Koa Davison, out with a hurt ankle, repeatedly popped up from his perch in the bleachers to holler for his boys.

Each time the senior big man threw his hands in the air and screamed like he just didn’t care, his crutches clattered to the floor.

Then came a big wince, but also a big smile, as the nattily-dressed Davison, like the rest of the Wolf faithful, was taken over by the joy of the moment.

Gavin Knoblich tossed in three buckets in less than a minute, Jacobi Pilgrim used and abused his defender with back-to-back power moves in the paint, then Wolfe caressed the net with his velvet shot.

The second half was more of the same joy ride for Coupeville, as the Cowboys fought valiantly, only to be chewed up 10,000 different ways by the Wolves.

Whether it was Jered Brown dropping runners over outstretched hands, Knoblich spinning and hitting a sweet hook shot, or Wells playing like a young Shaq in the paint, CHS had pretty much everything clicking.

That carried over to getting senior Tucker Hall his first career varsity points.

A hard-working support crew guy, the kind of smart role player every team desires, Hall slapped home a layup off of a feed from Wells, then sank a soft jumper from the side.

In the fourth quarter, Wolf junior swing player Daniel Olson netted his first varsity bucket of the season, while sophomore Grady Rickner, who leads the JV in scoring, made his varsity debut.

Along with Toomey-Stout, Wells, and Wolfe, who combined for 39 points, Coupeville got scoring from Knoblich (9), Brown (7), Pilgrim (6), Hall (4), Jean Lund-Olsen (2), and Olson (2), with Rickner and Chris Ruck seeing floor time.

As he basked in the afterglow of the win, CHS coach Brad Sherman was in a good place.

“I was really pleased; we talk to the guys in practice about getting to the rim and finishing strong, and they did that very well across the board,” he said.

“We came out a little flat, but they responded with a lot of energy,” Sherman added. “Everyone on the team did something great tonight, which I love to see, especially playing in front of our home crowd.”

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Chris Ruck scored his first three points of the season Tuesday as Coupeville’s JV drilled visiting Chimacum. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was not a fair fight.

Two boys JV basketball teams stepped onto the floor of the Coupeville High School gym Tuesday night, but one squad had a lot more weapons.

Like, a LOT more weapons.

Dropping points from every angle, Coupeville annihilated visiting Chimacum 59-12 in a game which could have been even more lopsided if CHS coach Chris Smith hadn’t done his best to control the carnage.

Now 4-2 on the season, and a flawless 2-0 at home, the Wolves didn’t allow the Cowboys to score a point through the first 11 minutes of a 32-minute contest.

Coupeville actually started a bit slowly, with shots popping out, rimming off, and finding new, creative ways not to go down.

But the Wolves kept shooting, and eventually found their groove, pushing an 8-0 first quarter lead out to 14-0 before Chimacum finally banked home a shot with five minutes left in the second frame.

If the Cowboys were thinking of celebrating that bucket, they didn’t have time to, however, as Coupeville promptly closed out the half with a 20-0 run.

Daniel Olson and Grady Rickner, who would later in the night swing up to make their first varsity appearances of the season, both banged away for six points during the surge.

Things continued to go all Coupeville, all the time in the second half, as the Wolves responded to Chimacum opening the third quarter with a three-ball by closing the game with a 25-7 surge.

A running clock made things a little less painful for the Cowboys, and Smith did his best to limit his team’s shots and spread out the offense in the late going.

Olson finished with a game-high 14, outscoring Chimacum by himself, while Logan Martin singed the nets for 10, and Alex Murdy and Rickner knocked down eight apiece.

Also getting into the scorebook were Sage Downes (6), Alex Jimenez (6), Cody Roberts (4), and Chris Ruck (3).

Jimenez accounted for two of Coupeville’s three successful shots from behind the three-point arc, while Ruck scored for the first time this season, earning a roar from a pro-Chris crowd.

Also seeing floor time for the Wolves were Miles Davidson, TJ Rickner, and Andrew Aparicio, with all three hitting the boards (and sometimes the floor) with great intensity.

Coupeville’s young guns play three games this week, with all at home. Up next is Port Townsend Thursday, then Nooksack Valley Saturday.

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Senior captain Scout Smith delivered 22 assists and four service aces Saturday as Coupeville volleyball mashed Chimacum, improving to 3-0 on the season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maddie “The Mad Masher” Vondrak rattles the gym (and the soul of every rival player) with a knee-buckling spike. (Photo by Brian Vick)

Maddie Vondrak was on fire. Maybe literally.

At one point during her torrid performance Saturday afternoon, the Coupeville High School junior stepped back after smashing another wicked spike and fanned herself.

Now, maybe it was just that the gym was a little warm on a summer-like day and she had been bouncing around like a wild woman.

Or, maybe it was that Vondrak, who introduced her fists to Chimacum, did a mic check on both of them, then unleashed holy hell on the Cowboys, was so red-hot she was burning up from the inside out.

Probably the second choice.

Either way, with Vondrak and her teammates mashin’ the ever-livin’ crud out of the ball, Coupeville strolled to a straight-sets win in its home opener, improving to a flawless 3-0 on the season.

The non-conference victory, coming on the heels of victories at Friday Harbor and Anacortes, was fast, brutal, and a lot of fun for the Wolf fans who wandered in to the gym to see a show.

It played out to a crisp ‘n tasty 25-11, 25-12, 25-5 tune, full of lightning bolts disguised as service aces, and big, booming put-aways from a Wolf unit which utterly dominated at the net.

It started early in the first set, with Zoe Trujillo and Hannah Davidson delivering winners which blistered the skin of their rivals as they zinged by, smashed into the floor, then skidded out the side door.

Trujillo’s laser tore a chunk out of a Chimacum player’s unfortunate fingers, while Davidson’s blast crushed the back-line, tearing off flecks of paint as it shot away from the Cowboy defense.

Davidson, a volleyball and basketball standout who is rumored to be considering a return to softball for her senior swan song, was on point all afternoon from the service stripe, as well.

She turned the match from a semi-close affair to the start of a romp with her first run at the line, turning a 9-7 advantage into a 15-7 lead.

One ace was as artful as it was unexpected, a high, looping serve which touched the heavens (or the gym roof, at least), then dropped between two Chimacum players, kissing the floor with a gentle, happy plop.

Not that the power show was gone for long, as Vondrak flung herself skyward to reject a Cowboy return of a Davidson serve, with the ensuing spike slamming into the floor with the sound of a melon hitting the pavement after being thrown from the top of the Empire State Building.

At which point Vondrak whirled to the side, did a little bounce, a stamp on the floor as her teammates converged on her, then another twirl back around, a death mask slipping back down her face to hide the smile she otherwise wears 99.992% of the time.

Chimacum played the remainder of the match — it was in their contract — but the Cowboys were a lot more gun-shy after that, staying safely back from the net whenever possible.

Vondrak, hunched over, arms twirling, ready to unleash hot death ‘n destruction, stared straight ahead, her unspoken thoughts fairly easy to read from the stands.

“You can run, my little Cowboys, but you can’t hide. Mamma’s coming back and she’s bringing spankings for every one of you!!”

The second set was a lot more of what folks saw in the first.

Chimacum stayed competitive for a few points, continued to show a lot of hustle, but had no way of dealing with the laser show erupting from the other side of the net.

When it wasn’t Vondrak or Davidson, it was Maya Toomey-Stout sprinting around the court, then erupting skyward to unleash her own version of scorched Earth.

Or, Chelsea Prescott gliding in from the sides, dropping the hammer of the gods.

Or, Scout Smith, in mid-air, about to drop another perfect set-up for a teammate, and then, instead, corkscrewing her body while in flight, defying the physical laws of the universe itself and flicking a lil’ winner over the net and into an impossibly-small hole in the defense.

Everyone on the floor for the Wolves chipped in with something special, with Willow Vick, Lucy Sandahl and Raven Vick coming off the bench to peg sweet serves, while Kylie Chernikoff and Lucy Tenore, the net-minders of the future, displayed their own skills at slappin’ spikes.

If the first two sets had moments when things seemed sort of balanced between the teams, the third and final frame was all Coupeville, all the time.

Smith opened the set by running off nine straight points on her serve, before Prescott came around to deliver her own nine-point assault on Chimacum.

Up 19-1 at one point, the Wolves looked for their entertainment by upping the difficulty on some plays.

Coming hot on the heels of smashes from Toomey-Stout, who hung in the air for an impossible amount of time before zinging a winner, and Vondrak, who scorched the hardwood with her kill, CHS pulled off the rally of the afternoon.

It started with Smith running full-tilt off the right side of the court for save #1, picked up momentum when Emma Mathusek flung herself across the floor for save #2, then finished with Toomey-Stout delivering the coup de grĂ¢ce.

Roaring in to drive the final stake home, “The Gazelle” hit the ball so hard, if it didn’t pop, then a whole bunch of ear drums surely did.

And yet, with a match full of so much fury, the actual final point was a quiet, graceful one, with Prescott, moving like a ballet dancer, dropping an artfully-placed tip which found its resting place and refused to be returned.

Whether they used fury or grace, or some of both, the Wolf spikers filled up the stat sheet.

Vondrak finished with a team-high 10 kills, without a single error, which brought a particularly big smile to the face of Coupeville coach Cory Whitmore.

Prescott and Toomey-Stout chipped in with six kills apiece, while Mathusek (six digs), Davidson (six aces), and Vondrak (two solo blocks) topped other individual categories.

For Whitmore, the win was sweet, but the development of his players, both on and off the court, was bigger.

The Wolves hosted young volleyball players at a kids clinic earlier in the day, then ate lunch with the girls who will one day inherit their CHS uniforms.

Once on the floor, they seized momentum and pushed their advantages.

“We’re trying to develop the hitter/setter connection; we want to use a varied offense and be able to attack from multiple places and different directions,” Whitmore said. “We’re definitely making progress on that.

“It was also nice to see how the players responded to running the clinic,” he added. “It all made for a good Saturday – not a bad day at all.”

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Coupeville boys basketball, which boasts nine players who will be seniors this coming season, went 5-0 this weekend, winning the Crescent Classic. (Mindy Grove photo)

The underclassmen join the action. (Photo courtesy Brad Sherman)

Right now, at this moment in time, they’re undefeated.

The high school boys basketball season is still months and months away, but that’s not stopping Coupeville from getting after it.

Prepping for an upcoming team camp, the Wolves traveled off-Island this weekend, and returned home as Crescent Classic champs.

Coupeville, facing off with Chimacum, Forks, and the host team, went 5-0 to nab the title.

Having traveled 154.8 miles round-trip to Crescent, the Wolves earned a win for every 31 miles.

CHS coach Brad Sherman had his full team at his disposal, with all nine returning full-time varsity players in attendance.

That group includes Jacobi Pilgrim, Jered Brown, Hawthorne Wolfe, Jean Lund-Olsen, Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Mason Grove, Koa Davison, and Sean Toomey-Stout.

Also along for the trip were Daniel Olson and Xavier Murdy, who were swing players during the 2018-2019 season, and Tucker Hall.

After a season in which Coupeville had just one senior, the now-graduated Dane Lucero, the Wolves could boast nine 12th graders this winter.

The only underclassmen in the current varsity group are Olson, who will be a junior, and Wolfe and Murdy, who will be sophomores.

Their coach came away from the trip pleased with the results, and, more importantly, thrilled with the effort he saw from his players.

“Was a good opportunity for our guys to get out and play before camp,” Sherman said. “Good team basketball; really great team effort.”

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