Posts Tagged ‘CHS Wolves’

   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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   Sarah Wright knocked down four points and played aggressively on defense Saturday against highly-touted Bellevue Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a work in progress, and they showed progress.

Playing aggressively, yet under control, in the first half Saturday, the rebuilding Coupeville High School girls basketball team rattled visiting Bellevue Christian.

And, while the Vikings, who boasted a huge height advantage, eventually pulled away for a 51-29 non-conference win, it didn’t come as easily as the score might indicate.

BC, which improves to 5-2, padded the margin with a string of fourth-quarter buckets.

Otherwise, the game was a pitched battle until Coupeville, now 1-7, suffered through a crippling third-quarter shooting drought.

The Wolves jumped on the Vikings early for an 8-2 lead, and led as late as 15-14 with three minutes to play in the first half.

Ema Smith, joining the starting lineup, gave CHS a jolt of energy, knocking down a pull-up jumper to open the scoring, then draining a pair of free throws.

While all of her points came in the first quarter, the junior fireball played wicked defense all game.

Teaming up with Sarah Wright to form a feisty, elbows swingin’ duo, Smith helped keep Bellevue’s Twin Towers under control for much of the game.

The Vikings boast four players 5-10 or taller (to just one on Coupeville’s current roster), and two of those are 6-1 and 6-2.

Smith and Wright tangled with the tall trees, bumping and knocking them out of place on a regular basis, forcing the BC duo to sweat for what buckets they could get.

Wright hit the boards with a wild glee, fighting for every loose ball like her life depended on it, and she banged home a bucket after nabbing a first quarter carom.

Up 8-2, the Wolves hit a bit of a dry stretch, allowing BC to run off nine straight points and regain the lead at 11-8 heading into the second.

Coupeville had an immediate response, however, as Lindsey Roberts drilled a three-ball to kick off the second quarter. The play was a thing of beauty, as the ball skipped from Chelsea Prescott to Wright to Roberts to the bottom of the net.

Breaking Bellevue’s press on back-to-back plays, the Wolves snagged their final lead at 15-14 when Prescott slapped home a layup off of a long pass.

Once again, a very-solid, veteran BC squad held fast, though, closing the half on a 10-3 run.

And yet, there was a hint of trepidation in their eyes as the Vikings exited the floor.

After blowing South Whidbey out by 30 Friday, the second half of their Whidbey doubleheader wasn’t going completely to plan.

Wright came out swinging in the third quarter, backing down her defender and banking home a bucket on the first play to pull the Wolves within 24-20.

Unfortunately, that was the moment Coupeville’s shooting touch decided to vanish.

The Wolves only managed one field goal the rest of the night, a put-back from Roberts late in the fourth.

Other than a string of free-throws, CHS couldn’t get anything to drop over the final 15 minutes, including a three-ball from Mikayla Elfrank which went 95% of the way down, then somehow popped right back out.

While Coupeville couldn’t buy a field goal in the late going, it did enjoy one of its best shooting performances from the free throw line this season, hitting 12-18. That included 7-10 in the second half.

Elfrank paced CHS with nine points. That lifts her to 215 for her career and slides her past former Wolf great Linda Cheshier into 50th place on the Wolf girls career scoring chart.

Prescott and Roberts added five apiece, Wright and Ema Smith both popped for four, and Kyla Briscoe and Scout Smith each dropped in a free throw.

Avalon Renninger was a whirling dervish on defense during her stint on the floor.

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   Sophomore Jacobi Pilgrim and Coupeville’s other young varsity players got plenty of floor time Friday at Vashon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The scoreboard doesn’t always tell the whole story.

If that’s all you looked at Friday, it might be a bit of a letdown, as a Coupeville High School boys basketball squad coming off of an emotional overtime win came back down to Earth.

Unable to mount much of a sustained offensive charge against a strong Vashon Island defense, the Wolves fell 52-27 deep on the road.

The non-conference loss drops CHS to 2-4 heading into a home tilt against undefeated Bellevue Christian Saturday. Tip-off is 3 PM.

What knowing just the score won’t tell you is the Wolves were missing starters Cameron Toomey-Stout and Joey Lippo.

One of their replacements, Jered Brown, made it through the first half, before illness left him on the bench after the halftime break.

With three key players either missing or only able to play reduced minutes, CHS coach Brad Sherman went deep into his bench.

Sophomore Mason Grove made his varsity debut, while other young guns like Ulrik Wells, Gavin Knoblich and Jacobi Pilgrim saw substantial playing time.

“Lots of young guys stepped up tonight and gave us some good minutes, which was really nice to see,” Sherman said.

“Getting them some time now, before we hit the league schedule hard, is ultimately a good thing, if we can develop a little more depth in some areas.”

Vashon, which spread its scoring out across the roster, came out on fire in the early going, shooting the Wolves out of the gym before they could get their legs fully under them.

The Pirates turned a 16-4 lead after one quarter into a 35-10 bulge at the half.

Things were different in the second half, however, as Coupeville battled Vashon to a 17-17 stalemate over the third and fourth quarters.

“Really a lot of credit to Vashon. That’s a good basketball team,” Sherman said. “Our guys fought hard. They always fight hard. I love that about them.”

Hunter Smith went for 10 of his game-high 14 points in the second half, including draining 8-10 free throws.

In a game where neither team spent too much time at the free throw stripe, both teams shot especially well when they did wind up there.

Vashon was a flawless 6-6, while Coupeville finished 9-12.

Ethan Spark added eight points, including a pair of three-balls, to back Smith, while Kyle Rockwell banged down low for a season-high four points.

Kyle played tough, he’s doing well,” Sherman said. “It’s been nice to see.”

Dane Lucero tickled the twines on a free throw to round out the scoring and defensive buzz-saw Hunter Downes spent the night terrorizing the Pirates on the boards and in the paint.

Coupeville, which plays its next five games at home, sits atop the Olympic League in the early going, tied at 1-0 with Klahowya. Port Townsend (1-1) and Chimacum (0-2) bring up the rear.

With the Wolves playing virtually all their league games at the end of the schedule — eight of their final 10 games are conference clashes — the early part of the season gives CHS a chance to prepare for the games which will dictate their playoff fate.

“Always hurts to leave without the win, but we have to be forward-looking,” Sherman said. “What’s ultimately important in these is that, win or lose, we are getting ourselves ready for our league schedule.

“We play a tough non-league schedule and that’s a good thing,” he added. “These are good tests for us and each time we get to evaluate where we can improve, to get to where we know we want to be sitting at the end of the year.”

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