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Sophomore Izzy Wells knocked down nine points Tuesday as Coupeville’s varsity girls opened the season with a road win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

With eight more points, senior Scout Smith moved into a tie for 75th place on the Wolf girls career scoring chart.

New coach, same result.

The last time the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball squad squared off with Darrington, it was the 2014-2015 season and David King was in the third campaign of what would be a seven-year run at the head of the bench.

Jump forward to Tuesday night, and the Wolves and Loggers got back at it, with new CHS head coach Scott Fox making his debut in the hot seat.

Like his predecessor, the new hoops guru emerged with a win, this time to the tune of 42-35.

The non-conference opening night victory comes against a school Coupeville will play a lot more in the future.

When the Wolves drop from 1A to 2B with the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the programs will clash on a regular basis as members of the Northwest League.

With nine of Coupeville’s 13 varsity players underclassmen, including seven who are only freshmen or sophomores, Tuesday’s tilt was a nice primer for the future.

And, playing on the road, the Wolves proved resilient under fire, breaking open a game which was knotted 17-17 at the half.

Coupeville spread the love out in the second half, with eight different Wolves scoring, but two players at different spots in their careers stood tallest.

Sophomore Izzy Wells, moving into the starting lineup for the first time, and senior point guard Scout Smith, combined for 13 of their team’s 25 second-half points.

For the game, Wells led a very-balanced attack, rattling home nine points, while Smith tallied eight and Chelsea Prescott and Maddie Georges notched seven apiece.

Carolyn Lhamon (3), Avalon Renninger (3), Hannah Davidson (2), Audrianna Shaw (2), and Tia Wurzrainer (1) also scored.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Mollie Bailey, Nezi Keiper, and Anya Leavell also played, in a game where five Wolves were making their varsity debut.

CHS is playing three freshmen (Georges, Keiper, and Lhamon), while sophomores Shaw and Van Velkinburgh made the jump from last year’s JV squad.

With a win in the bank, the young Wolves head up the Island Wednesday to face 3A Oak Harbor, then host Orcas Island — another future Northwest League rival — Saturday afternoon.

For Coupeville and its new head coach, it’s win and move on, rinse and repeat.

“I was very happy with the effort,” Fox said. “We need to work some kinks out, but we’re excited for starting out with a win.”

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Mason Grove netted a game-high 24 points Tuesday, nailing six shots from behind the three-point arc. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove’s shooting touch was in mid-season form Tuesday night.

The Coupeville High School senior opened a new basketball season by raining down 24 points at Darrington, including hitting six shots from behind the three-point arc.

It wasn’t quite enough to save the Wolves, however, as they lost a close one to their future league rivals, falling 56-49.

For the moment, the opening night defeat was a non-conference decision, but Coupeville will join Darrington in the Northwest League when CHS officially moves from 1A to 2B starting with the 2020-2021 school year.

Tuesday’s tilt gave Wolf coach Brad Sherman a chance to scope out one of his future rivals.

The third-year hoops guru won’t have much of this current team with him when the Wolves move to the Northwest League, as nine of the 10 players in uniform Tuesday were seniors.

Only sophomores Hawthorne Wolfe, who nailed two three-balls, and Xavier Murdy, who’s sidelined with an injury, will still be in uniform when the change occurs.

While Grove won’t play Darrington again, he made sure the Loggers will remember his name, torching them from multiple angles.

He split up his three-balls, netting at least one in every quarter.

With three treys in the first half, Grove had 11 points at the break, and Coupeville was hanging tough, down just 26-23.

Darrington, which hit four three-point shots to eight by the Wolves, got to the free throw line a ton, but clanked most of them, hitting just 14-32 at the charity stripe.

But the Loggers won by going old-school, showing if you hit enough two-point buckets, all the analytics in the world can’t argue with success.

With Caleb Rivera and Bashaun Williams forming a potent one-two combo, as the Loggers duo tallied 20 points apiece, Darrington didn’t run away with the game, but held on for the win.

Grove kept Coupeville close, rattling home half of his treys after the break, scoring 13 of his 24 in the second half.

The opening night explosion allows the Wolf senior to pass 15 former CHS players on the career scoring chart, carrying him to #138 all-time in the 103-season history of the program.

With 184 points in a varsity uniform, Grove needs to get to 277 to crack the top 100.

Tuesday night, he was backed up by Sean Toomey-Stout, who knocked down eight points, and Wolfe, who finished with six.

Jacobi Pilgrim (4), Jered Brown (4), and Koa Davison (3) also scored for CHS, with Jean Lund-Olsen, Tucker Hall, Gavin Knoblich, and Ulrik Wells seeing floor time.

It was Hall’s varsity debut.

Coupeville returns to action Wednesday, when it travels up the Island to face 3A Oak Harbor. The home opener is Saturday against Orcas Island.

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Gwen Gustafson helped spark the Coupeville JV to a come-from-behind win on opening night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Third quarter for the win.

Bouncing back from a seven-point halftime deficit, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad blew the doors off the gym in the second half Tuesday.

Sparked by a 19-4 run in the third frame, which accounted for half their points on the night, the Wolves held off host Darrington 38-34.

The non-conference victory, coming on opening night, was the first at the high school level for new JV coach Megan Smith.

The #4 scorer in Wolf girls varsity basketball history, the 2010 CHS grad bounced up from a middle school coaching gig to replace the retired Amy King.

One game in, things are looking good for Smith and her young squad.

“We started out pretty flat, but came out swinging in the second half!,” Smith said. “I’m very proud of our girls, how we played, and how we handled ourselves in adversity.

“A pretty solid way to start out the season, and excited to see where we go from here!”

Playing after the varsity Tuesday night, the Wolf JV fell behind early, trailing 13-8 after one quarter and 19-12 at the half.

At that point, Coupeville had hit just a single basket from the field, thanks to freshman Gwen Gustafson, with the rest of its points coming at the free throw stripe.

The third quarter was a different story, however, as Gustafson and fellow fab frosh Alita Blouin lit up Darrington, combining for 14 points in the frame.

Blouin tossed in nine of her 11 in the third, including hitting a three-pointer, while Gustafson netted five of her team-best 12.

CHS got scoring from all directions, with Ryanne Knoblich banking home four of her six points in the quarter, and Ella Colwell slipping a free throw through the net to round out the offensive explosion.

Samantha Streitler, Morgan Stevens and Colwell finished with two points apiece, while Jessenia Camarena chipped in with three.

Whether they scored or not, all 11 girls in uniform had strong performances.

Heidi Meyers, Natalie Castano, Lily Leedy, and Savana Allen also saw floor time for Coupeville, which returns to action Wednesday with a game at Oak Harbor.

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Sage Downes had a game-high 10 points Tuesday as the Coupeville JV won at Darrington. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Balanced scoring carried the day.

With eight of 10 players putting the ball in the bucket Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball team roared to a 42-18 win at Darrington.

The non-conference victory, coming on opening night of the 2019-2020 season, kicks things off with a bang.

Coupeville came out firing, leading 10-5 at the first break, with Sage Downes peppering the Loggers defense for a quick six points.

The Wolf junior was lights-out from behind the three-point arc in the early going, netting all of his first quarter points thanks to a pair of sweet three-balls.

From there, the Wolves, guided by the steady hand of coach Chris Smith, continued to push the lead out.

Up 16-8 at the halftime break, CHS busted things open with a 13-2 run in the third, with Downes and Miles Davidson each dropping in four points to spark the surge.

A 13-8 fourth quarter, with six different Wolves scoring, put a nice cap on things.

Downes went to the locker room as the leading scorer, tallying 10 points, while the trio of Daniel Olson, Grady Rickner, and Davidson banked home eight apiece.

Alex Jimenez, TJ Rickner, Alex Murdy, and Cody Roberts rounded out the scoring attack with two points apiece, while Chris Ruck and Logan Martin also saw floor time.

The Wolves get right back at it in less than 24 hours, with a much-shorter trip to Oak Harbor set for Wednesday night.

Coupeville’s home opener, against Orcas Island, is Saturday.

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Bob Rea

Bob Rea and his wife enjoy Glacier National Park. (Photo courtesy Rea)

He’s the strikeout king of Snakelum Point.

Go back five decades and the man you wanted on the mound, if you were a Coupeville High School baseball coach, was Bob Rea.

A three-sport star for the Wolves (he quarterbacked the football team and played forward for the basketball squad), his biggest moments came on the diamond.

Drop a baseball in Rea’s hand and the lefty who grew up skipping rocks on Whidbey Island beaches was deadly.

He tossed a no-hitter against Tolt, and went on to play varsity ball for four years at Western Washington University, but the CHS Class of ’65 grad made his reputation one afternoon chopping down Loggers.

“Darrington was a logging town and the boys from the area were physically strong because of how they were raised,” Rea said. “Coupeville boys … more of the beach crowd.

“We always knew, whichever sport, we were going to have work hard to beat the Loggers.”

Rea and the Wolves were in Darrington for a league duel during his junior year, when the game turned into a marathon of endurance and whiffs.

By the time it was over, 16 innings later, Rea had set 27 (or is it 26?) Loggers down swinging and Coupeville escaped with a 2-1 win which still resonates 50+ years later.

While the score-book from that game is long gone, it lives on in the memories of then-Wolf coach Bob Barker, who credits Rea with 27 K’s, and the former hurler, who’s justifiably proud of his day, regardless of the stats.

“As the game wore on it became almost comical. Which pitcher was going to give in first?,” Rea said. “Fortunately for me, a lot of batters never hit the ball.

“I think my total was actually 26 … but legends grow.”

27 or 26, it remains widely accepted as the best one-game performance in CHS pitching history, and one highly unlikely to be duplicated in modern times.

“In today’s world of youth athletics, you would never see one pitcher go 16 innings, much less two,” Rea said. “When the game was over I know our team was proud to have outlasted the tough guys from Darrington.

“One thing I do remember is that my arm never hurt during nor after the game,” he added. “I contribute that to either my strict diet and exercise regimen … or lots of rock throwing on the beach.”

To this day, Rea praises his counterpart on the mound as one of his tougher rivals.

“I remember the opposing pitcher was Brian Mount, a senior, and an all-everything athlete from Darrington,” Rea said. “We played Darrington in football, basketball and baseball, so we got to know the athletes pretty well.

“There were family names that kept appearing year after year,” he added. “Mount was one, along with Boyd and Green. All offspring were good athletes.”

Equally memorable was the ball-field the game was played on.

“We played on an all-dirt (sand and gravel) field and it was very dusty,” Rea said. “Left field included the town railroad tracks and any ball hit to the tracks was fair game … you got as many bases as you could touch.

“I can still see Ray Harvey, our left fielder, looking both ways before he stepped out on the tracks to recover a well-hit ball.”

With three solid years behind him, Rea was denied his swan song when he broke his leg in practice as a senior.

“I managed the team in a cast that year,” he said. “We won the league even without my input. Kind of a hollow victory for me, personally, but great for the coaches and the team.”

While he had some personal success at Western, the school’s program, which had been on a three-year streak of appearing in the NAIA World Series prior to his arrival, hit a rough stretch.

“I started some games, relieved some, was only marginally successful,” Rea said. “I enjoyed traveling and playing, but the team was not very competitive.

“In the four years I was there we had at least three different coaches. Not a lot of continuity.”

After Western, Rea went into teaching, spending two decades as a PE instructor in Seattle. He also picked up a summer job to help make ends meet, and that turned into a lifetime pursuit.

His brother purchased a bowling center in Issaquah, and Rea went to work there as an instructor. He’s now celebrating his 40th anniversary as a bowling teacher.

Taking a leave of absence from school teaching in 1990, he created a program called Port-A-Bowl USA, which brought schools and bowling centers together in an “educational partnership.”

The program, which is now a nationally-funded program known as In-School Bowling, has taken him around the world and allowed him to teach the sport in 16 foreign countries.

When he looks back on his high school glory days, Rea sees a young man who got by largely on natural talent. If he could change one thing, it would be to tell his younger self to listen to advice when offered.

“As far as high school sports goes, the only sport where I received much coaching was in basketball,” he said. “Being a better than average athlete and young, I don’t know if someone tried to coach me much at that time I would have been very open to their suggestions.

“I thought I knew it all,” Rea added with a chuckle. “Soooo wrong in soooo many ways, ‘grasshopper’.”

Still, he’s content, with his athletic legacy and where life has taken him since high school.

“I am married to a wonderful woman, 48 years and counting; have two great kids and a couple of grand-kids to spoil,” Rea said. “I go back to Snakelum Point with my grand-kids and we walk on the same beach that I grew up on.

“Fish, clam, beach-comb and enjoy what nature provides by way of a beautiful backdrop.

“Life is good.”

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