Posts Tagged ‘Friday Harbor’

Djina Radenovic is ready to launch serves, but Mother Nature has other ideas. (Jackie Saia photo)

The dance continues.

Keeping a tennis schedule in place during “spring” is always a tricky game, and 2023 is no exception.

Friday’s scheduled home match between Coupeville and Friday Harbor has been postponed because of weather, as liquid sunshine returns to the weather scene.

The match, which is a rumble between Northwest 2B/1B League foes, will be rescheduled, said Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith.

As the schedule sits now, the Wolves will be off for a bit, with spring break bearing down.

Currently, CHS is set to return to action Tuesday, Apr. 11 with a road trip to South Whidbey.

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Maya Lucero, ready to fling heat. (Jackie Saia photo)

How bad do you want it?

That’s a question the Coupeville High School softball squad will have to ask, after taking an unexpected loss Tuesday on Friday Harbor.

Despite back-to-back out-of-the-park home runs from lethal leftie Allie Lucero, the Wolves fell just short, losing 13-12 in a game they led 6-0.

The conference loss, the first CHS softball has absorbed since rejoining the Northwest 2B/1B League in 2020, drops Kevin McGranahan’s team to 1-1 in NWL play, 3-3 overall.

The biggest sting, however, is who beat the Wolves.

With three 2B schools in the seven-team NWL, only one of that trio advances to the playoffs, and it’s based off head-to-head play.

So, while there’s a lot of season left to play, Coupeville’s pathway to the postseason just got a lot smaller.

As in, the Wolves have to beat Friday Harbor in their two remaining matchups — Apr. 18 in Coupeville and May 4 back on the road — or its regular season and done.

But what about La Conner, the third 2B school, you ask?

The Braves have been outscored 113-28 across their first five games, including a 20-2 loss to Coupeville in which the Wolves created 10 of their 12 outs by choosing to have runners step off base early.

So, moving along…

Tuesday’s showdown started in favor of Coupeville, with the Wolves looking like they would bust things wide open.

Yet they came up just short of delivering that knockout punch.

CHS put two runners aboard in the top of the first, but failed to bring either one around, while doubles from Sofia Peters and Gwen Gustafson staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead after two frames.

Wolf hurler Maya Lucero shut down Friday Harbor with ease coming out of the gate, and then she and her teammates surged in the third.

Sending 10 hitters to the plate, Coupeville tallied five runs to push its advantage out to 6-0.

Taylor Brotemarkle cracked a double, Madison McMillan mashed a two-run triple to deep center, and Allie Lucero, Gustafson, and Mia Farris all followed with precision hits.

Toss in walks to Teagan Calkins and Melanie Navarro, with the latter wearing a pitch, and thoughts of ten-running another foe were in the air.

And then things fell apart, first slowly and then quickly.

“We went all the way to Friday Harbor, but forgot to pack our defense,” Kevin McGranahan said. “A huge inning fueled by too many errors to count, and we dug a hole we couldn’t climb out of.

“Our inconsistent defense caught us in a big way today.”

The Wolverines only picked up a lone run in the bottom of the third, but went on a tear in the fourth, pushing eight more across as CHS struggled to field the ball.

Another four scores in the fifth inning shoved the lead out to 13-7, putting increased pressure on a suddenly scrambling Coupeville squad.

Allie Lucero launched the first of her two taters in the top of the fifth, then came back around to do it again leading off the seventh.

Both of her round-trippers vanished high over the right field fence, eliciting ooh’s and ah’s from a pack of Friday Harbor teens hanging out around the camera streaming the game back to Whidbey.

The second Lucero launch sparked a final-inning rally which almost caught the Wolverines.

Brotemarkle crushed a two-run double to left to pull Coupeville within 13-10, before a runner zipped home off of a passed ball and McMillan pasted an RBI triple.

With the tying run at third and the go-ahead score lingering at first, the Wolves needed just a pinch more magic, but came up a batter short.

Now the real work begins.


Tuesday stats:

Taylor Brotemarkle — One single, two doubles
Teagan Calkins — One single, two walks
Mia Farris — One single, one walk
Gwen Gustafson — One single, one double
Allie Lucero — Two home runs
Maya Lucero — Two singles
Madison McMillan — One single, two triples
Melanie Navarro — Two walks
Sofia Peters — One double, one walk

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Fab frosh Chase Anderson, ready to make the magic happen. (Morgan White photo)

“The Magic Man” delivered.

Freshman Chase Anderson, already a grizzled vet in his second season of high school ball, smacked a game-busting RBI single in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday, lifting Coupeville to an important early-season win.

That base knock, and a stellar pitching performance from senior Scott Hilborn, sparked the Wolves to a 3-1 win on Friday Harbor.

With the victory, CHS gets to 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 4-2 overall.

Even more important, those first two conference W’s have come against La Conner and Friday Harbor — the other two 2B schools in the seven-team NWL.

While 1B schools Orcas Island and Mount Vernon Christian look ready to tangle with the 2B schools for the league title, Coupeville’s shot at making the state playoffs solely rests on how it does against schools in its own classification.

The Wolves play both La Conner and Friday Harbor twice more in the regular season, but a 2-0 start bodes well for the future.

Especially after CHS won a true gut-check on the road Tuesday afternoon.

Trailing 1-0 through three innings, the Wolves knotted things at 1-1 in the top of the fourth, thanks to timely hitting and some Friday Harbor miscues.

Anderson dropped a bunt, then flustered the host team badly enough to land on second base during the ensuing error-fest by the Wolverines.

The frosh phenom moved to third base on a Cole White single, only to be picked off the bag.

No worries, however, as Wolf senior Jonathan Valenzuela promptly lashed an RBI single to center, sending White scrambling home with the tying run.

Friday Harbor’s opening tally, which came thanks to an error and an RBI double off the bat of senior Geoffry Volk, was the only time the hosts dinged Coupeville ace Scott Hilborn.

Pitching the way dad (and coach) Steve taught him, the Wolf senior whiffed 10 batters across six innings of work, with most of his K’s coming at clutch moments.

With the game knotted at 1-1, and the younger Hilborn throwing heat, Coupeville surged ahead in the top of the sixth.

The Wolf hurler zipped a one-out single to center, then stole second and third to set the stage for his young teammate.

Anderson’s blow also landed in the middle of the outfield, then Coupeville notched an insurance run thanks to a walk to White and a sac fly from Valenzuela.

Desperate to get back into the game, Friday Harbor pushed hard, getting two runners aboard in the bottom of the sixth, and another in the seventh, and final, frame.

Both times Coupeville pitchers came up huge.

First, Scott Hilborn induced a grounder back to the mound to end the sixth, pivoting and plopping the ball into the waiting glove of Landon Roberts at first base.

Then, in the seventh, Valenzuela came out of the bullpen to slam the door shut, ripping off back-to-back strikeouts to open things.

Friday Harbor slipped a single into a gap, bringing the tying run to the plate, but the Wolverines were denied, their final out of the day a weak grounder to second.

All that left was the celebration, with the Wolves flexing the win all over Instagram.

Coupeville, which has a road game at MVC Thursday and a home clash against Orcas Saturday, got something from everyone in the lineup in the road win.

Jack Porter led the way, pasting a pair of hits, while White collected a base knock and a walk.

Scott Hilborn, Anderson, and Valenzuela had singles, with Coop Cooper, Roberts, Peyton Caveness, Johnny Porter, Aiden O’Neill, and Seth Woollet also seeing field time.

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Helen Strelow tracks the incoming tennis ball. (Jackie Saia photo)

Advantage, Coupeville.

The Wolf girls’ tennis team went island-hopping Tuesday and pulled out a 3-2 win against archrival Friday Harbor in the first of four meetings between the Northwest 2B/1B League rivals.

The match was knotted at 2-2 when Lucy Tenore and Skylar Parker teamed up to win a fierce fight at second doubles.

With the victory, Coupeville gets to 1-0 in league play, 1-1 overall, with a non-conference road match at South Whidbey set for Thursday.

Friday Harbor and CHS are the only schools in the seven-team NWL to field tennis programs, and the Wolverines and Wolves will clash three more times this season.

Coupeville is slated to host matches Mar. 31 and Apr. 21, then will hop back on the ferry May 2.

Vivian Farris prepares to swat a winner. (Jackie Saia photo)


Tuesday’s results:



1st Singles — Helen Strelow beat Isabella VanderYacht 6-2, 2-6, 10-2

2nd Singles — Djina Radenovic lost to Ava Martin 6-4, 4-6, 10-3

1st Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris beat Ellie Rollins/Lucy Marinkovich 6-4, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Skylar Parker/Lucy Tenore beat Betty Furber/Lilli Turnbow 7-6(7-3), 7-5

3rd Doubles — Karyme Castro/Elizabeth Lo lost to Kira Clark/Georgia Keune 6-0, 6-1



4th Doubles — Brynn Parker/Kaitlyn Leavell lost to Jem Mukundwa/Sophia Ramirez 8-3

5th Doubles — Emma Morano/B. Parker beat Nora Leighton/Ava Gamez 8-6

6th Doubles — Leavell/Morano lost to Jo Lane/Alison Power 8-5

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Maddie Georges slashes to the hoop. (Bailey Thule photo)

Deja vu, but with a better ending.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Coupeville High School varsity girls’ basketball team frittered away a fourth-quarter lead against Friday Harbor, but this time, when the buzzer rang, the Wolves were on top.

Forcing a turnover on the game’s final play, CHS escaped with a 26-25 win in a tiebreaker game played on a neutral court in La Conner, punching their ticket to the bi-district playoffs.

Coupeville, now 9-10, opens the four-team single-elimination tourney Monday, Feb. 13, hosting Auburn Adventist Academy — which it beat in the regular season — at 5:15 PM.

La Conner faces Northwest Christian (Lacey) in the nightcap at 7:00, with the winners returning to the CHS gym Wednesday, Feb. 15 to play for the tourney title and a trip to state.

Saturday’s game, which featured two groggy teams tipping off at high noon after wrapping their Friday showdown about 6:00 PM, was life or death.

Coupeville and Friday Harbor split their two-game season series, thanks to the Wolverines rallying from 14 down in the fourth and winning in overtime on their home floor.

Since both teams were swept by La Conner, Saturday’s rumble was for the #2 playoff seed from District 1.

Gone was the rabid crowd of Friday night, gone were a three-pack of refs who called a LOT of fouls, and yet Saturday’s game played out uncannily similar.

Coupeville once again never trailed from opening tip well into the fourth quarter, though with both squads rimming out a series of shots, the scoring was much lower in the rematch.

Instead of a 14-point advantage, the Wolves were up by nine this time, after Maddie Georges sank a three-ball from the right side while under heavy pressure.

And once again, Friday Harbor, a scrappy team with no quit, started chip-chip-chippin’ away at the lead down the stretch.

Wolverine junior McKenna Clark rattled home eight of her team-high 10 points in the waning moments, including hitting six consecutive pressure-packed free throws.

But a pair of charity shots from Coupeville senior Alita Blouin — the Wolves only points in the game’s final six minutes-plus — were epic.

“The Assassin,” staring daggers through any fool unlucky enough to foul her, barely rippled the net as both shots went down, providing the Wolves with their final margin.

To get to the win, Coupeville had to survive a goosebump-inducing final 40 seconds, however.

Katie Marti (left) and Mia Farris contemplate the defensive destruction they’re about to unleash. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First, the Wolf defense forced a turnover.

Then they held on to the ball with iron grips, not allowing for any drops, wayward passes, or deflections as Friday Harbor frantically fouled three times, trying to stop the clock.

The third, and final foul, pushed the Wolves into 1-and-1 territory, and while the ensuing free throw wouldn’t stay in the bucket, Coupeville played the final six seconds to perfection.

The missed free throw was batted skyward, draining precious time.

Finally able to snatch the madly bouncing ball, a Wolverine shot towards the right side of the floor, only to dribble on the line as three Coupeville players trapped her in the backcourt.

The buzzer sang its song just as the ref on that side made the call, and CHS coach Megan Richter could collapse on the bench with a smile on her face.

“These girls are stressing me out and I’m exhausted,” she said with a big laugh.

“They played their hearts out today and left it all on the floor. They fight until the end, and I couldn’t be more proud of them!”

The Wolves marinate in their win, while looking forward towards the playoffs. (Bennett Richter photo)

While the game ended in a burst of adrenaline and intensity, it began sort of slowly.

Both teams looked tired in the early moments, and Friday Harbor didn’t score until nearly eight minutes into the game.

Not that Coupeville was lighting up the scoreboard all that much.

Georges dropped in a pair of buckets while on the move, and Ryanne Knoblich sank a free-throw, but the Wolves were only up 5-2 at the first break.

The offense picked up a bit in the second frame, with Georges draining a three-ball and a pull-up jumper, but Friday Harbor closed on a 6-0 run to knot things at 12-12 headed into the half.

During the break, Wolf senior Carolyn Lhamon worked on her shot with her coaches, and it paid immediate dividends.

She snatched an offensive rebound and slapped it back up and in, then came around to pull off a three-point play the hard way on a power move in the paint.

Toss in a superb bit of teamwork, with Lyla Stuurmans slipping an inbound pass through the defense to set up a Katie Marti layup, and the Wolves were up 21-15 entering the fourth quarter.

Richter gave floor time to eight of her 11 players, with five of them scoring.

Georges, who had 13 on Friday, came back around to notch a game-high 14 Saturday.

Now with 384 points and counting, the slick-shooting Wolf point guard is up to #26 on the all-time CHS girls’ hoops scoring chart.

Friday, Georges slipped past Whitney Clark (359), while Saturday she hopped Katie Smith (374), younger sister of current Coupeville JV coach Kassie O’Neil.

Lhamon banked in five points to back her teammate, while Knoblich (3), Blouin (2), and Marti (2) also scored.

Stuurmans, Gwen Gustafson, and Mia Farris rounded out the players on the floor, while Skylar Parker, Jada Heaton, and Madison McMillan made some serious noise from their perch on the bench.

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