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Posts Tagged ‘girls basketball’

Maddie Georges eyeballs a new season of basketball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The countdown to opening night is underway.

The Coupeville High School girls hoops players kicked off practice this week, and photo whiz kid John Fisken ambled by the gym to snap some pics.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Basketball-2021-2022/BBB-GBB-2021-11-17-1st-practice/

 

Gwen Gustafson

Abby Mulholland

Audrianna Shaw

Carolyn Lhamon

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

Lyla Stuurmans

Hall of Fame player turned varsity coach Megan Smith demonstrates the art of the dribble.

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Greg Turcott, a longtime coach and teacher, is Coupeville High School’s new JV girls basketball coach.

This isn’t Greg Turcott’s first time in the gym.

Coupeville High School’s new JV girls basketball coach arrives with an impressive resume, having called the shots on the hardwood for numerous teams.

That includes high school stints at Archbishop Thomas Murphy, Kamiak, Bishop Blanchet, and South Whidbey, as well as leading Shoreline Community College when its men’s hoops squad twice led the nation in scoring.

Turcott, who lives in Coupeville and teaches social studies and PE at a middle school in the Edmonds district, replaces Megan Smith, who was promoted to CHS varsity coach in September.

The son of a coach, the newest Wolf round-ball sage has spent much of his life in gyms, and has yet to grow tired of the sport.

“I just love to coach basketball, and have wanted to coach here for a few years, so very honored to have the opportunity,” Turcott said.

“I’ve been around the game for a long time, so can bring some experience,” he added. “Also, I work with kids every day, so do my best to work well with students.”

As JV coach, Turcott wants to help younger players develop their skills, while planting the seeds for future growth.

“I think (my main goal) is for them to understand what a great game it is, and to hopefully develop a passion for playing,” he said.

“To help coach Smith any way I can, and to help our kids have fun playing hoops,” Turcott added. “We love living in Coupeville, and hope to help coach the kids here in the community!”

Turcott’s wife, Amy, teaches in Oak Harbor, and he has three daughters — 18-year-old Katie, 14-year-old Maddie, and Harper, who is a ball of fire as she approaches her third birthday.

Harper will be running wild in the gym, I’m sure,” he said with a chuckle.

She’ll be able to join the pack, as CHS boys varsity coach Brad Sherman has four young sons who greatly enjoy claiming the court after games.

Turcott grew up in Montana, playing basketball, tennis, and baseball at Butte Central High School.

He then went on to play for standout Carroll College hoops teams led by his dad, Gary, who is inducted in that school’s hall of fame.

The elder Turcott coached for 40+ years, and while his son hasn’t matched that figure yet, Greg has had some memorable stops along the way.

He was tabbed as the Cascade Conference coach of the year following the 2009-2010 season, when he led Archbishop Murphy’s boys team to a school-record 17 straight wins, and an undefeated record in league play.

Greg Turcott was also an assistant coach for Bishop Blanchet when it knocked off Seattle Prep –and future NBA players Martel Webster and Spencer Hawes — during the 2004-2005 season.

While coaching in the college ranks, he helped build Shoreline Community College’s men’s squad into an offensive buzz saw which averaged 112 points a game.

He worked with former college and NBA star Bo Kimble, who singed the nets for 35 points a night in 1990 as the focal point of Loyola Marymount’s NCAA record-busting offense.

It’s fairly unlikely any Coupeville JV players will pour in buckets at that pace this season, but Turcott can adapt, and looks forward to new challenges.

“I’m very happy to be part of the athletic department and the coaching staff,” he said. “We really love Coupeville and look forward to the season.”

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Megan Smith, new Coupeville High School girls basketball head coach. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The circle is complete.

Megan Smith, the #4 scorer in Coupeville High School girls basketball, will be the new head coach of the program beginning this winter.

Smith, a 2010 CHS grad, replaces Scott Fox, who stepped down after two seasons to focus on his health.

Her hire will be official when the school board approves it at its next meeting.

A three-time Female Athlete of the Year during her days as a Wolf, Smith earned 12 letters playing volleyball, basketball, and softball.

On the hardwood, she led Coupeville in scoring all four seasons she played, from 2006-2007 through 2009-2010.

Smith finished with 1,042 points (or likely more, as a couple of games from her era are still unaccounted for in my pursuit of every point scored in a CHS varsity hoops contest.)

After high school, she played college basketball, before following her parents, Willie and Cherie Smith, into education — both as a teacher and coach.

Prior to nabbing the CHS head coaching gig, she put in two seasons at the middle school level, then another two as the high school JV coach.

Now she inherits a job her father held from 1994-2000, a time period when her mom was his main assistant on the bench.

That duo were the first to take a CHS girls hoops team to the state tourney, and the first to win a game with a Wolf girls team at the big dance in any sport.

Megan Smith inherits a squad which could return its entire roster from last season, since Coupeville had no seniors play during a pandemic-altered campaign.

Junior Audrianna Shaw led that team in scoring, while 8th grader Savina Wells edged big sis Izzy, a junior, for the #2 position.

“I’m so excited to continue to be a part of this basketball program that has always been such a big part of my life!,” Megan Smith said.

“I can’t wait to get on the court and get to work. We have a great group of athletes already and I know we are going to crush it this year.”

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Kalia Littlejohn, ready to wreck you. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

I don’t pay to get into Coupeville High School athletic contests.

Various athletic directors over the years have given me free access to games, which has made the life of a low-paid sports reporter/blogger much easier.

That being said, there have been a handful of Wolf athletes who brought something truly special to the court, or field, or track oval, or soccer pitch.

If I had to pay, these select few Coupeville athletes would fall into the category of “They were worth the price of admission.”

Without a doubt, one of those premier stars is Kalia Littlejohn, who has always possessed an electricity and a style rarely seen in Cow Town.

She played three seasons of soccer, and parts of two campaigns on the basketball hardwood, before eventually graduating from another school, and she remains one of the truly special athletes to pass through the CHS hallways.

Through wins and losses, through good times and bad, Kalia was a firecracker, capable of bringing a stadium full of fans to its feet, or drop-kicking a pesky rival halfway across the field.

When she was on the basketball court, she was a ferocious ballhawk, constantly nipping, bobbing and weaving, and driving ballhandlers crazy with her quick hands, fast feet, and chippy on-court personality.

Kalia came to win, every day, and she was vocal about it, not backing down from anyone as she slapped her thighs and implored those around her to rise up with her.

That part of her personality carried over to the soccer pitch, where she lived and died for the game for many years.

Kalia spent a great deal of her young womanhood traveling back and forth across the state, and often much further away, as she and older sister Mia chased a 24/7/365 soccer life.

Mia and Kalia, a formidable sister duo. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Once free of the car, and unleashed on the field, she ran wild, golden leg drilling goals into all corners of the net, while often wielding her arms like weapons, clearing space and laying down the law.

“I wish a fool would…”

She might not have said it out loud, but Kalia played with a rare confidence, and a raging fire in her gut.

Off the pitch, she was a super-friendly, easy-going young woman, a smile almost always present as she bopped though life to her own funky tune.

But once she stepped between the lines, the beast emerged and it was often beautiful to behold.

The team on the other side of the pitch might have worn jerseys with big-city names on them, but frankly, Kalia couldn’t have cared less.

Or, at least that’s the impression I had.

She believed in her own talent, was more than willing to outwork, outhustle, and outmuscle anyone in her way, and earned the strut in her step.

Unleash the beast. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

While on the CHS pitch, Kalia rattled home 33 goals across three seasons, second-best in Wolf girls soccer history only to Mia’s 35 tallies.

The lil’ sis racked up numbers with remarkable consistency, leading the team in scoring as a freshman and junior.

The only Wolf girl to notch single-season double-digit scoring totals twice during their prep career (Mia and Genna Wright did it once each), Kalia rarely settled for pedestrian goals.

She would launch fireballs which blazed across the fading prairie sunlight.

Curl wicked sliders which dipped and dove around bodies before hitting pay-dirt.

And, sometimes, when the mood struck, Kalia would simply crush the ball with the intensity of someone genuinely trying to see if they could pop the darn thing.

She was feisty. Combative. Electrifying.

And, always … ALWAYS … worth the price of admission.

Today we welcome Kalia into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, where she joins several family members, and it’s an induction long overdue.

When you look under the Legends tab at the top of the blog after this, that’s where you’ll find her, most likely rippin’ up the joint and earning all the applause.

Kalia has always been much more than just an athlete, and remains a bright, blazing star as she navigates post-high school life.

With her drive, her commitment, and her strength, she will be a success at whatever path she chooses. Of that, I have no doubt.

But, while she’s always looking forward, the rest of us will pause for a moment and look back in awe and appreciation.

Thank you, Kalia. You were a ton of fun to watch, and write about.

Superstar. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

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Julia Myers, here to wreck you. (Original photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This blog turns nine years old August 15, and to mark the occasion, I’m picking what I view as the best nine Wolf athletes from each active CHS sport.

To be eligible, you had to play for the Wolves between Aug. 2012-Aug. 2021, AKA the “Coupeville Sports” years.

So here we go. Each day between Aug. 1-15, a different sport and (probably) a different argument.

 

A proud tradition, upheld quite nicely.

Girls basketball has some of the biggest banners in the CHS gym, and the last nine years have featured teams which won league titles, went to state, and frequently scorched other schools.

Looking at those squads, there’s little (none, really) debate over who the best player of the blog era is, but there’s a lot of depth behind that one transcendent superstar.

As always, there’s several missing Wolves out there who could make an argument for inclusion on this roster, but I’m limited to nine players.

And what a nine this is, with a mix of young women who can fill the bucket up, and others who made their living playing defense and providing all the intangibles a coach loves.

Throw the jump ball up. We’re ready to kick some fanny.

The woman. The myth. The always-smiling legend. Kacie Kiel.

Amanda Fabrizi — Tough as they come, and the owner of a deadly-effective sweet lil’ running hook shot, which was money in the bank. Never afraid to put the ball up under pressure, and always played her best the more-important the game was.

Kailey Kellner — Biggest surprise of the blog era — a shy young woman when she arrived from overseas, who then blossomed into a deadly three-ball artist. Her best moment, however, came in a must-win playoff game, when she morphed into a rebound machine, tearing the ball free and freakin’ the Seattle girls out.

Kacie Kiel — So deceptive, in the best way possible. Rivals would look at this slender young woman and assume she was a pushover, then she would go off on them, snatching every contested rebound, hitting the floor for every loose ball, knocking down gut-check three-balls, and playing like a demon on defense. Has a 1,000-pound heart, and truly deserves every bit of praise she gets.

Mia Littlejohn — Played like she was on a New Jersey playground from day one, and I loved it. Had the razzle, had the dazzle, could bank in a runner or pull back for a jumper, could dish on the move, or pick your pocket. All with a lil’ strut that was classic Mia.

Breeanna Messner — Lived and breathed for team, doing the dirty work, always scrambling, always fighting like a wild woman, which was a bit surprising, as she’s so serene off the court. Would get knocked down, face slamming on the floor, then calmly get back up, drain a three-ball in a rival’s face, and move back on defense, eyes locked on that girl until she mentally crumbled.

Julia Myers — She would mess a fool up, then stalk away, her smile erupting to chants of “Judy! Judy!” Had a sweet lil’ jump shot, but best known as a defensive banger who earned the nickname “Elbows,” cause that’s the last thing the girls from King’s saw before they hit the floor.

Lindsey Roberts — Something for everyone. Could be the go-to scorer, or could be a role player, and always seemed equally happy in either situation. Long arms, track star speed, and a burning desire to win all melded together to make Lou a terrifically-efficient weapon.

Makana Stone — The best I’ve seen in person, boy or girl. Almost 1,200 points, 1000+ rebounds, several plays of such an awesome nature they broke my brain, and the ultimate PR agent for her teammates, who she endlessly praised, in public and private.

Madeline Strasburg — The irrepressible, the incredible, Maddie Big Time. Shot out of a rocket right before tipoff, she would rampage from baseline to baseline, creating havoc. Once hit three-balls from half court at the third-quarter buzzer in consecutive games … 17 days apart thanks to winter break. And she called glass both times.

Mia Littlejohn dares you to try and score. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

 

Up next: Back to the tennis court, this time with the boys.

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