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Former CHS hoops star Megan Smith has been selected as the school’s new JV girls basketball coach.

Megan Smith has come all the way back around.

The former Coupeville High School basketball star is returning to the gym of her youth, but this time as a coach.

After two years working with middle school players, Smith has been tabbed as the high school’s new JV girls basketball coach, and will join Scott Fox, who debuts as varsity coach next season.

The duo replace David and Amy King, who retired this winter, and both hires are not official until approved by the school board.

Smith, a 2010 Coupeville grad, was a 12-time letter winner (volleyball, basketball, and softball) and three-time CHS Female Athlete of the Year.

She sits as the #4 scorer in Wolf girls basketball history, having tossed in 1,042 points across her four seasons on the court.

After graduation, Smith played basketball for Peninsula College, where she was joined by former Coupeville teammate Ashley Manker.

When she’s not coaching basketball, Smith is a teacher at the Skagit/Islands Head Start in Mount Vernon.

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Scott Fox has been tabbed as the new Coupeville High School girls basketball varsity head coach. (Photos courtesy Fox)

A flashback to Fox during his playing days.

A new chapter begins.

Girls basketball has been one of the most successful sports programs at Coupeville High School over the past 45 years, and everyone involved is confident of a smooth transition as a new head coach arrives.

The new face of the program will be Scott Fox, who was tabbed this week to replace David King.

The hire will be official after the school board approves it.

King retired after seven seasons at the helm of the program, a run in which he won three Olympic League titles and took the Wolves to the state tourney in 2016.

His teams made the playoffs every season, continuing a run of success which stretches back to the mid-’90s, when Willie Smith arrived from Sequim.

The year before the current Coupeville Athletic Director became head coach, the Wolf girls went 1-19.

Smith transformed the program into a contender, leading it to its first-ever win at the state tourney in 2000.

After that came a run of state appearances, with the Wolves bringing home a 6th place banner and two 8th place banners between 2002-2005 under the guidance of Greg Oldham.

Now, with girls hoops firmly established as one of the school’s best, Fox will get a chance to continue the success.

Finding a coach with a plan for the future, a solid teaching style, and an ability to interact well with players, fellow coaches, and parents was important to the hiring board, which included CHS administrators, coaches, teachers, and student/athletes.

Smith released the following statement Friday afternoon:

CHS is pleased to announce the hiring of Scott Fox as our new high school girls basketball head coach.

Scott brings over 12 years of experience as a basketball coach, as well as being our boys C-Team basketball coach this past year.

He was a collegiate basketball player at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and is a recently retired Captain in the Anaheim City Fire Department.

His experience, leadership qualities, sense of community, and basketball knowledge were all attributes which made Scott stand out, and we are very excited to have him as part of our staff.

King, who was one of the longest-tenured coaches in program history, praised his successor and looks forward to seeing what he will accomplish.

“It was bittersweet with retiring, but hearing the news of Scott getting the job softens the blow,” he said. “You get attached to the players and it’s hard to let go; but knowing Scott will be at the helm eases any concerns on how a new coach will treat the players and program. They are in good hands.

Amy and I got to know Scott this past summer and season and we are excited to see what he can do with the program.” he added. “The players are going to like him and through his knowledge and preparation, he will get the most out of the players.”

Fox tore up the hardwood for Millikan High School in Long Beach, CA, back in the day, before moving on to play basketball at Long Beach City College, then on scholarship at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

While putting in 30 years with the Anaheim Fire Department, first as a paramedic, then 12 years as a Captain, he also worked as a hoops coach, first at his alma mater, then later at Orange Lutheran.

Upon retiring, Fox and wife Susan purchased a house in Coupeville, and he joined Brad Sherman’s CHS boys basketball staff this past season.

When I first interviewed him last year, the newest Wolf coach stressed the importance of helping his players on and off the floor, something he demonstrated as the season played out.

“Coaches have a huge impact on student’s lives and I would like to be part of their development into adulthood,” Fox said. “We prioritize in helping develop the total student, which includes being a responsible person first, student second, and athlete last.

“We hold our athletes accountable for their behavior and academic success prior to ever being allowed onto the basketball court,” he added. “We feel this will benefit them as they develop habits for success past high school.”

Being a winning program is huge, but having one which the community can look to proudly off the floor is the ultimate goal.

“Beyond the wins and losses I want to instill a work ethic of accountability, responsibility and teamwork in these athletes,” Fox said. “I would like to see us improve after every game and learn what it means to be part of a team.

“This is a truly special place and we are glad to be part of it.”

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Carolyn Lhamon (11), seen here in an earlier game, was a one-woman wrecking crew Thursday as Coupeville’s 8th graders improved to 8-0. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Some good, some bad, all covered in a solid slathering of germs.

Thursday night offered up the home finales for the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball teams, and the Wolves emerged with a split against pesky Sultan.

Or, at least the girls semi-healthy enough to play did.

There was no JV game, as the visiting Turks, also dealing with flu and cold season, couldn’t field enough bodies for a contest.

How the varsity games played out:

 

8th grade:

Alex Evans played with fire, and didn’t get burned.

Trying to achieve two missions – to give a chunk of JV players valuable floor time since their game was cancelled, while still getting a win to keep his team undefeated – the Wolf hoops guru succeeded admirably in a 33-20 victory.

Coupeville, which is 8-0 with one road game left on the schedule, blew Sultan off the floor the first time around.

This time, the Wolves showed the same dominance, but just in spurts, and when it mattered most.

The prime example came in the fourth quarter, as Evans‘ two missions collided.

With all of his starters on the bench, the coach watched a 12-point lead shrink to four, but showed only calmness to the folks in the stands, and, most importantly, his own players.

Evans allowed his more inexperienced players a chance to discover what it’s like to play under pressure, holding a lead against a rival which was greatly-improved from the two teams first meeting.

Then, when the Turks had a brief moment of hope, Coupeville’s coach slid his starting five – Maddie Georges, Nezi Keiper, Gwen Gustafson, Alita Blouin, and Carolyn Lhamon – back into the game, and let them put the hammer down.

And they did, closing the game on a 9-0 run, started by Keiper pounding down low and utterly annihilating her defender in the paint.

After that, her buddy in the post, Lhamon, snatched the spotlight, throwing down five of the game’s final seven points.

One bucket came on a nice roll to the hoop, set up by a pinpoint pass off the fingers of Georges, while another showcased Lhamon’s skills in the open court.

Leading a one-woman charge down the floor, Lhamon broke every bone in her defender’s body, faking left, then slashing hard to the right, all while on the move.

As the backpedaling Turk went down in a crumpled pile of misery and regret, the Wolf ace pulled the ball back into her body to keep it away from a different defender, then banged home the layup.

The run, one unbroken charge from coast to coast, was a thing of beauty, even more so coming from a player who gets the majority of her points working with her back to the basket.

Coupeville used sustained runs like that 9-0 swan song to set the pace all afternoon.

The Wolves closed the first quarter on an 8-2 surge, punctuated by Hayley Fiedler drilling the bottom of the bucket out with a long-range bomb.

In the second quarter, it was a 6-0 run to close the half, then, in the third, CMS capped the quarter with an 8-0 tear.

The one constant through it all was “The Assassin,” zippy guard Alita Blouin, who blew by the Turks for buckets, then jumped outside to nail a three-ball from the top of the arc.

Coupeville spread its offensive attack out nicely, with Blouin topping the scoring chart with nine points, while Lhamon banked home seven, and Keiper popped for five.

Georges (4), Gustafson (4), Fiedler (2), and Ryanne Knoblich (2), who looked deathly ill, yet hit the boards with her usual ferocity, rounded out the scoring.

Mixing and matching his lineups, Evans was able to get a whopping 16 players floor time.

Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson, Melanie Navarro, Jill Prince, Jordyn Rogers, Claire Mayne, Jessenia Camarena, Cristine McGrath, Abigail Ramirez, and Adrian Burrows all saw action.

Camarena was a particular standout on this day, ripping down rebounds and playing an enforcer role.

In the midst of another Wolf win, this one coming in the final home game, the game’s enduring moment was crafted by a ref, however.

Coming out of halftime, one of the two officials was late to return to the floor. When he did, he turned and blindly lobbed the ball cross-court to his partner, only to drill a hapless Sultan player in the back of the head.

 

7th grade:

The Wolves were missing four players, including leading scorer Brionna Blouin, and fell 21-9.

The loss drops the young guns to 2-7 on the season.

Take away the first quarter, when Sultan romped to a 12-0 lead as the basket displayed a harsh, unforgiving nature whenever a Coupeville shot came its way, and the game was a tie.

Sparked by Lauren Marrs, who pumped in seven of her team’s points, the Wolves put up a strong fight over the game’s final 21 minutes.

Desi Ramirez finally got CMS on the board when she plucked a rebound free, then swished a fall-away shot over a sea of Turk arms with 2:30 left to play in the opening half.

Marrs immediately followed by gunning it up-court on Coupeville’s next possession, weaving through a pack of defenders jammed together in the paint, and slapping home a running layup.

But, just as quickly as the Wolves hit those back-to-back buckets, the basket went back to being a jerk, spitting out any and all offerings from CMS.

Other than a Marrs free throw right before halftime, Coupeville couldn’t get anything to drop until midway through the fourth quarter.

By that time the Wolves trailed 20-5, thanks to a couple of offensive rebound put-backs by the Turks, and a glaring lack of traveling calls being whistled on a Sultan team which seemed to have studied with James “I’ll take five steps, thanks” Harden.

Marrs finally broke the drought, with a pair of sweetly-crafted buckets.

On the first, she curled around the defense, then slashed through a tiny gap for a layup. The second, a breakaway bucket, was set up by a strong outlet pass from Mayne.

Each Wolf to see action chipped in with something, from Reese Wilkinson playing strongly on the boards, to Kaitlyn Leavell streaking down floor, ahead of the play, almost every single time.

Allison Nastali, Skylar Parker, Karyme Castro, and Erica McGrath rounded out the active roster, with all four fighting until the final buzzer for coach Megan Smith.

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Maddie Georges (with ball) tossed in seven of her 14 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday, as Coupeville’s 8th graders rallied to remain undefeated. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Three games, three very different results.

Hitting the road for the second time in as many days, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball teams traveled to Lakewood Wednesday, returning home with a big win, a narrow loss, and a not-so-narrow defeat.

How the afternoon played out:

 

8th grade varsity:

The most-successful Wolf squad of them all continued its unbeaten season, rallying late to knock off their hosts 35-29.

Saved by a 14-5 tear in the fourth quarter, with Maddie Georges tossing in half of Coupeville’s points, the Wolves kept their record pristine at 6-0.

In the early going, the situation, if not dire, was still not what CMS coach Alex Evans might have hoped for when he sent his players on the floor.

Down 15-10 after a furious first quarter in which five different Wolves scored, Coupeville needed a bit of a spark.

And they found it by clamping down on defense, limiting Lakewood, a large middle school which funnels athletes to a 2A high school, to just 14 points over the final three quarters.

It still took the Wolves some time to retake the lead, however, as their own second-quarter offense was limited to a pair of free throws, one each from Georges and Carolyn Lhamon.

Trailing 19-12 at the half, CMS kept the defensive lock-down in place, cutting the lead down to three after a 9-5 run in the third fueled by four points apiece from Georges and Gwen Gustafson.

With Coupeville’s inside bangers, Lhamon and Nezi Keiper, held relatively in check, it was the Wolf guards who led the comeback and eventual win.

Georges knocked down seven of her team-high 14 in the fourth frame, while Alita Blouin tossed in five of her eight points at the same time.

Gustafson chipped in with a season-high seven, while Lhamon added four points, and Ryanne Knoblich banked home a bucket to round out the scoring.

Coupeville’s guards were feeling it from distance, with Gustafson, Blouin, and Georges all ruffling the net for a three-ball.

Hayley Fiedler, Jordyn Rogers, Jill Prince, and Keiper rounded out the roster for a team which is three games from wrapping up a perfect season.

 

7th grade varsity:

Both teams only had three players score, but with one of Lakewood’s trio going off for 21 points, the host team strolled to a 37-17 win.

The loss drops the Wolves to 2-5 on the season.

Lakewood jumped on Coupeville early, building a 13-3 lead after one quarter, then stretching the margin out to 26-9 at the half, and 35-10 headed into the fourth.

The Wolves put together their best run during the final frame, outscoring their foes 7-2 behind five points from Lauren Marrs.

Scoring seven of her team-high 12 from the free-throw stripe, Marrs was the one constant for CMS, which also got three points from Brionna Blouin and two from Desi Ramirez.

Allison Nastali, Erica McGrath, Skylar Parker, Ava Mitten, Kaitlyn Leavell, Reese Wilkinson, Jackie Contreras, and Kayla Arnold also saw floor time for Megan Smith’s squad.

 

8th grade JV:

The two-quarter tussle was fairly close, but with Coupeville unable to hit a single field goal in 14 minutes of action, it’s probably not a surprise the Wolves fell 9-4.

The loss drops the JV to 2-5 on the season.

All of Coupeville’s scoring came at the free throw line, with three different players netting charity shots.

Adrian Burrows, daughter of Wolf legend Jaime Rasmussen, who hit some of the biggest free throws in CHS girls basketball history, made like mom and drained both of her attempts.

Jill Prince and Jordyn Rogers added a single free shot each, but Lakewood countered with three field goals and a timely three-ball in the second quarter.

Claire Mayne, Melanie Navarro, Abigail Ramirez, Jesse McMahon, Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson, Jessenia Camarena, Karyme Castro, Trinity McGee, and Cristina McGrath also played for CMS.

 

Rest of the season:

Coupeville returns home for two games, hosting Lakewood Mar. 12 and Sultan Mar. 14, before closing the season Mar. 19 at Granite Falls.

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CHS basketball players (l to r) Ema Smith, Scout Smith, and Lindsey Roberts were tabbed for All-Conference honors. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They made a strong first impression.

The Coupeville High School girls basketball team beat preseason predictions, finishing third in the new six-team North Sound Conference.

Proving the best of the four scrappy public schools, CHS pushed back as hard as anyone against the twin private school juggernauts who ruled the roost.

The Wolves took Cedar Park Christian to the final moments in the second meeting between the teams, and did what it could to contend with league champ King’s.

Based on their play, and their refusal to back down, league coaches tabbed three Wolves for All-League honors, led by senior Lindsey Roberts earning a First-Team distinction.

A four-year varsity vet, she led Coupeville in scoring for the second-straight season, and wrapped her career as the #18 scorer in program history.

Fellow senior Ema Smith and junior Scout Smith, Coupeville’s other two varsity captains, were honored as Second-Team All-League picks.

Both Smith girls had big seasons, with Ema topping the team in nailing three-pointers, while Scout ran the point for the Wolves and sealed a key win at Sultan with a pair of late free throws.

In addition, junior Avalon Renninger shared the NSC Sportsmanship Award.

The coaching staffs from each league team picked one player from their squad to be honored.

The league awards were just the start Thursday as CHS coaches David and Amy King capped their seventh season with a team banquet.

 

Team awards:

 

Four-Year Varsity:

Lindsey Roberts

 

Four-Year Participation:

Nicole Laxton
Ema Smith

 

Varsity Captains:

Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith
Scout Smith

 

JV Captain:

Mollie Bailey

 

Most Improved:

JV:

Alana Mihill
Morgan Stevens

Varsity:

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

 

Best Offense:

JV:

Audrianna Shaw
Izzy Wells

Varsity:

Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith

 

Best Defense:

JV:

Ja’Kenya Hoskins

Varsity:

Tia Wurzrainer

 

Hustle Award:

JV:

Kiara Contreras

Varsity:

Tia Wurzrainer

 

Most Inspirational:

JV:

Mollie Bailey

Varsity:

Avalon Renninger

 

Wolf Pride:

Alana Mihill

 

Coaches Award:

Nicole Laxton

 

Varsity letter winners:

Hannah Davidson
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Nicole Laxton
Chelsea Prescott
Avalon Renninger
Lindsey Roberts
Ema Smith
Scout Smith
Tia Wurzrainer

 

Varsity participation certificates:

Mollie Bailey
Anya Leavell
Izzy Wells

 

JV participation certificates:

Mollie Bailey
Kylie Chernikoff
Kiara Contreras
Ja’Kenya Hoskins
Anya Leavell
Ivy Leedy
Lily Leedy
Alana Mihill
Abby Mulholland
Audrianna Shaw
Morgan Stevens
Kylie Van Velkinburgh
Izzy Wells

 

Manager:

Heidi Meyers

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