Posts Tagged ‘Hawthorne Wolfe’

   Gabe Shaw played strongly in two games Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net) 

One was over quickly, one came down to the final shot.

The two Coupeville Middle School boys basketball squads closed out their final appearance on their home court Wednesday in very different fashions.

The Wolf JV fell 59-25 to visiting Sequim, while the CMS varsity came within a final, desperate three-point bomb of upending their rivals in a wild 53-50 battle royal.

Both Coupeville teams wrap the season with a trip to Port Angeles Thursday to face ginormous Stevens.


Not a good game for those with heart conditions.

It started with a bang — Logan Martin hitting a rain of shots as Coupeville jumped out to a 9-0 lead — got dicey in the second half, then turned crazy in the final quarter, as the teams combined for almost 40% of the night’s points in the final eight minutes.

In the early going, everything was one smooth groove for the Wolves.

Martin took, and hit, the first three shots, a fall-away jumper, a soft fader and a three-ball from the left side, before Hawthorne Wolfe did his best ballerina imitation, snaring a rebound and twirling between defenders to lay the ball back up and in.

Even after Sequim finally got untracked on the offensive end, CMS had a quick answer.

Wolfe netted a pair of treys to cap the first quarter and Martin came back to end the half by banking a shot high off the glass.

As his bucket dropped through, the Wolves headed to the locker room up 23-16 and in control of things.

It didn’t last, though.

Coupeville’s shooting touch vanished for a quarter, and Sequim took advantage, using an 18-7 run in the third to take the lead for the first time.

Cody Roberts had a sweet running bucket, set up by a long airmail pass from Wolfe, but the Wolves struggled at the free throw line and, for the first time all night, started losing the war on the boards.

Trailing 34-30 as the fourth quarter dawned, Coupeville rallied to tie things at 38 when Wolfe splashed home his second three-ball of the quarter, and fifth of the game.

But, as quickly as the tie came, it went away.

In the matter of maybe a minute and a half, even if it felt more like two seconds, Sequim seemingly blew the game wide open.

A pair of three-balls later, a 9-1 surge by the visitors pushed the Wolf deficit to 47-39.

Game over and … X-Man has launched!

Xavier Murdy drilled back-to-back treys of his own to give Coupeville hope, then Aiden Burdge went and got crazy to light the fuse on the home crowd.

First he nailed a three-ball from the top with 32 seconds left, before picking the pocket of a Sequim ball-handler and feeding Caleb Meyer for a layup with 22 ticks to play.

Back within 51-50, the Wolves came with an aggressive look on defense, but couldn’t get the steal and had to foul to stop the clock.

To the delight of the three (loud) Sequim fans in attendance, the visitors tuned out the din of the local supporters and dropped both freebies through the net to force CMS to find a miracle.

And the Wolves almost did.

Wolfe got a good look at the bucket, and his three-ball from the left side hit the rim once, popped up, hit it a second time, swirled around and then, to the wails of his rabid fans, ricocheted away.

At which point, Sequim’s bench players rushed the court like it was Game 7 of the NBA finals, celebrating a come-from-behind win which gave them a split this season with Coupeville’s 8th graders.

The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for the CMS varsity, and they sit at 6-3 heading into their finale.

Wolfe finished with a game-high 17, while Martin banged home 11.

Murdy (8), Meyer (7), Burdge (5), Roberts (2) and Gabe Shaw rounded out the very-thin Wolf roster, while Sequim had a deep enough bench to sub in five at a time.


There was a moment when this game seemed like it would be a back-and forth affair. Then that evaporated.

Damon Stadler tore down a rebound, pounded the ball the length of the court and slapped home a layup a minute into the second quarter, pulling the Wolves within 9-8.

Part of a 9-3 run which featured scores from Isaiah BittnerShaw and Burdge — the latter coming on a swooping steal of an in-bounds pass — it positioned CMS well.

And then the much-more polished Sequim 7th grade squad struck, and struck hard.

Throwing down 11 straight points, then adding another seven after Wolf guard Alex Murdy briefly stopped the bleeding with a bank shot, the visitors put the game out of reach well before the halftime break.

Coupeville had a couple of quality plays in the late going, with Dominic “The Destroyer” Coffman drilling a three-ball and Tony Garcia rambling through the paint for a bucket on a nice spin move, but there were no comebacks on this afternoon.

The Wolves spread their offense around, with nine different players getting in on the fun.

Bittner, Murdy and Stadler led the way with four apiece, while Coffman (3), Burdge (2), Garcia (2), Shaw (2), Alex Wasik (2) and Ty Hamilton (2) also scored.

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   Aiden Burdge saw action in two CMS hoops games Thursday, scoring eight in the JV contest. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

X marks the spot of your destruction.

With Xavier Murdy rolling off 14 consecutive points at one stretch Thursday, hitting on a variety of inside and outside shots, the Coupeville Middle School varsity boys basketball squad cruised to its fifth-straight win.

Blowing open a semi-close game in the second half, the Wolves crushed visiting Chimacum 56-26 to improve to 6-2 on the season.

In the opener, the Wolf JV carried a lead into the fourth quarter, then couldn’t buy a bucket and faded to a 34-26 loss.


Chimacum led for the very briefest of moments at 6-5 two minutes into the game, than X-Man dropped the boom.

The game-clinching play came fast and it came with an explosive bang.

Out on the run, Grady Rickner threaded a pair of Cowboy defenders, then dished the rock to Murdy, who slashed to the hoop and slapped home the go-ahead lay up.

Followed a few seconds later by a long three-ball off of the fingertips of Logan Martin, who was actually the leading scorer in the first quarter with seven points, it broke Chimacum’s spirit.

The Cowboys very will to live? That went shortly thereafter, thanks to an astonishing bit of work by the hyped-up Wolves.

With the clock racing madly to 0:00 in the first, Hawthorne Wolfe sailed into a pack of rivals to snatch away a loose ball, then spun the orb over his head.

Some will say he was just launching a prayer and had no clue where the ball would land.

Others would say, give in and believe the hype, Wolfe knew exactly what he was doing, and he was playing three-dimensional chess while Chimacum was still learning how to play checkers.

Either way, Wolfe’s tip landed smack-dab in Martin’s waiting hands, and the CMS 8th grader caught it, went airborne and launched a flawless jumper from the top of the key in one smoother-than-smooth motion.

Splat, ball hits nothing but net, buzzer rings, ref signals basket, crowd goes bonkers and the Cowboy tears hit the ground like the raindrops outside — fast, furious and in the thousands.

Up 18-9 at the first break, Coupeville stretched it out to 27-16 at halftime, with Murdy pounding home back-to-back buckets on power moves in the paint to cap things.

That was just the tip of the iceberg, however.

Having picked up a few halftime shooting tips from former Wolf scoring ace Allen Black, Murdy came out on fire to open the third.

First, he tip-toed down the baseline and threw up a reverse layup, then came a power bucket set up by a steal-and-dish from Wolfe, who was in full whirlwind mode.

Not content to stop there, Murdy swished back-to-back three-balls from the deepest part of the right corner, with one taking a jaw-dropping bounce to the heavens, before somehow catching a very forgiving part of the rim and promptly flopping through the bottom of the net.

Having rattled off 14 straight points by himself at that point, X-Man turned the highlight reel over to Wolfe, who tossed in an uncanny bank shot using his left hand, to cap a Chimacum-shredding 16-0 run.

The Cowboys had no answers, mostly trying to stay out of the way of the rampaging Wolves.

Whether it was Caleb Meyer, rocking a ’70s-style headband to hold back his curly hair while dropping in elegant finger rolls, or Murdy pump-faking a defender into the parking lot on a late bucket, CMS had everything working.

The only thing keeping the score down at the end was Coupeville’s sense of honor, as Wolfe ripped off three straight steals at the end, but circled back around and worked time off the clock instead of throwing down needless breakaway layups.

That left him with 16 points on the afternoon, while Murdy paced the Wolves with 20.

Meyer had eight, Martin netted seven (and a ton of rebounds), Rickner tickled the twines for five and Cody Roberts, Aiden Burdge and Gabe Shaw delivered hustle, defense and intangibles.

CMS wraps its season with a home game against Sequim Jan. 17, then a road trip to Port Angeles Jan. 18 to face Stevens.

After avenging an early-season loss to Forks a week ago, the finale gives the Wolves an opportunity to get payback for their only other defeat.


The first half was great, as Coupeville used a 20-5 run to turn an early six-point deficit into a nine-point lead at the break.

With Burdge, a swing player, draining eight points in the two quarters he was allotted, the Wolves built a 20-11 lead and seemed to be in control.

Things didn’t change much in the third, as Damon Stadler slapped home a rebound for a bucket right before the buzzer, sending CMS into the fourth up 26-19.

Unfortunately, Stadler’s put-back would be the last time the Wolves scored.

While Coupeville couldn’t get the ball to fall, Chimacum positioned their biggest player under the basket (good thing the refs weren’t enforcing the three-in-the-key rule…) and he spent the quarter grabbing rebounds and putting them back up and in.

Toss in a three-ball, and the Cowboys did, as a wild heave somehow rolled around the rim and flopped through, and the visitors were set.

A 15-0 advantage over the final eight minutes gave Chimacum a season split with the young Wolves (1-7), who are still very much a work in progress.

Burdge paced the JV with eight, while Stadler and Shaw knocked down six apiece.

Defensive wild man Dominic Coffman singed the nets for a quick four and Alex Murdy netted a bucket to round out the scoring.

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   Caleb Meyer was one of seven Wolves to score Monday as the CMS 8th graders rocked Blue Heron 73-49. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Consider it a warning shot fired across the bow.

Playing a day before their respective high school teams clash, the Coupeville Middle School varsity boys basketball squad crushed host Blue Heron (Port Townsend) Monday 73-49.

Powered by a 29-point performance from guard Hawthorne Wolfe, the Wolves romped to their fourth straight win and improve to 5-2 on the season.

The CMS JV, a much-greener team that is still very much a work in progress, fell 50-25 in the opener. The younger Wolves sit at 1-6.

Both teams return home for their next two games, with the first one being Thursday against Chimacum. Tip-off is 3:15.

Monday, everything worked, and all its shots (or, at least a great majority of them) dropped for the Wolf varsity as it hit a season-high in scoring.

Coupeville was remarkably consistent all afternoon, dropping in 19, 19, 18 and 17 in the four quarters.

Wolfe was the man with the golden touch, scoring in every quarter.

After opening with a modest four points in the first eight minutes, he went off for 11 in both the second and third quarters.

Hot on his heels were Logan Martin, who combined a pair of three-balls and some buckets in the paint for a season-best 16 points, and Xavier Murdy, who tickled the twines for 13.

Caleb Meyer (7), Grady Rickner (5), Cody Roberts (2) and Aiden Burdge (1) rounded out the team-wide scoring attack.

Coupeville was active behind the three-point arc, raining down seven treys.

Wolfe led with four, while Martin knocked down a pair and Meyer swished one.

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   Logan Martin scored seven points in the final minutes of the fourth quarter Thursday, as Coupeville roared from 12 down to beat Forks 45-44. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Now that is going to be the longest, most tear-stained, really, really morbidly-quiet trip ever taken on a school bus.

When you blow a 12-point lead in the final six minutes, get gut-punched by a ref with impeccable integrity, then lose on the game’s final play, it doesn’t make for a pleasant evening.

So … good thing none of us live in Forks!

Cause the Coupeville side of the stands, the insanely-loud, deliriously-happy side, they exited the CMS gym Thursday flashing smiles, doing fist-bumps and basking in the glow of an early contender for best game of the year.

Even if we are only four days in to 2018.

So, what drove the Wolf fans into hysterics?

Watching the Coupeville Middle School varsity boys basketball squad roar back to shock the visiting Spartans 45-44, literally winning on the final shot of the night — a pressure-packed and artfully-swished little jumper off of the magical finger tips of Xavier Murdy.

The win, coming in Coupeville’s first game since Dec. 14, lifts the varsity to 4-2 on the season and stretches its current winning streak to three games.

It also avenges a loss at Forks a month ago, while being the kind of win they’ll still be talking about long after these players have graduated high school.

The victory also forced an overly-yappy road fan or two to go stone silent at the end (my right ear greatly appreciates that) and made up for a loss in the JV contest.

In that one, the very-green Wolves played a billion times better than they did the first time around against Forks, but still fell 49-20.

Varsity roars:

Coupeville led exactly three times, once at 3-1 on an early Murdy three-ball, and twice in the game’s final 43 seconds.

But hey, the only lead that matters is the one where the clock says 0:00 in the fourth.

Trailing by seven at the half, CMS got as close as four in the third, then seemed to buckle. To which it responded, guess again.

Having surrendered eight straight points — two buckets to end the third and two to start the fourth — the Wolves were in their biggest hole of the night at 38-26.

Then, everything started to click, with the fuse being lit not by a shot, but by a pass.

Out on the run after scooping up a loose ball, Hawthorne Wolfe, the floppy-haired heir to Pistol Pete, who has never met a three-ball attempt he didn’t like trying, passed on a shot.

Instead, he zipped a note-perfect pass to sprinting teammate Caleb Meyer, who snatched the ball out of the air and muscled his way through a pair of defenders for a quick layup.

The pass, and bucket, were huge.

Not only did it break Coupeville’s dry spell, but, in one wham-bam play, it seemed to take most of Forks confidence and toss it in the direction of the very-hungry Wolves.

CMS repeated the same Wolfe-to-Meyer play 10 seconds later, before Meyer dished a gorgeous lob to Murdy for a layup the next time down the floor.

With their lead being scratched away, the Spartans got tight, their shots started to rim out after sweetly falling all night, and Logan Martin stepped up to deliver the KO.

He had been battling hard on the boards all night, but in the final minutes Martin morphed into a dead-eye shooter, knocking down a bank shot in the paint, then scrambling out to the top to drain a trey.

Toss in a Murdy three-ball and a free throw from Meyer, and, as all the blood drained out of the faces of the once-noisy Forks fans, Coupeville was back within 42-41.

Cue an insane final 43 ticks of the clock.

The Wolves struck first, with Martin taking an in-bounds pass from Meyer and turning it into a go-ahead layup, somehow getting the ball to drop while three Spartans beat the crud out of him (without a foul being called).

Forks had the answer, though, when their own big man powered inside for a bucket and foul with 22 seconds to play. Or, at least it seemed that way.

Back up 44-43, the Spartans couldn’t get the free throw to drop.

And then it got bonkers.

Forks snared the rebound, sent a pass out to the right, and a Spartan nailed what could have been a game-icing three-ball.

Except Jim Shulock, a ref with ice water in his veins and great moral integrity, screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO SIR!!!!!!”

Staring down Forks players, coaches and fans as he knifed them, a guy who’s been wearing black and white stripes since before these kids were born, made the only call, in good conscience, he could make.

The only correct one, though one 98.3% of refs would probably not have had the guts to make at that moment.

A Forks player had clearly leveled a Wolf right in front of Shulock, and he punched the air, waving off the trey and calling the offensive foul on the visitors.

The Spartans wailed, while Coupeville simply went to work.

Given the ball back, down by one, with the clock ticking madly away, the Wolves found Murdy on the left side of the paint, and X-Man was flawless.

His short jumper over a sea of arms put CMS up 45-44, then, with the noise in the gym at levels that made Navy jet pilots all the way up in Oak Harbor wince, the Wolf defense sealed the deal.

Forks couldn’t hear, couldn’t think, and couldn’t hold it together, failing to get a shot off in the final eight seconds, sending Wolf fans cascading on to the floor, a sea of humanity losing its collective freakin’ mind.

“Every game should be like this!!!,” bellowed one Wolf coach, Bob Martin, as the other, Dante Mitchell, high-fived their players.

Murdy finished with a game-high 17, while Logan Martin banged home 12. Wolfe netted nine, Meyer knocked in five and Cody Roberts tickled the twines for two.

JV improves:

Coupeville’s younger players managed only six points in 32 minutes the first time these teams faced off, but they had that beat Thursday after just the first quarter.

Gabe Shaw banged down low for the game’s opening bucket, and while the Wolves couldn’t hold the lead against a more-polished Forks unit, they hung tough in the early going.

Alex Murdy was a particular standout, shutting down the Spartans on three consecutive plays down the floor. First he delivered a thunderous blocked shot, before making off with a pair of steals on back-to-back possessions.

Forks used a 9-0 surge to open the second quarter, fueled by a long three-ball, and, after that, the Wolves had few chances to get back in the game.

That didn’t stop CMS, though, as Ty Hamilton had a nice slash through the paint for a bucket and Dominic Coffman reinvented himself as a one-man wrecking crew.

He tossed in five of Coupeville’s seven third-quarter points, including getting three the hard way, but it was his electric intensity on defense which probably scarred the Spartans for life.

Near the end of the third quarter, Coffman stopped a Forks breakaway by delivering a well-timed karate chop to the head of the guy about to drop a layup. Instead the ball went one way, the rival went the other, and Wolf fans erupted.

Going one better, Coffman stopped a second fast break by leveling a Spartan like a semi-truck hitting a grocery cart full of melons left in the middle of the interstate.

On that one, the ref shook his head, tried to hide his smile and softly intoned, “foul, #1, foot to … the mouth.”

When he wasn’t blowing folks up, Coffman dropped in five points to pace the CMS offense. Isaiah Bittner (4), Aiden Burdge (4), Alex Murdy (3), Hamilton (2) and Shaw (2) also chipped in.

Tony Garcia, Kevin Partida, Alex Wasik, Brayden Coatney and Levi Pulliam rounded out the roster.

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   Aiden Burdge, seen here last season, was a spark-plug Monday for Coupeville. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

All in all, a pretty good day.

Facing off with visiting Blue Heron Monday, the Coupeville Middle School boys basketball squads came away with a split highlighted by the Wolf varsity romping to a big win.

The JV wasn’t quite as lucky, but did close with an especially strong fourth quarter in its loss.


In a game with a lot of offense, it was a superb defensive stand which launched the Wolves to a 64-43 win, evening their record at 2-2 on the season.

After a back-and-forth slug-fest of a first quarter which ended with things knotted at 17-17, Coupeville held Blue Heron without a field goal for 10 minutes.

20, if you count the halftime break.

Pushing the ball hard on breakaways — speed demon Hawthorne Wolfe knocked down 10 of his game-high 21 in the second quarter — then getting back on defense as a unit, CMS broke Blue Heron’s spirit.

A 16-3 romp in the second, in which the visitors could only manage three free throws (while missing five), juiced up the crowd.

Then, without missing a beat, the Wolves switched up and pounded the ball down low to Caleb Meyer, who opened the third quarter with back-to-back buckets while out-muscling his defender.

With the game blown wide open, Coupeville was able to withstand a very-effective three-ball wizard in a road uniform. While the Blue Heron gunner knocked down six treys, most of them came long after the game was decided.

And, just to show the visitors that they too could hit from behind the arc, the Wolves swished six balls from distance.

Wolfe hit the first, Logan Martin nailed a twisting miracle, Meyer knocked one down from the top, while Grady Rickner torched the net.

Putting a cap on the win, Rickner hit three-balls on three straight trips down the court to open the fourth quarter.

Each one came from a little further back, and each one sent his teammates and fans into ever-growing hysterics.

Proving they could attack from any angle, the Wolves closed the game by ditching the threes and punctuating things with some old-school savagery.

Gabe Shaw yanked down a rebound, pulling it away from a rival, then stepped between two defenders and set up Xavier Murdy for a layup with a crisp bounce pass.

Very next play, Murdy climbed into the sky to soundly reject a shot from Blue Heron’s tallest player.

Full of swagger at the start of the game, but clutching a stitch in his side midway through the third, the visitor learned one final lesson — don’t mess with X.

CMS spread out its offensive attack, with Meyer rattling the rim for 14 and Rickner tickling the twines for 12 in support of Wolfe’s 21.

Murdy and Martin each knocked down seven, Cody Roberts (a whirling dervish on defense) added three and Shaw and Aiden Burdge provided quality minutes off the bench.


A rough second quarter, in which the Wolves surrendered a 16-2 run, doomed Coupeville in a 62-46 loss.

CMS, which boasts little experience among its young guns, fell to 0-4.

But, while the final margin was substantial, it was radically cut down, as the Wolves sliced away at a 27-point deficit, getting it down to 16 by game’s end.

With Isaiah Bittner working hard in the paint and Dominic Coffman flying all over the place, Coupeville opened the fourth with 11 straight points.

After giving up back-to-back buckets, CMS went right back to Bittner and his hot hand, coasting in on a 5-1 run.

Coupeville, with a bit of unintentional trickery, stayed close in the game’s opening minutes.

At one point midway through the first quarter, a Wolf missed his cue to exit the game, and CMS attacked with six players on the floor.

With the odds ever in his favor, Burdge slashed to the hoop for a bucket.

Both coaching staffs, like the refs, didn’t notice the discrepancy until AFTER Blue Heron pulled the ball from the net, in-bounded it again and headed back up-court.

To the delight of the home crowd and the deep consternation of the visiting coaches, who later got an official warning from the refs for complaining after a different play, the basket stood.

Blue Heron got their revenge in the second quarter, though, using a string of fast-break layups to turn an eight-point lead into a 22-point bulge.

Lost in the hail of buckets for the visitors was a superb pass from Wolf guard Tony Garcia to Coffman.

Working an in-bound play to perfection, Garcia delivered his picture-perfect assist through a tangle of Blue Heron arms, while Coffman caught the pass, spun and nailed home a beauty of a banker.

Bittner finished with 12 points to pace the Wolves, while Shaw went off for eight of his 10 in the third quarter.

Alex Murdy (8), Coffman (6), Damon Stadler (4), Burdge (4) and Ty Hamilton (2) also scored, while Kevin Partida, Garcia, Levi Pulliam and Brayden Coatney rounded out the roster.

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