Posts Tagged ‘home finale’

Coupeville’s Avalon Renninger – a scary, scary woman on the tennis court. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Second time around, things got a little crazy.

Four days ago, the Coupeville High School girls tennis team swept Friday Harbor 5-0 while on a tour of the outer islands.

Jump forward to Tuesday, the Wolves were back at home, it was Senior Night for foreign exchange student Bruna Moratori, and everything spun off in new, and sometimes, exciting, directions.

Coupeville still won the rematch, but this time it was 4-0 as #1 singles, against all odds, ended in a tie.

Yes, a tie, and not even on the soccer field.

There were a lot of contributing factors.

Friday Harbor showed up a bit later than expected, and when you live in the outer islands, there comes a time when you have to sprint for the last ferry or forever be stuck on Whidbey to deal with rogue wandering bears.

But mainly it was because Coupeville’s Genna Wright and Friday Harbor’s Aida Must waged a war of attrition, mixing up styles of play, swapping power for precision, and refusing to give an inch.

Wright won the first set, Must the second, then the Wolf sophomore dug down deep to save herself in the final frame, roaring back from 5-3 down to knot things up at 5-5.

The only players still on the court as the sun dipped, and, far off, a ferry tooted a plaintive horn, the duo would have stayed out there all night if allowed.

But it wasn’t to be, as reality intruded and the Friday Harbor van screamed out of the Coupeville parking lot on two wheels, the last player diving through the open door on a dead sprint.

It capped a wild afternoon in which three of five varsity matches went the full three sets.

While Wright’s rumble didn’t quite reach the finish line, the Wolf duos of Moratori/Jaimee Masters and Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler both rallied to pull out wins in a third frame.

The only two matches which went (fairly) quickly were Jillian Mayne at #2 singles, who was last on the court and yet still beat Wright off, winning in straight sets, and #1 doubles duo Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer.

The warriors in white (tennis dresses) demolished their foes, pounding the snot out of the ball, and leaving a notable impression on the players on the other side of the net.

“I’m not built to play that blonde girl!,” whispered one Friday Harbor netter as she marveled at Renninger’s wicked power. “She scared me sometimes!”

“And that other girl … zip, zip, zip, every shot,” murmured her partner as Wurzrainer walked away, twirling her racket like a sword.

With the back-to-back wins over Friday Harbor, the Wolves improve to 2-4 in North Sound Conference play.

Coupeville hits the road the next two days, traveling to Chimacum Wednesday, then Granite Falls Thursday.

The first of those matches is the team’s only non-conference tilt this spring, while the latter will be a doubleheader, as the North Sound Conference rivals finish a rained-out match, then play the regularly-scheduled finale.

The Wolves return to Granite May 7-8, taking two singles players and two doubles teams along for the district tourney.


Complete Tuesday results (varsity only):

1st Singles — Genna Wright tied Aida Must 6-3, 5-7, 5-5 (ferry)

2nd Singles — Jillian Mayne beat Alli Benz 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — Tia Wurzrainer/Avalon Renninger beat Katy Kulseth/Tori Polda 6-0, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Eryn Wood/Emily Fiedler beat Joely Loucks/Lucy Urbach 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

3rd Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Bruna Moratori beat Ayla Ridwan/Kai Di Bona 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

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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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Ashley Shank will  be there. Will you? (John Fisken photos)

Ashley Shank will be there. Will you? (John Fisken photos)

Kyla Briscoe

  Kyla Briscoe requests your presence in the stands for her middle school home finale. Or else…

They get to play the big room.

With their final home game Monday, the Coupeville Middle School girls’ basketball squads get to move into the high school gym for an afternoon.

It also means an earlier start time, with the 8th grade varsity kicking things off at 2 PM, allowing Mia Littlejohn, Katrina McGranahan, Lauren Rose and Co. to play in front of their classmates.

The opponent is Granite Falls — a team all four CMS teams blasted the first time around — and, if you should so choose, you can probably put in a solid 4-5 hours of hoops (if I’m exaggerating, it’s only slightly) if you stay for the 7th and 8th grade JV and 7th grade varsity games.

If you miss out, there’s still one final chance to see the Wolf stars of tomorrow, as CMS travels down South to Langley Wednesday for its season finale.

After that, a break, and then it’s on to track season.

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