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Maddie Georges netted six points Tuesday, including a key pair of free throws, as Coupeville’s 8th graders completed a three-game sweep of Langley. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

You win some, you lose some.

The action was fast and furious on the hardwood Tuesday in Langley, with Coupeville Middle School’s varsity girls basketball squads earning a split against their arch-rivals.

The Wolf 8th graders remained perfect with a narrow victory, while the CMS 7th graders took their game to the final buzzer, only to fall on the final shot.

How the day played out:

 

8th grade varsity:

Still perfect, and still the best team on Whidbey.

Holding on down the stretch, while enjoying a sizable advantage at the free throw line, Coupeville held off their hosts 39-34.

The win gives the Wolves a three-game sweep of the Cougars, while lifting CMS to 5-0 on the season.

Each of the three contests the Island rivals played had a different rhythm.

In the first one, Coupeville had to roar from behind and erase a double-digits deficit for the win.

Second time out, the Wolves blew Langley off the floor, romping to a lopsided victory.

The final match-up was a nail-biter, but one in which CMS held the advantage from start to finish.

Powered by a big three-ball from Alita Blouin, the Wolves went to the first break up 6-5.

After that, it was time for Carolyn Lhamon to shine, as the Wolf post powerhouse dropped in 11 of her game-high 12 points across the final three quarters.

The teams battled through a tight second quarter, with CMS clinging to a 14-13 lead at the half, but the Wolves slowly pulled away after the break.

Four points from Lhamon and three from Ryanne Knoblich keyed a 13-10 surge in the third, before Lhamon and Nezi Keiper each tossed in three during a taut 12-11 fourth frame.

With the clock running down, and Langley still just a three-ball away from forcing overtime, Maddie Georges iced the game.

Striding to the free throw line with confidence in every step, Mad Dog knocked down a pair of free throw attempts, giving CMS a 10-2 advantage on successful charity shots, and that was that.

Lhamon paced the Wolves with 12, while Keiper and Blouin backed her up with seven points apiece.

Georges (6), Knoblich (3), Gwen Gustafson (2), and Hayley Fielder (2) rounded out the scoring attack, with Jill Prince and Jordyn Rogers chipping in with hustle on defense.

 

7th grade varsity:

One of the odder games in recent memory, as South Whidbey went scoreless until the third quarter, only to win 8-6 with a basket in the final seconds.

The loss drops Coupeville to 2-4 on the season, and gives the Island rivals a split of their two-game season series.

And no, you didn’t read that score wrong.

After four quarters and 28 minutes of floor time, the teams really did combine for a meager 14 points.

“Really good defense was played,” CMS coach Megan Smith said with a laugh. “It was a very close game. The girls played very hard and well, but South Whidbey just beat us at the end and scored at the buzzer.”

Coupeville’s defense was smothering in the first half, but the Wolves could only generate a pair of buckets, both off of the fingertips of Brionna Blouin, and led 4-0 at the half.

Then CMS went cold, while South Whidbey got slightly (very slightly) warmer, slicing the lead down to 4-2 heading into the final quarter.

After that, things went bonkers (sorta) on the offensive side of the ball, with the squads scoring more points in the fourth quarter than in the first three combined.

Blouin hit another bucket, giving her 65 points for the season, best by any CMS girl in either grade, but the Cougars knotted things up, then pushed in the winning basket as time ran down.

Lauren Marrs, Allison Nastali, Skylar Parker, Reese Wilkinson, Erica McGrath, Kayla Arnold, Kaitlyn Leavell, and Desi Ramirez also saw floor time for the Wolves.

 

7th/8th grade JV:

Coupeville got balanced scoring, with eight players etching their names in the book, but the Wolves fell 26-18.

The loss drops the JV to 2-4 on the season.

Other than a brief defensive lapse in the second quarter, the game was a taut one, with Langley up 6-4 at the first break, and the second half a 10-10 stalemate.

The deciding factor was the second frame, where the Cougars surged to a 10-4 advantage.

Claire Mayne rattled the rims for four points to pace the Wolves, while Mercedes Kalwies-Anderson netted three.

Cristina McGrath (2), Jessenia Camarena (2), Jill Prince (2), Melanie Navarro (2), Adrian Burrows (2), and Trinity McGee (1) also scored, while Ava Mitten, Jackie Contreras, Karyme Castro, Jesse McMahon, Jordyn Rogers, and Abigail Ramirez all saw playing time.

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Junior point guard Jered Brown and the Coupeville varsity boys need a win Friday to clinch a playoff berth. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kody Newman stung the Wolves one more time.

The South Whidbey High School senior rattled home 32 points Tuesday, becoming the third member of his family to top 1,000 points on the prep hardwood, as the Falcons blitzed visiting Coupeville 72-40.

The loss drops the CHS varsity boys to 1-8 in North Sound Conference play, 2-14 overall heading into their regular-season finale Friday at Granite Falls (0-9, 2-17).

That game will be huge for the Wolves, as a win clinches the fifth, and final, postseason berth from their six-team conference.

If Granite wins Friday, however, the teams return immediately to the court Saturday, though this time in Coupeville, for a tie-breaker game to decide the final playoff team.

That contest, if necessary, would tip off at 5 PM.

Tuesday’s game at South Whidbey fell on Senior Night for the Falcons, and while Brock Gray netted a fourth-quarter three-ball, it was the other SWHS 12th grader, Newman, who dominated action.

Scoring from every angle, he hit a perfect 14-14 at the free-throw line, netted four treys, and tossed in three regular old-fashioned field goals just for fun.

Newman’s 1000th point came on a three-ball launched from the back reaches of the parking lot, allowing him to join siblings Lindsey and Riley in the exclusive club.

Paced by their senior sharpshooter, the Falcons took control of the game early, turning a 19-8 lead after one quarter into a 37-17 bulge at the halftime break.

Coupeville played its most-competitive ball in the third quarter, staying within 14-12, with five different Wolves connecting on shots in the frame.

Eight CHS players scratched their names in the score-book, with Hawthorne Wolfe, Sean Toomey-Stout, and Jacobi Pilgrim leading the way with eight points apiece.

It was a varsity career-high for Pilgrim.

Mason Grove banked in a pair of three-balls en route to six points, with Gavin Knoblich (4), Ulrik Wells (3), Jean Lund-Olsen (2), and Xavier Murdy (1) also scoring.

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Sage Downes tossed in a team-high 11 Friday for the Coupeville JV boys basketball squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Toss out the first quarter, and it was a one-point thriller.

Unfortunately for the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball squad, the refs insisted on counting every point Friday night.

And that one brief hiccup, when they were outscored 14-9 over the game’s first eight minutes, sent the Wolves to a 40-34 loss to visiting South Whidbey.

The defeat drops the CHS young guns to 2-4 in North Sound Conference play, 6-7 overall.

The first time the Island rivals have faced this season (they play in Langley Jan. 29), Friday’s rumble was edge of your seat all the way.

The Falcons used a 6-5 “run” in the second quarter to take a 20-14 lead in at the half, then the two squads played even after the break.

Coupeville got a fair amount of its points thanks to shots from behind the three-point arc, raining down seven treys to four from the Falcons.

But those four were killers, as South Whidbey’s Ben Lind hit a pair in the opening frame, and two more in the final quarter en route to a game-high 13 points.

Answering for the Wolves was sophomore Sage Downes, who tickled the nets for 11 points, including a trio of three-balls.

Much of his support came from freshman Xavier Murdy, who netted all nine of his points thanks to nothin’ but three-balls, while Daniel Olson hit Coupeville’s final trey and had seven points.

Grady Rickner knocked down three points, with Cody Roberts and TJ Rickner adding a bucket apiece to round out the scoring attack.

Tucker Hall and Logan Martin also saw floor time for the Wolves.

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Jered Brown and Co. fought hard Friday as Coupeville squared off with South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The rivalry is reborn.

Playing for the memory of a fallen, but not forgotten teammate Friday, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball squad put together its best performance of the season.

And while the still-young Wolves couldn’t get past South Whidbey and its rampaging scoring machine, senior gunner Kody Newman, the performance speaks well for the future.

Newman torched the nets for 33, including nine in the final minutes, as the Falcons pulled away late, turning a nine-point fourth-quarter lead into a 64-43 win.

But while the seventh and final star of South Whidbey’s #1 sports family graduates this year, Coupeville can return all of its stars next season.

Leading the way will be Hawthorne Wolfe, a freshman whiz kid who leads CHS in scoring and tossed in 17 more Friday while playing for the memory of his childhood friend.

Coupeville’s Class of 2022, and friends, family and fans came out strong in support of Bennett Boyles.

As part of Coaches vs. Cancer, the Wolves left a seat on their bench open Friday in memory of Boyles, who lost a battle with brain cancer when he was just 12.

Wolfe, who played with Boyles on SWISH basketball teams, wears his friends name on his shoes and put together his most-complete performance of his short high school career in tribute.

CHS raised $483.20 during Friday night’s doubleheader, with the proceeds being donated to Project Violet at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

After hugging Bennett’s mom Lucienne before the opening tip, Wolfe tapped his hand on his shoes as he stepped on the court, then lowered his head and whispered something to himself.

And then he came alive, bouncing and slapping his thigh, before rattling home the first of his three shots from behind the three-point arc, followed by a headlong charge into the South Whidbey defense for another bucket.

Flying down the court, Wolfe pulled in a pass from Jered Brown, switched hands in mid-stride, spun a scrambling defender in a circle, and flipped the ball high off the glass.

As the ball slipped through the twines, pulling Coupeville within 7-5, the biggest crowd of the season roared, with Wolfe and Boyle’s fellow frosh making the loudest noise.

But while the future of CHS basketball was playing at the top of his game, the visiting Falcons had a much-more seasoned pro to answer right back.

With Lewis Pope having graduated, Newman is The Man in Langley, and he hit from every angle, knocking down one three-ball from about a step over the half-court line.

The true killer came on the final play of the first quarter, with South Whidbey clinging to just a 12-10 lead and Coupeville pushing their rivals far harder than some might have expected.

Newman, snatching up a madly-skipping ball, hit turbo speed as he slashed down the sideline, storming right past the CHS student section.

With a small nod, and a bit of a grin, he beat the clock, and the scrambling Wolf defenders, slapping home a layup and picking up a three-point play the hard way, tossing in a free throw to cap a game-changing play.

For a moment, Newman’s derring do seemed to turn the entire flow of the game, and South Whidbey quickly stretched its 15-10 lead after one quarter out to 21-10.

But the Wolves didn’t break this time around.

Wolfe twirled through a maze of bodies for a lil’ dipsy-do bucket, then lobbed home a three-ball, before Gavin Knoblich decided to get into the scoring biz.

Dropping his own trey, and then tapping home a layup off of a sweet entry pass from Sean Toomey-Stout, Knoblich’s 5-0 run pulled the Wolves back to within seven.

Enter Newman again, as he stuck another dagger into his rivals.

This time it was a pass, flicked behind his back to a teammate running to his side, which turned into a gut punch of a Falcon bucket.

While South Whidbey carried a 32-20 lead into the half, the Falcons could never quite pull away until late in the game.

Coupeville banged home a trio of three-balls and got some nice work in the paint from Ulrik Wells and Jacobi Pilgrim and played their rivals to a 17-17 standstill in a third quarter brimming with intensity.

Brown singed the net for a trey of his own to open the fourth, and back within nine, the Wolves looked like a team that might make a run at pulling off an upset.

But Newman has honed the skills of a killer in his four years on the floor for the Falcons, and all the years before that playing against his much-heralded older sisters and brother.

In the crucible of the fourth, the Falcons leader was too much for the Wolves, and he went off for nine points in a closing 15-3 South Whidbey surge.

Record-wise, the two teams are headed in opposite directions.

With the win, South Whidbey is 4-2 in North Sound Conference action, 11-5 overall, and sits in second-place in the six-team league, trailing just King’s (7-0, 13-4).

Meanwhile, Coupeville is 1-5 in league, 2-11 overall, and is battling to hold on to the conference’s fifth, and final, playoff berth.

If the Wolves can replicate how they played Friday, however, anything is possible.

For CHS coach Brad Sherman, the Island rivalry match-up was simply a game well-played, by both teams, and for the right reasons.

“We talked before the game about keeping on theme, playing for Bennett and realizing there is a lot more to life than just basketball,” he said. “We’re honoring someone who went through the fight of his life, and we wanted to play for him.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” Sherman added. “We were scrappier than we have been at any point this season, and we rebounded better than we have all season.

“South Whidbey played well. It was just a good basketball game between two teams out there fighting hard on every play.”

That scrappiness was showcased by Wolfe, who along with his big offensive plays, was a demon on defense.

Four different times a kid listed at 5-foot-7 on the roster forced jumps balls with South Whidbey’s 6’6 big man, including one tussle where he held on to the ball even while being swung two foot into the air.

Wolfe’s 17 points gives him 125 on the season, making him the second highest-scoring freshman boy in 102 years of CHS basketball.

He passes Arik Garthwaite (109), Taylor Ebersole (114), and Mike Criscuola (115), and trails just Mike Bagby (137).

Toomey-Stout rattled the rim for nine points in support of Wolfe, and a fourth-quarter free throw broke a tie between him and older brother Cameron, who graduated last year.

Sean now holds the family scoring title at 81-80, though there’s always the chance sister Maya will return to basketball and come gunnin’ for them both.

Coupeville’s lone senior, Dane Lucero, played aggressively on defense, while Knoblich (5), Wells (4), Brown (3), Mason Grove (3) and Pilgrim (2) also scored.

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Freshman Audrianna Shaw filled up the stat sheet in her high school debut Wednesday, sparking Coupeville’s JV to a rout of South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“We were ready to go!”

And how.

Even missing offensive ace Anya Leavell, who was felled by illness, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team was unstoppable Wednesday night.

Ripping off the game’s first 16 points, the Wolves savaged host South Whidbey, crushing their arch-rivals 36-11 in a magnificent romp.

The win, coming in the North Sound Conference opener for both teams, lifts CHS to 1-0 in league play, 2-3 overall.

The Wolves have won back-to-back games, and continue to add players back to their roster, easing the loss of Leavell and defensive dynamo Kylie Chernikoff (leg injury).

Freshmen Audrianna Shaw and Ella Colwell made their high school debuts Wednesday, and immediately jumped in to help their teammates on both sides of the ball.

Shaw, in particular, got off to to a roaring start, filling up the stat sheet with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and a team-high four assists.

Coupeville was brutally efficient on defense, throttling South Whidbey to the tune of 11-0 in the first quarter, before stretching the lead out to 24-7 by the halftime break.

“Our defense in the first quarter was stifling,” said proud CHS coach Amy King. “Audrianna and Kiara (Contreras) led the attack up top on defense while Mollie (Bailey), Izzy (Wells) and Ja’Kenya (Hoskins) didn’t let anybody from South Whidbey near the basket.”

Coupeville ramped up the intensity, dropping a press into the defensive mix a few minutes into the game, and the flustered Falcons wilted under the pressure.

King was able to give quality floor time to all 10 girls in uniform, and everyone contributed.

“As substitutes came in to the game, they stepped in without much change in the effectiveness of our defense,” King said. “From Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) and Morgan (Stevens) cutting off wing and post shots to Ella and Abby (Mulholland’s) wingspans in not allowing shots around the key and Alana (Mihill) working hard up top to force the ball away from the key.

“It was exciting to see the girls fight regardless of the score,” she added.

The Wolves snatched 33 rebounds and made off with 19 steals, both stats which pop off the sheet for Coupeville’s coaching staff.

“It just shows the effort these girls put into the game and winning it as a team,” King said.

Wells paced Coupeville with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Shaw knocked down eight points, Hoskins and Mulholland each went for six and Van Velkinburgh notched four.

Bailey (2) and Contreras (1) rounded out the offensive show, with Contreras also driving South Whidbey’s ball-handlers bonkers while pilfering eight steals.

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