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Brionna Blouin helped spark Coupeville’s top squad to a big win Thursday in Langley. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Gabriella Becktell and friends play three of their next four games at home.

Right back where they want to be.

A day after being swept in Sultan, the Coupeville Middle School girls basketball squads bounced right back into the winning column Thursday afternoon.

Facing off with their next-door neighbors in Langley, the Wolves won two of three games, ending their week on a positive note.

Now, after back-to-back road trips, CMS plays three of its next four at home, beginning next Wednesday, Feb. 26, when they welcome Lakewood to The Rock.

How Thursday played out:

 

Level 1:

Wham-bam.

Powered by the one-two scoring punch of Savina Wells and Lauren Marrs, who combined to net 29 points, the Wolves strolled to a 35-20 win.

The victory evens Coupeville’s season mark at 2-2.

CMS put the game away early, jumping out to a 9-2 lead at the first break, then pushing the margin to 19-2 after blanking Langley through the second frame.

From there, Coupeville stretched the lead to 31-10 heading into the fourth, before coasting home for the Island rivalry win.

Wells rang up a team-high 17 points, including an early three-ball and a 4-4 run at the free throw line in the second quarter.

The CMS 7th grader has piled up 63 points through her first four games, averaging just a whisper below 16 a night.

Her older running mate, Marrs, was Miss Consistency, banging away for 12 points with a variety of sweet moves, while Brionna Blouin (4) and Allison Nastali (2) rounded out the Wolf offensive attack.

Kaitlyn Leavell, Taylor Brotemarkle, Lyla Stuurmans, Skylar Parker, Mia Farris, Kayla Arnold, Desi Ramirez, Grey Peabody, Madison McMillan, and Reese Wilkinson also saw floor time as CMS was able to cycle through its full roster.

 

Level 2:

It was a nail-biter for 21 minutes, then Coupeville’s second squad pulled away to claim its first win of the season at 14-7.

The young Wolves are 1-2 headed into the Lakewood clash.

Scoring was at a premium for much of the game, with CMS netting just a single bucket in each of the first three quarters.

But while their offense was a bit muted, the Wolf defense was on point, blanking the host Cougars in both the second and third frames.

That allowed Coupeville to scrape its way back from an early 5-2 deficit, but the lead was as slim as possible at 6-5 heading into the fourth quarter.

That was when the Wolves started hitting on all cylinders, with Katie Marti, Parker, and Arnold all hitting key buckets down the stretch.

Marti outscored Langley by herself, finishing with a game-high eight points, with Wilkinson, Arnold, and Parker each chipping in with a basket apiece.

Also seeing solid floor time were Issabel Johnson, Jada Heaton, Peabody, Aby Wood, and Leavell.

 

Level 3:

Coupeville’s only loss came in the finale, as a still-developing squad fell 28-8.

Langley turned it on in the first and fourth quarters, dropping 10 points in each frame as it sent the Wolves to an 0-2 start on the season.

Heaton (4), Bryley Gilbert (2), and Aubrey Blitch (4) scored for CMS, with Alena Osborne, Shayla Town, Pamela Morrell, Kassidy Upchurch, and Gabriella Becktell also playing.

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Avalon Renninger and her fellow CHS seniors came up big Tuesday, drilling South Whidbey to finish the regular season at 12-5. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This is the way you want to go out.

While the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball squad may come back around to play at home again in the playoffs, Tuesday night was a fitting send-off for its splendid seniors.

The four-pack of Tia Wurzrainer, Avalon Renninger, Scout Smith, and Hannah Davidson closed the regular season in style, sparking the Wolves to a 39-27 win over visiting South Whidbey.

With the victory, CHS closes out North Sound Conference play at 6-3, claiming third-place in the six-team league.

Now 12-5 overall, the Wolves open the double-elimination district playoffs next Monday, Feb. 10, when they travel to Nooksack Valley.

Beat the Pioneers (14-5), the #2 seed from the Northwest Conference, and Coupeville advances to the district semifinals and a likely match-up with King’s (15-5).

Drop that opener, and CHS would host its second playoff game Feb. 11.

To see the bracket, pop over to:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=3214&sport=12

Tuesday night was about honoring the Wolf seniors, who have played together since middle school, and they responded, almost outscoring South Whidbey by themselves.

Wurzrainer, known for being a defensive dynamo, got things started by slipping a free throw through the net in the opening moments, signaling the start of one of her strongest performances of the season on both sides of the ball.

While South Whidbey slipped a bucket through the defense shortly after to claim a 2-1 lead, it would be the one and only time the Falcons would have the advantage.

Wolf junior Chelsea Prescott snatched a rebound away from a rival, then knocked down the put-back and a fuse was lit for Coupeville.

Ripping off a 15-0 tear in which five different Wolves tallied at least one bucket, CHS surged to a 16-2 lead and looked, for a bit, like it was going to savage its guests in spectacular fashion.

Prescott followed up her put-back with a soft jumper from the side and a bucket in the paint, while Wurzrainer and Smith pulled off coast-to-coast romps off of steals.

Everything was falling, all the passes were crisp — such as the one which set up Izzy Wells for a long, arcing jumper — and even the wild-card shots were dead-on.

Launching a three-ball from the top of the arc, Renninger spun a wicked liner which slammed into the glass, then promptly died on the spot and flopped straight through.

The success of the shot seemed to catch the left-handed ace by surprise.

Just for a second, though, as Renninger promptly nodded, a small smile slipping out as she whirled and scrambled back down-court to snuff out another Falcon opportunity.

But, just as the game was turning into a romp, Coupeville fell out of rhythm on the offensive end of the floor, allowing South Whidbey a chance to rally.

A miracle Falcon three-ball at the first-quarter buzzer was like a stab through the heart of Wolf Nation, capping a 7-0 run and cutting the lead to 16-9.

Things got a little tighter from there, with the lead slashed all the way back to 17-13 late in the second quarter.

Coupeville needed something to stop the bleeding, and it came in the form of note-perfect free throw shooting, as Davidson and Prescott stepped to the line and knocked down two freebies apiece after getting roughed up.

The Wolves closed the half with a beautiful play, as Davidson made off with a steal, then hit a cutting Wurzrainer in transition for a layup which pushed the lead back to double-digits.

That set up a second half in which Coupeville thoroughly controlled everything.

Pushing the lead to its largest margin at 33-15 exiting the third quarter, the Wolves looked sharp.

Wurzrainer fed Renninger with a gorgeous pass, and her tennis doubles partner barely made the net move as she sank yet another runner.

Then the freshman got in on the good times, with Maddie Georges driving and dishing, setting up Carolyn Lhamon for a bucket in the paint.

South Whidbey continued to bang away and play hard (and physical), but the Wolves had an answer each time, never letting the lead slip under 12 the rest of the way.

It was a performance which brought a smile to the face of veteran coach Scott Fox, in his first year at the helm of the CHS program.

“The effort has always been there (with this group),” he said. “I like the way they compete, and I couldn’t be more proud of this group of girls.”

Prescott rattled the rims for eight points on a night when Coupeville’s scoring was incredibly well-balanced.

Joining her in the scoring column were Wurzrainer (6), Smith (6), Davidson (6), Renninger (5), Wells (4), Georges (2), and Lhamon (2).

Young guns Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Audrianna Shaw, Mollie Bailey, and Anya Leavell came on late, giving Coupeville’s seniors a chance to walk off together, as a unit, to the cheers of their family and friends.

Meanwhile, freshman enforcer Nezi Keiper, rehabbing from an injury, provided emotional support for one and all from her perch at the end of the bench.

While the primary focus was on nabbing a team win to honor the seniors and send Coupeville into the playoffs on a positive note, the stats hounds are ever vigilant.

With three buckets Tuesday, Smith has 283 varsity points, and moves past Wolf legend Hailey Hammer (282) to claim 38th place on the CHS girls hoops career scoring list.

Prescott, now with 247 points, continues to rise as well, passing Kendra O’Keefe (244) to move into a tie for #45 with Marlys West on a chart which stretches back to 1974.

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Mason Grove pumped in a team-best 20 points Tuesday night, pacing the Coupeville varsity in its battle with South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, that was something.

In a game which featured three technical fouls called on a South Whidbey squad which seemed to do an awful lot of whining, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball team showed grit and passion Tuesday, but couldn’t overcome a substantial height disadvantage.

The Falcons, who feature four players between 6-foot-7 and 6’4, are a talented team, and they showed it, earning a season sweep of the Wolves with a 76-65 win.

The victory lifts South Whidbey to 6-1 in North Sound Conference play, 14-3 overall, headed into a Friday tango with King’s (6-0, 10-9).

The Knights, whose record is deceptive, as the 1A state title contenders have spent the season playing a ton of 3A and 4A schools, ran the Falcons off the floor the first time they met, crushing them 78-45.

Win Friday to seal a perfect league mark, and King’s will give South Whidbey plenty more to kvetch about.

Coupeville, which sits at 1-6 in league play, 5-11 overall, is in a battle with Sultan (2-5, 4-13) and Granite Falls (1-6, 3-15) for the #4 and #5 playoff seeds from the NSC.

The Wolves welcome Granite to town Friday, then travel to Sultan Feb. 4 for the season finale.

Tuesday’s battle for Whidbey produced some stellar basketball, liberally mixed with some hard fouls, though the technical fouls came not for scrappiness, but for South Whidbey’s apparent love of flapping its gums.

Not to make too much out of things, but we’re 92% into the season, and no collection of players that I’ve seen this year has spent so much time complaining, making faces, whispering sweet nothings at the refs out of the side of their mouths, and losing their cool on what seemed like EVERY SINGLE PLAY.

Big props to Dexter Jokinen, South Whidbey’s senior guard, who played with great intensity, but took calls good and bad in stride, merely nodding his head and quickly moving on to gutting the Wolves.

Maybe it was a one-night thing. Maybe not.

I’ve only see the Falcons play once this season, since I was sick the first time they played Coupeville in Langley, but good lord, if you’re going to make a solid playoff run and represent Whidbey, you all need to suck it up, buttercups.

You crack like this against a scrappy underdog team, you are going to implode when you face a Lynden Christian.

Come on, be like Jokinen. That dude gets it.

Anyways, let the hate mail flow I guess, Falcon faithful. It’s been a hot moment or two since I managed to tick off the South end of the Island.

The game itself, in between the frequent freak-outs, was your usual intense Island rivalry clash.

South Whidbey has talent, and can sting you from multiple directions, whether it’s Sterling Patton raining three-balls or Carson Wrightson roaring through the paint and finishing with a nasty two-handed dunk.

Coupeville responded in the early going with a couple of quick buckets from senior Mason Grove, who nailed his own trey, before slapping home a layup off of a dish from sophomore Xavier Murdy.

After that, X marked the spot, as the now healthy and ready to rumble CHS young gun ripped off his team’s next 10 points.

Showing off his rapidly-developing skill set, Murdy got his points in a variety of ways, hitting from range while also crashing hard to the hoop for three-point plays the hard way.

Tack on a couple of free throws from Jacobi Pilgrim and Jered Brown, then another Grove three-ball, with this one set up by a kick-out from Ulrik Wells, and the Wolves led 21-20 at the first break.

It was a huge change from the first time these teams met, when Coupeville fell behind 14-0 in a hail of turnovers.

CHS continued to fight hard through the second quarter, but the Falcons closed the half on a 9-4 run, stretching a three-point margin out to eight at 43-35.

A little runner in the paint from Hawthorne Wolfe to open the third quarter had thoughts of a comeback in the air, but then South Whidbey asserted its dominance to make things tougher.

Despite missing six consecutive free throws during the run, the Falcons put together a 9-0 surge to put the lead into double-digits for the first time.

Coupeville actually outscored the visitors 28-24 the rest of the way, but the damage was done, as the Wolves were unable to get all the way back.

Coming down the back stretch, they did get a ferocious block from Pilgrim, who caught a Falcon shooter just as he came off the floor, then rejected the ball off the back wall to loud applause from the Wolf student section.

“We put up a great, hard-fought effort against a tough basketball team,” said Coupeville coach Brad Sherman.

“This team really does not ever quit,” he added. “They kept scrapping and stopped several runs when they could have been blown out.”

Grove finished the game with a team-high 20 points, while Nick Young paced the Falcons with 21.

Koa Davison, who played strongly down low in the paint, banged home 11 to match Murdy, with Sean Toomey-Stout (7), Wolfe (5), Wells (4), Gavin Knoblich (4), Brown (2), and Pilgrim (1) also scoring.

Jean Lund-Olsen also saw floor time for CHS.

Coupeville’s top scorers this season, Wolfe and Grove, continue to climb the program’s career scoring chart.

Wolfe, a sophomore, has 371 points as a prep player, and jumped from #67 to #64 all-time Tuesday, passing Ray Harvey (368), Caesar Kortuem (369), and Ty Blouin (369).

His senior teammate scaled six players with his 20-point night, moving from #74 to #68 on a list which covers 103 seasons of CHS hoops action.

Grove sits with 361 career points, having passed former Coupeville greats like Pat Brown and Glenn Losey.

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Logan Martin scored 11 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday, as Coupeville and South Whidbey’s JV teams waged a war. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The young guns put on a show.

Battling down to the final shot Tuesday, the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball squad came within a shot of sweeping its season series with arch-rival South Whidbey.

But it wasn’t to be, as the visiting Falcons gained a measure of revenge, scoring the game’s final six points to pull out a 59-56 thriller.

Playing with three varsity swing players on the floor, to none for Coupeville, South Whidbey got payback for a 73-62 loss to the Wolves in Langley two weeks ago.

With the loss, CHS slips to 4-3 in North Sound Conference action, 9-6 overall.

Up next is Coupeville’s home finale, Friday against Granite Falls, then a trip to Sultan Feb. 4.

Tuesday’s titanic tango was knotted at 10-10 after one quarter of play, then saw both teams exchange leads to set up a frantic finale.

Up 40-36 headed into the fourth, Coupeville hit a brief dry spell, rimming out a series of shots and allowing South Whidbey to kick off the frame on a 9-2 run.

The Wolves weren’t dead, however, just hibernating, and they leaned on the scoring punch of Logan Martin to make things interesting down the stretch.

The sophomore gunner went off for 11 of his team-high 21 points in the final frame, hitting a three-ball to force a tie at 45-45, before netting three free throws to push his squad ahead 48-47.

Martin wasn’t the only Wolf with a magical shooting touch, as running mate Alex Jimenez drained a trey of his own to keep Coupeville ahead.

With seven lead changes in the fourth quarter, both teams had their opportunities, and the Wolves seemed to be in control when Martin broke free from the pack to scorch the net for one final three-ball.

That pushed Coupeville up 56-53 with under 90 seconds to play.

Unfortunately for the Wolf faithful, it would also be the final shot their team would hit, as South Whidbey used a layup to get within one, then knocked down a pull-up jumper to claim the lead with 20 ticks left on the clock.

CHS had a chance to reclaim the lead, but couldn’t buy a bucket, or a break.

A Wolf three-ball skidded just wide of pay dirt, then, after South Whidbey missed two free throws with four seconds to play, the Falcons made the play of the game.

Soaring high above the crowd, a guy in blue and white pulled down the offensive rebound off of the second clanked freebie, giving the visitors two more chances at the line.

This time both shots dropped cleanly through the net, pushing the final margin out to three and forcing the Wolves to launch a final shot from way beyond half court.

It missed as the buzzer sounded, ending one of the better games of the season.

The two teams had swapped field goals in the early going, with Coupeville scoring the final two buckets of the first quarter to knot things at 10-10.

Both baskets came off of smart passes, with Daniel Olson breaking the press and firing a BB to Miles Davidson for a layup, followed by Sage Downes picking off a pass and launching an outlet lob to a streaking Grady Rickner.

While South Whidbey claimed the lead in the second frame, Downes kept the Wolves close, rifling a pair of three-balls through the net right before the half.

He also showed a nimble side to his defensive game, twice sliding perfectly into position to draw offensive charging fouls on rampaging Falcons.

Coupeville snatched the lead back midway through the third quarter, with Martin raining down a three-ball on the move, then coming back around to snag a rebound and put it back up and in the next trip down the floor.

The Wolves hit the glass with great intensity, with Martin and a nicely riled-up TJ Rickner leading the charge.

Martin’s 21-point barrage paced a balanced offensive attack, as nine different Wolves tallied a bucket or better.

Downes banked home 12, Olson popped for eight, Grady Rickner netted four, and Jimenez collected three, while TJ Rickner, Davidson, Cody Roberts, and Chris Cernick chipped in with two apiece.

Andrew Aparicio was the lone Wolf not to score this time around, but contributed to the cause with hustle and defense.

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Morgan Stevens and the Coupeville JV are a crisp 6-3 on the season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mark February 4 on your calendar, cause that’s revenge night.

After being nipped at the very end of a tense struggle with arch-rival South Whidbey Friday, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team is all about the pay-back.

The Wolves may have fallen 30-28, absorbing the first ding on their league record, but they’ll be ready for the rematch.

“I’m really proud of these girls and the work they have put in so far this season,” said Wolf JV coach Megan Smith.

“We played really hard and had some fantastic moments!,” she added. “In the end, they just outhustled us and came out on top.

“But we’ll get them when they come to our house!”

Friday’s loss drops Coupeville’s young guns to a still spiffy 3-1 in North Sound Conference play, 6-3 overall.

Back on the floor for the first time in a week, after surviving Snowmageddon 2020, the Wolves had a little trouble with their shooting touch in the early going Friday night.

Unable to hit from the floor, all CHS could rustle up was a free throw apiece from Ella Colwell and Abby Mulholland, and trailed 8-2 at the first break.

And then, in an instant, the Wolves flipped a switch, running off more than half their points during a 17-7 second-quarter explosion.

Freshman Gwen Gustafson flipped the nets skyward, dropping in six in the frame, while Savana Allen and Mulholland added four apiece, and just like that, Coupeville was in the lead.

Up 19-15 at the half, the Wolves were still ahead 23-21 after three quarters, and had their chances to take the game in the fourth.

While it wasn’t to be, CHS did get balanced scoring, with Gustafson pacing the squad with eight points.

She was joined in the scoring column by Mulholland (7), Allen (6), Colwell (3), Alita Blouin (2), and Ryanne Knoblich (2), while Morgan Stevens and Jessenia Camarena also saw floor time.

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