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Kylie Van Velkinburgh had six points and two blocks Friday as the Wolf JV closed its season with a road victory. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After beating Granite Falls, the young guns finished 9-7, best record of any CHS hoops team this season. (Amy King photo)

Best record in town.

Kicking off a four-games-on-one-court evening Friday at Granite Falls, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team got things going with a jolt.

Riding a game-winning three-ball in the final seconds from Mollie Bailey, the Wolves escaped with a 29-27 win, got a sweet bit of revenge, and capped a winning season.

The victory, which was payback for a loss to Granite earlier in the season, allows the JV to close at 5-3 in North Sound Conference play, 9-7 overall.

Despite playing less games than Coupeville’s other squads, thanks to Cedar Park Christian not having a girls JV team, the Wolf young guns have the most wins, and the highest winning percentage, of any CHS hoops team this winter.

The finale was a nice cap to another season under long-time Wolf basketball whisperer Amy King, who got her team going with a small challenge.

“Four games back-to-back (on the same court). I told the JV girls, who had the first game of the night, that their game would set the tone for the rest of the evening.

“And the battle began.”

The two teams went back and forth, exchanging big buckets and ferocious defensive stops all night.

Anya Leavell banked in a three-ball in the opening quarter, one of her two on the night, but the Wolves trailed 9-8 at the first break.

“We pressed, we got some steals, but struggled against their two posts, who used a high-low offense when possible for easy baskets,” King said. “We ran our offenses, got great steals – blocked and just worked together all night.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh had some key blocks and hit a couple of shots tonight,” she added. “Anya had some nice fast breaks, slowed down for control and hit the layups.”

Coupeville flipped the script in the second quarter, taking a one-point lead to the locker room, only to see Granite knot things up at 20-20 heading into the final quarter.

With the two teams standing in the middle of the ring and exchanging rib shots, a big play here or there was liable to be the deciding moment.

Enter Bailey, the coolest cucumber in the bunch, the drummer who bops to her own beat, long braids slapping a rhythm on her back as she glides through life.

Clock madly churning down, the Wolves pulled off of a nifty fake on an inbound pass. Three players dove towards the girl with the ball, but Bailey went her own way.

A jab step forward, a pirouette back behind the arc, ball lands on her fingertips, eyebrow arches slightly, ball flips skyward, splashes through net, world goes bonkers, Bailey slightly nods.

As excited as Coupeville was when the three-ball rippled through the net, turning a one-point deficit into a two-point lead, there were still a few ticks left on the clock.

Granite got the ball up floor, but aggressive pressure from Wolf frosh Audrianna Shaw threw the Tigers off their pace and a potential game-tying shot was not going to drop.

“Time runs out and we all go crazy,” King said. “It was an awesome game to end our season. Very proud of these girls.”

Leavell paced the Wolves with 10 points, four steals and three assists, while Izzy Wells added seven points and four rebounds.

Van Velkinburgh (6), Bailey (5), and Shaw (1) rounded out the scoring attack, with Shaw filling up the stat sheet with four rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Abby Mulholland (three rebounds), Ivy Leedy, Morgan Stevens, Ja’Kenya Hoskins (two rebounds, two steals), Lily Leedy, and Alana Mihill all saw floor time, while injured stars Kylie Chernikoff and Kiara Contreras provided vocal bench support.

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Daniel Olson scored four points Friday as Coupeville’s JV capped season with a win at Granite Falls. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nothing sweeter than ending a season on a win.

With Xavier Murdy and Grady Rickner combining to rain down 33 points Friday, the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball team did just that.

Riding an explosive second quarter, the Wolves crunched host Granite Falls 45-36, snapping a five-game losing skid and sending everyone back to the bus with an extra skip to their step.

The wins lifts the JV’s final record to 3-7 in North Sound Conference play, 7-10 overall.

After the long trip to Granite, the Wolf boys came out a bit cold in the early going, falling behind 7-3 at the first break.

But then, with a bit of floor time beneath their feet, the young guns rediscovered their shooting touch and hit the hapless Tigers like a runaway tsunami reaching shore.

Murdy went off for 11 of his game-high 21 in the second quarter, while TJ Rickner, Daniel Olson and Sage Downes all chipped in with buckets during the second frame.

By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, CHS had ridden an 18-5 surge to a nine-point lead, and never looked back.

The two teams played dead even in the second half, but the Wolves closed strongly, with Grady Rickner at the top of his game.

The fab frosh hit from every angle in the fourth quarter, dropping in a pair of free throws, a pair of field goals and a long three-ball as he accounted for nine of his team’s 13 points down the stretch.

Chris Smith’s squad got something from everyone in its finale, with Murdy (21), Grady Rickner (12), Olson (4), Downes (3), TJ Rickner (3), and Cody Roberts (2) all scoring.

Tucker Hall, Logan Martin, Chris Ruck, and Miles Davidson rounded out the active roster, each one harassing the Tigers with an intensity which bodes well for the future of Coupeville basketball.

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Mollie Bailey slapped home a pair of buckets Tuesday as the Coupeville JV girls tangled with powerful King’s. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a brawl, then it was a blowout.

The Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad stood tall for nine minutes Tuesday, pushing visiting King’s to the brink.

Then, the Knights remembered they have a roster stocked full of AAU vets with dreams of playing college ball, and they reverted to form, exploding on separate runs of 15-0, 20-0, and 12-0.

What was a 10-9 CHS lead after Morgan Stevens rained down a fall-away jumper to open the second quarter turned into a 58-23 King’s win, and you can’t say it wasn’t expected.

The Knights second squad is a shiny 11-4 this season, having lost only to 3A and 4A schools and one of the state’s premier 1A schools, Cashmere.

But, while the Wolves fell to 4-3 in North Sound Conference play, 8-7 overall, heading into their season finale Friday at Granite Falls, they made some inroads.

The 23 points is the most the King’s JV has surrendered to a conference foe this season, and is a solid nine-point improvement from the first time the schools met, a 49-14 Knights win.

Coupeville came out aggressively Tuesday, using inspired rebounding from Ja’Kenya Hoskins to force King’s to up its game.

Early buckets from Mollie Bailey, off a sweet feed from Anya Leavell, and Hoskins, off of an offensive rebound, staked the Wolves to a 4-2 lead, the first of four positive scores for CHS.

Izzy Wells drained a put-back after snagging a rebound to make it 6-5, Abby Mulholland twirled in a jumper off a pass from Audrianna Shaw to put Coupeville up 8-7, then Stevens netted her bucket off a Leavell set-up pass.

The action was crisp, the Wolves were scrambling for loose balls and caroms, and anything seemed possible.

And then death came from above.

King’s dropped in a trio of three-balls, part of the seven it would hit in the game, and, in the blink of an eye, a 15-0 run had changed everything.

Mulholland did her best to get the Wolves back into the flow, netting back-to-back jumpers, with the second bucket coming of yet another superb pass from Leavell, but King’s wasn’t having it.

Scoring the final eight points of the half, then 24 of the first 26 after the break, the visitors put the game far out of reach.

From the final three minutes of the second quarter until the last half of the fourth, Coupeville could only hit one single, solitary shot, though it was a beautiful, crowd-pleasing jumper from hard-working freshman Alana Mihill.

While the rim was unforgiving, the Wolves never stopped working, and they garnered some respect from their foes at the end, closing the game on a 7-2 surge.

Wells went off for five of her team-high seven points during that part of the game, while Bailey added an artful layup.

Mulholland tossed in six points to back Wells, with Bailey (4), Mihill (2), Stevens (2), and Hoskins (2) also scoring.

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Tucker Hall swooped in for eight points Tuesday as Coupeville’s JV battled at South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a barn-burner for three quarters.

Unfortunately, high school basketball games run four quarters, and a shooting drought at the end Tuesday killed the Coupeville JV boys.

After battling to a 34-34 tie at South Whidbey, the Wolves couldn’t hit a single field goal over the game’s final eight minutes, eventually falling 52-38 to their Island rivals.

The loss drops the CHS young guns to 2-7 in North Sound Conference play, 6-10 overall, heading into their season finale Friday at Granite Falls.

Facing off with the Falcons Tuesday, Coupeville hung tough for 24 minutes.

Trailing 7-6 after one quarter, the Wolves rallied behind Xavier Murdy to claim a 21-19 lead at the half, before settling for the tie entering the fourth.

It was then that their shooting touch evaporated, as, other than four free throws from the hard-charging Tucker Hall, they couldn’t buy a score.

South Whidbey closed efficiently, racking up six field goals and six free throws of its own to end on an 18-4 surge.

“Great game until the fourth,” said Coupeville coach Chris Smith, before turning his attention to the next challenge.

Murdy paced the Wolves with a team-high 11 points, pouring in seven of those during the second quarter, while Hall knocked down eight and Cody Roberts slipped seven through the nets.

Daniel Olson and Grady Rickner rounded out the Wolf offense, banking in six points apiece, while Sage Downes, TJ Rickner, and Logan Martin also saw floor time.

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TJ Rickner banged in four points Friday as Coupeville’s JV went toe-to-toe with Cedar Park Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A big leap forward.

The Coupeville High School JV boys basketball squad may have lost twice this season to Cedar Park Christian, but the Wolves drastically improved their performance the second time around.

Ten days ago, CHS went to Bothell and was blown out 61-24.

Jump forward to Friday night, and the final margin was single digits, even with Coupeville’s leading scorer sitting out an entire quarter.

With freshman Xavier Murdy’s playing time being protected in case he played in the varsity contest as well, the Wolves chipped away before eventually falling 60-51.

The loss drops the Coupeville young guns to 2-6 in North Sound Conference play, 6-9 overall, with two games left on the schedule.

The JV, which finishes with road games at South Whidbey and Granite Falls next week, closed out its home schedule with a game in which eight of nine players scored.

The big two in the opening quarter were Murdy, who tossed in seven, and fellow frosh Logan Martin, who banked in six.

Trailing 22-15 at the first break, CHS coach Chris Smith stashed Murdy on the bench in the second frame, while Daniel Olson stepped up to key the Wolf offense.

Going off for all seven of his points on the night, the sophomore swing player did his best to keep Coupeville close, and the Wolves went into the break down 39-27.

The second half, with Murdy back in action, and getting help from everyone on the floor, was a fairly even affair, as CHS attacked the deficit, only to run out of time.

Murdy topped the score-book with a team-high 16 points, while Martin added nine and Olson rattled the rim for seven.

Mitchell Hall (6), TJ Rickner (4), Grady Rickner (4), Cody Roberts (3) and Sage Downes (2) also scored, while Chris Ruck gave the team a burst of energy off the bench.

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