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Mollie Bailey and the Coupeville JV basketball squad crushed their big city neighbors Monday night, routing Oak Harbor 48-10. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Clemson football has nothing on Coupeville JV girls basketball.

Routing their big city neighbors to the North, the Wolf young guns thrashed Oak Harbor’s C-Team 48-10 Monday night, capturing their fifth win in their last seven games.

Now 5-5 this winter, the JV girls boast the best record of Coupeville’s five high school basketball squads.

And the Wolf girls, fronting a tiny 1A school, cruised Monday despite not having much advance word on their foes, who rep a 3A school.

“Not knowing what to expect, the game plan was decided and all we could do was move forward with it,” said CHS coach Amy King. “We set up for the jump ball a little different, hoping to spread out their defense and give ourselves a better chance to score on the first play.”

Bim-bam-boom, mission accomplished, as Ja’Kenya Hoskins soared high into the air, spiked the tip to Anya Leavell, then celebrated as her fellow fab frosh drove the lane and slapped home a bucket.

Operating with a press on defense, the Wolves then harassed Oak Harbor’s ball-handlers, picking off back-to-back inbound passes.

With Audrianna Shaw providing the tip to the defensive spear, Izzy Wells and Leavell made off with steals.

Get past that trio, and Hoskins was hovering at mid-court, where she immediately clamped on to any wayward balls, as well.

With the host Wildcats crumbling, King switched things up midway through the first quarter, moving to a zone defense and unleashing her not-so-secret weapon.

Kiara (Contreras) came in and made her presence known,” King said. “Ball-hawking and driving back down the court.

“The girls all played very well off each other – true team, making that pass, setting those screens,” she added. “Ja’Kenya was unstoppable with ripping the rebounds and even had some nice put-backs.”

Up 13-2 after one quarter, Coupeville pushed the lead to 21-4 by the half, then went bonkers after the break.

Six Wolves scored during a 20-5 third-quarter surge, with Contreras and Wells leading the way with six apiece.

With the game getting out of hand, King did what she could to keep things reasonable, asking for “good, clean, tough defense,” but moving to a no-steals philosophy during the fourth quarter.

With the win well in hand, Coupeville was able to try new things, such as using post players Wells and Hoskins at point guard, and King was pleased with the effort she got from her 11 active players.

“Everyone stepped up their games tonight,” she said. “Kylie (Van Velkinburgh) was a constant help, whether at wing or post, while Abby (Mulholland) came up with some key rebounds and had a nice scoring night.

Alana (Mihill) was a burst of energy each time she went out on the court. She had a few steals that got the crowd cheering,” King added. “Same with Morgan (Stevens); her defense is getting stronger and stronger and when she grabbed the rebounds, the crowd exploded.

“Very proud of how the girls played.”

Lily Leedy, back in the lineups after being out for multiple games while recovering from a concussion, made an immediate impact, “getting good minutes” and “playing where she hasn’t before on defense and helping handle the ball.”

She also popped in a basket off of a nice drive and kick-out from Contreras.

Audrianna Shaw, Mollie Bailey and Contreras ran Coupeville’s offense for much of the night, and all three “were strong with the ball, setting up our offense and keeping things moving.”

Wells, who “always seems to be in the right place at the right time” paced the Wolves with a game-high 12 points, while also snagging five rebounds and pilfering three steals.

Contreras was hot on her heels with eight points, with Mulholland (7), Leavell (7), Hoskins (6), Shaw (4), Leedy (2), and Bailey (2) also scoring.

Coupeville ripped down 27 boards for the game and recorded 20 steals in three quarters, with Hoskins garnering nine and six, respectively. Contreras topped the team with three assists.

While she couldn’t suit up, Kylie Chernikoff, who is working her way back from an injury, kicked things off nicely by bring a speaker on the bus and filling the relatively short drive with “some great music.”

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Freshman Kiara Contreras, an Energizer Rabbit in a Wolf uniform, had a sensational blocked shot Saturday for the Coupeville JV hoops squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we’re not going to focus on that for very long.

Instead, if you keep reading, we have the world debut of a poem by a hoops coach, written while camped in a bouncing bus on the back-roads of America.

Yeah, you’re not getting that in the Seattle Times, now, are you?

But first, a few quick notes.

Yes, Nooksack Valley, using a full lineup of varsity swing players, beat the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad 54-24 Saturday.

With the non-conference loss, the Wolf young guns head into a 12-day break between games sporting a solid 4-4 record.

If you’re looking for statistical highlights, we have Kylie Van Velkinburgh, dropping a team-high seven points and snatching three rebounds, and Izzy Wells, going for six and nine.

Anya Leavell (5), Audrianna Shaw (2), Kiara Contreras (2), Abby Mulholland (1), and Morgan Stevens (1) also scored, while Ja’Kenya Hoskins tore down six boards.

Shaw and Mollie Bailey each dealt out two assists, while Contreras, the Energizer Bunny in a Wolf uniform, delivered the night’s loudest play.

Chasing down a Nooksack player from behind, the CHS guard sprinted from half court, went airborne, then rejected the Pioneer shot from behind at the very last second, LeBron James-style.

“She (Kiara) brought the most energy as always,” said Coupeville coach Amy King. “Everyone else took the court and did what they could do. Move the ball, help their teammates, play the best defense they could.”

And now on to the world-exclusive, as King, the Bard of the Hardwood, delivers a poem to send us into winter break.

Amy started writing her poem when we got on the bus and before we made our stop for food,” said CHS varsity coach (and proud husband) David King. “Less than 30 minutes. What a talent she has.”

 

A long trip up North,
No, not to North Pole
The Grinch is named Nooksack
We got in a hole

The game was a tough one
We did what we could
We were getting down on ourselves
But still did some good

They had one defender
Always harassing the guard
We found ways around it
But made it too hard

They stole like the Grinch would
They laughed as they shot
Their coach strayed out of his box
And finally got caught.

We weren’t watching the score
Though their book got it wrong
Thanks to Heidi and Nicole
For keeping it strong

The game was the normal
Back and forth fight
And every girl on our team
Did all they could for the night

Audri, Mollie, Kiara and
Anya led us up top
Ja’Kenya, Abby, Morgan
Izzy, Kylie pulled out all the stops

Kiara had a shot block
Surely heard from outside,
And Izzy, a spin move,
Her defender along for the ride.

Towards the end it was noticed
Their #12 needed to score
We would not let that happen
So we defended her more

So the Grinch got the win
But we put up a fight
We get to go eat now
And to all a good night

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Morgan Stevens tossed in four points and played inspired defense Tuesday as the Coupeville JV girls basketball team squashed Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

First, the great news. Then, the good news.

The top buzz coming out of the world of Coupeville High School JV girls basketball concerns Kylie Chernikoff, who is off her crutches and due back at practice.

One of the hardest-working Wolves in the program, the sophomore has been recovering after hurting her ankle, and her return should deliver a nice jolt to her team’s defense and intangibles.

And, the news gets better, as the team she will be rejoining just shredded visiting Sultan 34-18 Tuesday, capturing its fourth-straight win.

Now 2-0 in North Sound Conference action, 4-3 overall, Amy King’s squad, which has shuffled players all season, is just starting to find its groove.

Imagine if the roster ever solidifies for two games in a row.

No matter which lineup King has to throw at opposing teams, she has multiple weapons at her disposal, as the Turks found out to their great detriment.

Leading from start to finish Tuesday, the Wolves needed just one play to effectively break the collective backs of the Turks.

It came from fab frosh Audrianna Shaw, who rolled around a defender and buried a running hook shot off the glass in the game’s opening moments.

If Sultan thought it still had at least a chance, that quickly vanished, as well.

Anya Leavell, snatching one of her three steals, beat the crowd to the basket, flying coast to coast, while switching hands at the last second. That allowed her to evade a trailing defender and slap the ball home with ease.

From there, it was pretty much all-Coupeville, all-the-time, whether Abby Mulholland was droppin’ jumpers, with Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Leavell feeding her with great set-up passes, or Morgan Stevens suddenly erupting.

The Wolf freshman, a solid role player who continues to show growth in her first year on the hardwood, had a second-quarter run where she brought her JV teammates, and their varsity counterparts, to their feet.

First, Stevens connected on a jumper, set up by a thread-the-needle pass from Kiara Contreras, then she went big-time, backing down her defender and lofting up a ball that banked off the glass and hit pay-dirt.

Inspired by her play on the offensive end of the floor, Stevens ramped up her game on the defensive end, as well, attacking the Sultan ball-handler and barking out “ball, ball, ball!!” like a new version of Chernikoff.

Up 16-7 at the half, with four different players having scored four points apiece, Coupeville continued to share the ball after the break.

Contreras, in particular, played with real precision, wheeling and dealing with flair while running the point for the Wolves.

Kiara had great selfless passing,” King said. “The highlight of the first half to me was her pass out to Morgan.

“It’s so nice to see these girls finding their teammates.”

Along with her passing, Contreras also showed off a deadly jumper, netting a third-quarter bucket with a ball which barely rippled the net as it dropped through.

Keeping alive the selfless theme of the night, that bucket came off a rebound and kick-out from Hoskins, who made the pass while weighed down by a Turk draped across her back.

Coupeville spread out its scoring, with six of 10 active players landing in the book.

Shaw and Leavell each rattled the rim for 10 points, while Mulholland (6), Stevens (4), Izzy Wells (2), and Contreras (2) also scored.

Mulholland yanked down eight rebounds, Shaw pilfered four steals, and the trio of Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Alana Mihill and Mollie Bailey all contributed defensive scrappiness.

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Cody Roberts and the Coupeville JV boys hoops squad decimated host Concrete Friday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They started off hot, and ended even hotter.

Blitzing host Concrete from start to finish Friday, the Coupeville High School JV boys basketball squad roared to a 57-20 win.

The non-conference victory lifts the Wolves to 4-3 and keeps the young guns undefeated on the road.

The JV is a spotless 3-0 when playing away from Whidbey, which is probably a great sign, as Coupeville’s boys play five of their next six in hostile gyms.

Friday, the Wolves blew out to an 18-6 lead after one quarter, paced by eight points from hot-shooting freshman Logan Martin, and never looked back.

While the second quarter became a defensive stalemate (4-4) and the third quarter was competitive, with CHS holding an 11-8 edge, the fourth quarter was show time.

Coupeville couldn’t miss down the stretch, riding 10 from Grady Rickner and eight off the fingertips of Daniel Olson as it cruised to the finish line on a torrid 24-2 tear.

The Wolves spread their offensive burden across almost the entire active roster, with seven of eight players notching a bucket.

Grady Rickner led the way with 19 points, while Olson was hot on his heels with 18.

Martin (8), Jaylen Nitta (4), TJ Rickner (4), Cody Roberts (2), and Miles Davidson (2) also scored, while Chris Ruck was an unstoppable force of nature while playing aggressive defense.

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Freshman Logan Martin scored 12 of his game-high 19 in the fourth Tuesday, as the Coupeville JV almost pulled off a come-from-behind win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

All the shots Logan Martin has put up over the years are paying off.

The Coupeville High School freshman has been one of the most consistent scoring threats the Wolf JV basketball squad has, something he more than proved Tuesday night.

Rattling home 12 of his game-high 19 in the fourth quarter, Martin sparked a pressure-packed CHS comeback against a tough Sultan squad.

Trailing by seven entering the final frame, the Wolves snatched their first lead of the game with three minutes to go, but couldn’t hold on in the waning seconds, falling 52-46.

The loss, coming in the North Sound Conference opener, drops Coupeville’s young guns to 0-1 in league play, 3-3 overall.

While he was hoping for a win, Wolf JV coach Chris Smith exited wearing a huge smile, pleased with the grit his team showed.

Especially with virtually no bench, as Coupeville, missing three key players due to injuries and illness, only went six deep on the night.

“Best we’ve played this season!,” Smith said. “Great to see the guys get after it.”

The Wolves trailed for the first 29 minutes of a 32-minute game, but never let Sultan slip too far away.

That set up the potential for a fourth-quarter thriller, and Martin and Co. delivered.

Down 33-26 after three quarters, CHS roared to life in the final frame, going on a 17-6 run in which Martin threw down 12 points.

After hitting a sweet fall-away, slapping home a layup off of a steal, and netting a turnaround jumper in the paint, he wandered outside the three-point arc and began to rain the pain.

The first of back-to-back three-balls off of Martin’s sizzlin’ fingertips pushed the Wolves up 40-39, then the follow-up stretched Coupeville’s lead to four points.

He wasn’t the only Wolf making sweet music with the net, as Daniel Olson sank a long jumper under pressure and Grady Rickner hit an awkward-looking, but very-effective, three ball while being severely bumped by a defender in the left corner.

Sultan was nothing if not resilient, however, immediately connecting on a one-handed runner in the paint and a three-ball of its own to reclaim the lead at 44-43.

With the table set for a fingernail-chomping finale, CHS knotted the game at 44 on an Olson free throw, then snatched back the momentum with a major show of force down in the paint.

Sophomore big man TJ Rickner, who has taken huge steps in his first season, yanked down a rebound in a forest of Turks, then powered back up.

As he banked home the ball from up close to make it 46-44, his coach screamed “Yes, TJ, yes!!” and it was time for Sultan to collapse.

But, as quickly as it arrived, the fairy tale ending evaporated for Coupeville, as the Turks closed the game on a methodical 8-0 “run” to seal their harder-than-expected win.

Half of the points came via free throws, as Sultan capped a strong evening at the charity stripe by netting its final four opportunities.

The torrid fourth quarter capped a game which stayed very close from start to finish.

Cody Roberts splatted a long three-ball in the first quarter, while Martin was a force on both ends of the floor, dropping a mix of turnaround j’s and three balls, and also skying to reject a pair of Turk shots.

Still, Sultan slipped in enough in the early going to nail down a 13-9 lead after one quarter, then stretch the margin to 23-18 at the half.

Coupeville wrapped a pair of treys, one from Grady Rickner and one from Olson, around a short jumper from Tucker Hall, to keep things close in the third and set up the frantic finale.

Martin’s 19 points represent his best showing as a high school player, while Olson and Grady Rickner backed him with eight apiece.

TJ Rickner (4), Hall (4) and Roberts (3) also scored, as all six Wolves to see floor time scratched their names in the scoring column.

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