Posts Tagged ‘Lakewood’

Chase Anderson tastes the air up there. (Morgan White photo)

Lakewood flipped a switch.

Saturday’s JV boys’ basketball game was a one-basket affair eight minutes in, then the Cougars upped the ante.

Ripping off a 17-7 run in the second quarter, before tacking on a 19-5 surge in the fourth, the visitors steadily pulled away from Coupeville, handing the Wolf young guns a 63-33 loss.

The non-conference defeat, coming against a 2A school, drops CHS to 1-1 on the still-young season.

The Wolves, even missing several players, came out strongly in their home opener, and trailed just 11-9 at the first break.

Five different Coupeville players scored in the opening frame, but the basket turned fairly unforgiving after that.

The Wolves still hit a couple of big shots down the stretch, including freshman Malachi Somes netting a three-ball for his first points as a high school player.

But it wasn’t enough, as Lakewood was relentless and enjoying a love affair with the rim, which let shots drop from every angle.

Jack Porter paced the Wolves with a team-high 10 points, while Mikey Robinett fought in the paint to knock down six in support.

Hunter Bronec (5), Aiden O’Neill (4), Somes (3), Hurlee Bronec (3), and Chase Anderson (2) also scored for Coupeville, with Yohannon Sandles and Carson Field rounding out the active roster.

The JV boys get back at it next Saturday, Dec. 10, when they host Sultan. Tip is 3:00 PM.

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Kassidy Upchurch (left) and Kierra Thayer wait for their moment in the spotlight. (Brittany Kolbet photo)

Celebrate the positives.

While the Coupeville High School JV girls’ basketball team wasn’t able to upend large school rival Lakewood Saturday, the Wolves proved to be sharpshooters at the free-throw line.

CHS, a 2B school, fell 52-22 to the Cougars, who rep a 2A institution, but won the battle at the charity stripe.

Led by sophomore Madison McMillan, who banked in eight free throws, Coupeville claimed the advantage at the line, converting 12 bonus shots.

Bryley Gilbert, Kierra Thayer, and Desi Ramirez-Vasquez also netted free throws for the Wolves, with Gilbert a pristine 2-2.

Coupeville’s downfall in its home opener came because Lakewood was hitting a lot of shots from everywhere else.

The Cougars bolted out to a 10-0 lead by the first break, stretched it to 16-4 at the half, then coasted home with a solid second-half performance.

The Wolves popped for 11 points in the third quarter, however, making their best show of the game and keeping things interesting.

McMillan paced CHS with 10 points, while Reese Wilkinson powered her way to a season-high six in support.

Gilbert (2), Teagan Calkins (2), Ramirez-Vasquez (1), and Thayer (1) rounded out the scorers, with Liza Zustiak, Kayla Arnold, Brynn Parker, Kassidy Upchurch, Jada Heaton, and Skylar Parker also seeing floor time.

The Wolves, who sit at 1-1 in non-conference play, return to the court this Saturday, Dec. 10, when they host Sultan.

Tipoff for the JV girls is 4:45 PM.

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Cole White kick-starts the offense. (Morgan White photo)

The first surge, they overcame. The second was a crippler.

Playing with fiery intensity Saturday night, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball squad pushed visiting Lakewood hard.

But while the Wolves survived a 12-0 Cougar run early, they couldn’t overcome a hail of three-balls in the third quarter, which turned a four-point game into a 16-point deficit.

The result?

A 77-61 non-conference loss to a 2A school, but a defeat which could pay huge benefits down the road.

The Wolves, now 0-2 on the young season, open with a tough non-league schedule.

The goal is to help shape a new-look team under fire, to get them ready to defend their title once Northwest 2B/1B League play starts in January.

The early games, which continue next week with a road trip to Tacoma to play Concordia Christian Academy, followed by a home game with Sultan, is the gauntlet set up to build a strong Wolf team.

And that strong team is already here, at least in parts, as Coupeville played Lakewood to a virtual standstill if you toss out the third quarter.

Having fought back from a 14-point deficit, the Wolves went to the half on the high of a 14-4 run.

It was fueled by seven points off the bench from junior Nick Guay, with the final bucket a three-ball which tickled the twines a millisecond ahead of the buzzer.

The Wolves had whipped the ball around the arc, keeping the leather moving and away from Lakewood defenders, before Guay stepped up and made all the fans scream.

Coming on the heels of another trey, this one from Ryan Blouin, and a short jumper from Cole White off a feed from rumbling big man William Davidson, Guay’s buzzer-beater cut the margin to 32-28.

Coupeville, which got a huge spark on both ends of the floor from Jonathan Valenzuela, looked ready to go toe-to-toe, and shot-for-shot, with Lakewood.

Until the Cougars started dropping daggers.

Led by Benjamin Rucker, who popped five three-balls as part of a game-high 23-point performance, Lakewood suddenly couldn’t miss from long distance as the second half began.

Valenzuela slapped home a pair of buckets, before Logan Downes went off for Coupeville’s next nine points, but the Cougars were collecting two baskets for every one the Wolves scored.

In a game in which the two teams tallied the same exact number of points in the second and fourth quarter, and Lakewood was narrowly ahead 18-14 at the end of the first frame, the third quarter was fatal.

The Cougars finished the eight-minute span with a 25-13 advantage, and the die was cast.

Coupeville still fought impressively in the fourth quarter, from Downes getting back on defense to deliver a resounding blocked shot, to Alex Murdy converting a pair of steals into breakaway buckets.

Three Wolves — Chase Anderson, Jermiah Copeland, and Davidson — notched their first varsity points as well, but CHS ultimately couldn’t get its deficit back down to single digits.

While Rucker finished with 23, Downes almost matched him, tossing in 16 of his team-high 22 points in the second half.

Many of his buckets came on bold rampages through the paint, as the junior crashed hard to the hoop again and again, often with the refs ignoring the multitude of defender arms hitting him in the face.

Valenzuela, who snatched rebounds off the glass and prowled like a panther unleashed, finished with 10 points for CHS, with White (8), Guay (7), and Murdy (6) also coming strong.

Blouin (3), Anderson (2), Copeland (2), and Davidson (1) rounded out the offense, while Dominic Coffman and Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim provided a defensive spark.

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Alita Blouin leads Coupeville’s varsity girls in scoring through the first two games. (Morgan White photo)

One bad stretch.

A span of five minutes and change — that’s what killed the Coupeville High School varsity girls’ basketball squad Saturday night.

Take away that segment, when visiting Lakewood went on a 28-3 run to end the first quarter, and it was a much different, far closer contest.

But they count every point, so the 2B Wolves ultimately absorbed a 70-37 loss to the 2A Cougars.

The non-conference defeat evens Coupeville’s early-season record at 1-1, with a week to work on things before Sultan visits Whidbey Island Dec. 10.

CHS coach Megan Richter and her players will be able to look at the game film from Saturday’s tilt and pick out a lot of positives.

Though they may want to fast forward through the second half of the opening quarter.

Things were looking pretty good, with the score knotted at 5-5 after Alita Blouin plucked a steal and beat a pack of defenders down court for a layup.

Gwen Gustafson opened the night’s scoring with a pullup jumper, before Carolyn Lhamon added a free throw, and the Wolves were aggressive on both ends of the floor.

But then the roof fell in.

Lakewood ramped up its defense and stifled Coupeville, holding it without a field goal for the remainder of the first quarter, while scoring quickly and efficiently from multiple angles.

The Cougars splashed home a trio of three-balls during the 28-3 run, but it was a string of steals and breakaway lay-ins which really stung.

Then things went back to almost normal.

The scoring across the final three quarters of the night still came out in favor of Lakewood, but only to a 37-29 tally.

The Wolves, who were being hacked and pummeled all game, hit the majority of their free throws, while also breaking out some well-run plays to crack Lakewood’s press.

A 7-0 surge midway through the second quarter, with Lhamon slapping runners off the glass on feeds from Gustafson and Maddie Georges, was quality work.

As was Katie Marti’s debut as a WWE wrestler, on a play when the rough ‘n rowdy defensive dynamo flipped not one, but two Lakewood players end-over-end while battling for, and winning, control of a loose ball.

Lhamon and Mia Farris both pounded home multiple buckets in the paint in the second half, while Georges flipped the net on a long, low three-ball, but the deficit ultimately proved too much to overcome.

Still, Coupeville fought until the end, with its players still crashing the boards and pestering Lakewood ballhandlers even as the final buzzer loomed.

Blouin paced the Wolves in scoring for the second-straight game, rattling home 10 points, while Lhamon backed her up with a season-high nine.

Georges (6), Farris (4), Ryanne Knoblich (3), Marti (2), Gustafson (2), and Lyla Stuurmans (1) also etched their names in the scorebook, as all eight Wolves to see floor time scored.

With her six points, Georges moves into 40th place all-time on the CHS girls’ hoops career scoring chart, which dates back to 1974.

The senior guard sits with 265 points, passing program legends Madeline Strasburg (261) and Carly Guillory (260) Saturday night.

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Coupeville Middle School 6th grader Liam Lawson is here to singe the basketball nets, just like mom Kassie and aunts Kayla and Katie did back in the day. (Photo courtesy Kassie O’Neil)

Use every step to build for the future.

There will be stumbles along the way, but the key is to focus on the positives, while being mentally strong enough to identify and work on correcting the negatives.

That’s the mission for this year’s batch of Coupeville Middle School boys’ basketball players, a collection of hoops stars who don’t have much on-court experience as a group but do have a burning desire to keep on growing.

Some days, like Tuesday’s home opener against visiting Lakewood, are bound to be rough.

The Cougars funnel players to a 2A high school, while the Wolves will be competing two rungs below that — at the 2B level — when they cross the gym hallway and become high school athletes.

That means Lakewood has a lot more bodies at its disposal, and a lot more players with prior hoops experience.

As a group, the Cougars are currently faster, tougher, more tenacious, and more skilled at things like snatching rebounds, running offensive sets, and playing heads-up defense than the still-developing Wolves.

But this is how you learn.

So, while Coupeville lost all three games Tuesday, and by fairly large margins, you hope once the lopsided scores vanish from the scoreboard, they partially fade from memory.

All I’m going to say here is that all three tilts went to a running clock, which happens in middle school basketball when you trail by 30 points,

But otherwise, I’m choosing to redact the final tallies.

Instead of dwelling on the score, we’ll focus on the moments players and coaches should remember.

Like when Wyatt Fitch-Marron went sliding across the floor, face-first, surfing the hardwood as he and a rival player fought for a loose ball.

The young Wolf bounced back to his feet, brushed off any pain from bouncing across the floor, and charged right back into the fray, even as mom and grandma (and a few other fans) gasped and winced.

Or we can stop to appreciate a solid move for a bucket in the day’s opening game from Joshua Stockdale.

Taking the ball down low and rolling through the paint for a layup to (momentarily) halt the Lakewood scoring express, it bodes well for the future.

The same with Cyrus Sparacio drilling the bottom of the net out with a three-ball from the top, then flexing for his fan club, or Riley Lawless swishing a sweet pull-up jumper in the paint while surrounded by defenders.

Young Coupeville players like Liam Lawson and Chayse Van Velkinburgh played with passion, driving the ball again and again into the heart of the storm, even while being smacked by a forest of Lakewood arms.

And shine a light on the Joltin’ Jacobsen brothers, as both Kenneth and Johnathan brought maximum effort to the floor, chasing after rebounds and poking balls away from the Cougar sharpshooters.

From Charles Hart to Hunter Atteberry, from Zach Blitch to Jacobs Meadors and Khanor Jump, the Wolves couldn’t be faulted for their effort, their hustle, and their desire.

The heart is there, and the skill will follow.

Tuesday also saw two more Wolves net their first points of the season, as Nic Laska and Stockdale each banked home a bucket.

That puts 14 Coupeville players in the scoring column two games into an eight-game season.

Games pick back up after the Thanksgiving break, with the Wolves heading to the wilds of Sultan Nov. 29, before hosting King’s Dec. 1.


Season scoring stats:

Cyrus Sparacio – 13
Carson Grove – 10
Jayden McManus – 10
Riley Lawless – 6
Chayse Van Velkinburgh – 5
Jacob Barajas – 4
Brantley Campbell – 4
Davin Houston – 3
Sage Arends – 2
Nic Laska – 2
Liam Lawson – 2
Nathan Niewald – 2
Joshua Stockdale – 2
Dylan Robinett – 1

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