Posts Tagged ‘Landon Roberts’

Hunter Bronec, seen in pre-pandemic times, scored a team-high 10 points Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

“You showed grit and that’s what it took to win.”

As the Coupeville SWISH boys basketball team celebrated another win Saturday, that was the message coach Sean O’Neill delivered to his players.

And it was a message which resonated in the afterglow of a 27-25 victory over Sedro Woolley, a triumph clinched when Aiden O’Neill drained two free throws in the final moments.

Saturday, the Wolves opened slowly, but recovered with plenty of time left to play.

Overcoming “a horrific first eight minutes in which we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn or play defense, we cleared our heads,” said Jon Roberts.

Twin terrors Hunter and Hurlee Bronec dominated in the paint, and Jack Porter drilled “a nice eight-footer” as Coupeville rallied to take a 15-14 lead into the halftime break.

Things weren’t going to be easy, however, as Sedro came out on fire to start the second, going off on a 6-0 tear.

Chase Anderson netted a three-ball for the Wolves to start the second comeback, then Coupeville clamped down on defense behind the spirited work of Landon Roberts.

Hunter Bronec paced his squad with a team-high 10 points, while Hurlee Bronec (6), Anderson (5), O’Neill (3), Jack Porter (2), and Johnny Porter (1) also scored.

Camden Glover and Landon Roberts round out the Coupeville roster, which is now 5-1 on the season heading into a bye week.

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Coupeville’s high-flying SWISH basketball squad knocked off a major foe Saturday. (Photo courtesy Jon Roberts)

It’s been a long time coming.

Jump back somewhere around 15 months ago — “whatever the day was the world was shut down” — and Coupeville’s SWISH boys basketball team was ready to put its #1 seed on the line in a championship game rumble with big, bad Stanwood.

Enter the pandemic, exit any chance of playing the game.

Now jump forward to May 15, 2021, and the Wolves hardwood squad — comprised of 7th and 8th graders — finally got their showdown.

And it went perfectly.

“Today was a great day,” said Coupeville coach Jon Roberts. “We didn’t get a chance to prove we were #1. Until today.

“Revenge is sweet!”

Playing scrappy, defensive-minded ball, the Wolves chopped the tall Spartans down, pulling away for a 26-21 win to run their record to a crisp 4-1 on the new season.

Having split with always-tough Orcas Island, and taken wins against two squads from Mount Vernon, the Wolves entered play Saturday with a confident spring to their steps.

Even down a man, with Camden Glover out for a game, Coupeville struck quickly and never let up.

Landon Roberts, playing like his grandpa Sandy did back in the day, opened the game with a quick bucket, then the Wolves spread the offensive love around.

Chase Anderson, the Magic Man, led Coupeville with nine points, including draining a pair of game-clinching free throws in the final seconds.

Aiden O’Neill and Hunter Bronec were hot on his heels with six points apiece, with Jack Porter (2), Roberts (2), and Hurlee Bronec (1) also scoring.

While the rim was unforgiving to Johnny Porter on this day, the tall baller made a sizable impact, “collecting numerous rebounds with elbow waving arms, ruling the paint.”

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Aiden O’Neill (5) and Landon Roberts (across from him) crash the boards. (Sherry Roberts photo)

The nets are back open for business.

High school hoops are still a few weeks away, but Coupeville’s 7th/8th grade SWISH boys basketball squad hit the hardwood Saturday in Burlington, bouncing Orcas Island 32-23.

The season-opening victory kicks off what should be a seven-game schedule — if the pandemic doesn’t mess with things.

What began as a bit of a defensive struggle, with Coupeville clinging to a 10-9 halftime advantage, soon broke heavily in favor of the Wolves.

Chase Anderson led the way, dropping in 10 of his team-high 13 points in the second half.

He banked in a pair of three-balls during his torrid run, while teammate Johnny Porter dominated in the paint.

Six of Coupeville’s eight players scratched their name in the scorebook Saturday, with Johnny Porter and Aiden O’Neill collecting six points apiece in support of Anderson’s 13.

Also rattling the rim were Jack Porter, who knocked down three points, and Camden Glover and Hunter Bronec, who added a bucket apiece.

Defensive dynamos Landon Roberts and Hurlee Bronec also saw extensive playing time for a Coupeville squad which returns to action next Saturday, May 1.

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The bright future of Coupeville baseball. (Photo courtesy Jeff Porter)

One more game, before another shutdown.

Coupeville’s Babe Ruth baseball squad hasn’t had much time on the diamond this summer, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throwing a huge wrench into things.

But Thursday the Wolves took the field to host Anacortes, and, while they fell 5-3 despite a late rally, they got to play, which was a win in itself.

It was Coupeville’s sixth, and final, game of this shortened season, as it only has nine players and won’t go on to play in any tournaments.

The mere fact the Wolves were on the CHS diamond might have come to a surprise to some, as Washington state Governor Jay Inslee issued new limits on gatherings which went into effect July 20.

Counties in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, such as Island County, are currently restricted to 10 people getting together.

However, after some digging by Oak Harbor Babe Ruth officials, it was determined there was an exclusion for outdoor sporting events.

Which brings us to Thursday, when the scrappy Wolves fell behind 5-0, then almost came all the way back in the bottom of the seventh and final inning.

Coupeville opened its last at-bats of the game, and season, with four straight walks, as Camden Glover, Johnny Porter, Marcelo Gebhard, and Aiden O’Neill all got aboard thanks to eagle eyes.

That set up the top of the order, and Scott Hilborn and Jack Porter responded, whacking back-to-back singles to make the Anacortes coaching staff start sweating in the autumn-like weather.

But the visitors got away with one, finding a way to stop the Coupeville onslaught and deny Wolf fans a chance to storm the field in celebration.

Anacortes got on the board early, plating two runners in the first, then two more in the second.

A final tally in the top of the sixth provided a little bit of a cushion.

Jack Porter, Johnny Valenzuela, and Hilborn split the pitching duties for Coupeville, with Valenzuela whiffing seven hitters across five innings of work.

Hilborn and Jack Porter paced the Wolf offense, collecting a pair of singles apiece, while Chase Anderson and Valenzuela also picked up base knocks.

Coupeville tallied seven walks, led by two each from Gebhard and O’Neill, to go with its six hits.

Eight of the nine Wolves in uniform reached base Thursday, with Landon Roberts rounding out the lineup for a team with a bright future, and, hopefully, many more games ahead of it.

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A Coupeville hitter turns on the ball Tuesday during the first baseball game of the summer. (Photo courtesy Jon Roberts)

Play … ball?

While they wait for word on the fate of school sports during a pandemic, Coupeville baseball players returned to the diamond Tuesday for what coaches termed a “pick up” game.

The first of two games planned with next-door neighbor South Whidbey (the second is set for Thursday), the contest ended with a nail-biter of a 2-1 win for the Wolves.

Coupeville came from behind to knot things up, then pushed across the eventual winning run in the top of the seventh, and final, inning.

A Camden Glover sac fly to right plated Johnny Valenzuela with the go-ahead score, then Scott Hilborn, the third Wolf pitcher of the night, shut down South Whidbey in the bottom half of the inning to ice the win.

Hilborn, “looking ever much like Mariano Rivera,” according to Coupeville coach Jon Roberts, set down his rivals 1-2-3.

After forcing an infield out, the Wolf reliever closed the game with back-to-back strikeouts.

Coupeville set South Whidbey players on their heels thanks to a trio of top-notch hurlers, with starter Chase Anderson teaming up with relief aces Valenzuela and Hilborn to notch 9 K’s.

Anderson and Valenzuela each put in three innings apiece on the hill, with Valenzuela topping all Wolf pitchers with four strikeouts.

South Whidbey actually eked out the first run of the game, sending a runner around the bath-paths in the bottom of the first inning, but after that, Coupeville’s hurlers were in full lock-down mode.

The Wolves scratched out a run of their own in the top of the second, then the two squads remained deadlocked until the seventh.

Coupeville’s first run came courtesy Valenzuela, who singled, stole second and third, then streaked home when South Whidbey’s catcher lost the ball on what should have been a third strike.

From there, it was a defensive-minded stalemate, with the Wolves twice stranding a runner at third.

Coupeville finally found that elusive run in the seventh, thanks to walks to Valenzuela and Landon Roberts (who was plunked by a wayward pitch), which set Glover up for his heroics.

Jon Roberts, who has been waiting all summer to see his team in action, was happy for the game and happy for the victory, but interested in seeing his players continue to improve during difficult times.

“The win was great, but the game showed some areas that need serious work,” he said. “Batting will be a focus of the team. The number of strikeouts was way too high. We will be hitting the cages and trying to solve this issue.

“Besides that, it was great to be back on the field competing! You just gotta love baseball!”

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