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Posts Tagged ‘Lindsey Roberts’

Ema Smith scored 10 points Wednesday, including hitting a pair of three-balls, as Coupeville knocked off Sultan in its playoff opener. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Seize the moment.

Handed an unexpected home playoff game Wednesday, thanks to snow and ice derailing the first two days of the district playoffs, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team rose to the occasion.

Using a third-quarter that was filled with equal parts offensive fire and defensive grit, the Wolves blew open a close game with Sultan, eventually strolling home with a 48-37 win in front of their enthusiastic home fans.

The victory, the fifth in the last seven games for Coupeville, evens its record at 9-9, heading into a second loser-out playoff game.

That bout, tentatively set for Friday, sends the Wolves to Shoreline to play North Sound Conference champ King’s. The Knights are 16-5 after being bopped 65-48 by Lynden Christian, the #2 seed from the Northwest Conference.

With another snow storm expected to arrive Friday night, there is a chance the game will be moved to Thursday.

Whichever day it’s played, the winner punches their ticket to bi-districts, while the loser packs up their stuff and heads for the season-ending banquet.

The weather has put a crimp in how the postseason is proceeding, but hasn’t seemed to faze the Wolves.

The snow and ice which smashed Washington state delayed the start of the District 1 tourney, and what was supposed to be a double-elimination event was changed into a modified single-elimination one.

With the change, CHS went from opening on the road to hosting a game, while drawing a lesser-ranked opponent.

But, with the change, the Wolves also lost any chance to have a bad game and still be able to bounce back.

If the fact Wednesday’s game was a loser-out affair, it didn’t seem to bother Coupeville’s players, who came out looking relaxed and with a bounce in their step.

Given an extra home game, senior captains Lindsey Roberts and Ema Smith embraced the situation, combining to score 26 points while driving the Turk defenders batty.

The duo kicked off the game by hitting three-balls, with Smith drilling hers from the top of the arc, while Roberts was waiting when teammate Hannah Davidson yanked down a rebound and whirled, firing a beautifully-placed kick-out pass.

Lofting the ball almost as soon as it hit her fingertips, Roberts erased Sultan’s only lead of the game, with her trey putting the Wolves up 6-4.

A pair of free throws from Chelsea Prescott and a hustle basket from Ema Smith later, and CHS headed to the first break up 10-6.

Smith’s bucket came off of an offensive rebound which hit the hands of two players as it shot backwards, before popping straight up in the air.

Floating in the airspace above the paint, “Ema the Electrifying” speared the ball while dancing through a mass of defenders, then flipped the orb back up and in, barely ruffling the net as she did.

The second quarter was the lowest-scoring frame of the night, with both teams exchanging defensive stands more than popping buckets.

Roberts, playing on mom Sherry’s birthday, provided much of the second-quarter fireworks with a three-point play earned the hard way.

Pump-faking her defender into the still-frosty parking lot, the four-year varsity vet spun past her, crashed hard to the hoop and slapped home the bucket.

Then, grimacing slightly as she let the burn of an elbow she took to the noggin settle in, the unflappable one zipped the “and-one” free throw through the bottom of the net.

It was one of two truly standout offensive plays in the quarter, the other provided by Scout Smith and Prescott, as the former whipped a pass half the length of the court, feeding her younger teammate for a breakaway layup.

Making the play sweeter, and more highlight-reel-worthy, a lonely Sultan defender almost got back in time to stop Prescott.

Almost.

Showing composure under fire, the Wolf sophomore slowed her roll at just the right moment, let the Turk fly by out of control, then stepped strong to the glass and made dang sure the ball went down and stayed down.

As the teams went to the locker room at halftime, it felt like a game in which Coupeville was very much in control.

The scoreboard however, showing just a 17-11 Wolf lead, gave the Turks some hope.

Enter Roberts, fire shooting from her eyes, and exit Sultan, staggered, unable to slow down, much less stop, a Cow Town hoops legend who exited by reminding all of us just how good she can be.

There has never been a moment in her prep career when Lou, daughter of two CHS Athlete of the Year winners, has been anything less than a varsity player, in any of her three sports.

The rare athlete who can’t tell you what a JV game feels like, the next-to-last star in her large, extended family (lil’ bro Landon is on his way), Lindsey Roberts has been the real deal, every step of the way.

In track, her blazing feet do her talking. In soccer, her bionic kicking leg shatters the atmosphere.

But in basketball, Roberts has played many roles in the past four years, from rebounder to defensive ace to Scottie Pippen-style running mate.

Wednesday night, in her final appearance on the CHS hardwood, she truly stepped up and, without maybe saying the words out loud, screamed “Give me the dang ball if you want to live!”

It showed every time she touched the leather, especially in the third quarter, an eight-minute stand in which she, and her teammates, smacked Sultan into the bleachers.

Roberts kicked things off, taking a pass from Prescott, then going all Matrix, sliding between four defenders in the paint for an emphatic bucket.

After that came a jumper in the paint, in which she elevated, hung in the air for about 37 seconds, then spiked the ball through the net with a line-drive shot which melted the face of the Turk closest to her.

Not content to stop there, Roberts pulled off another three-point play the hard way, and doing so with the kind of power move in the paint which caused Sultan’s coach to stagger back, as if he, and not his players, had just been gut-punched.

With their fleet-footed supernova running wild, the Wolves ramped up their defense, then took turns raining down buckets from all angles.

Ema Smith let another three-ball splat, Scout Smith nailed a pull-up three-ball of her own, then Davidson pulled off her own power bucket in the paint, before Avalon Renninger got fancy.

Weaving with the ball, the junior guard snapped her defender’s ankles off, then pulled up on a dime and rimmed home a left-handed runner which sent the Wolf bench into a rolling wave of joy and hysteria.

Capping the quarter, freshman Ja’Kenya Hoskins sprinted up court, reversed direction, then shot into the air, and, out-leaping a Turk, picked off a long pass, preventing Sultan from getting a final shot off.

With all the buckets raining down, to the tune of a 22-11 Wolf run in the third, Hoskins play could have easily gotten lost in the noise.

But it shouldn’t, as it was the final, thrilling nail puncturing the Sultan balloon, and letting all the air spill out across the floor.

The Turks, to their credit, pulled things back together, and thanks to some seriously erratic reffing in the fourth, managed to get to the line a fair amount.

Not enough of their freebies slid through the net, though, and down the stretch, Coupeville kept things safe with some nicely-crafted buckets.

On one, Roberts drove the baseline, came out on the other side, then hopped into the air and fed Scout Smith, who drained the jumper as dad Chris screamed like a banshee.

On another, Davidson, playing as aggressive and confident in the paint as she has at any time in her Wolf career, backed down her defender and banked home a gorgeous turn-around shot.

And yes, dad Micheal was screaming like a banshee, as well.

The playoff win was a showcase in balance, with seven of 10 active players scoring, led by Roberts with 16 and Ema Smith with 10.

Both players made inroads on snagging personal achievements, as well.

Roberts, who sits with 448 points, passed Maureen Wetmore (438) and is tied with Vanessa Davis for #18 on the Wolf girls career scoring chart.

Wrapping up her second varsity season, Ema Smith made the jump into the top 50, moving past Lisa Roehl (216) and Beth Mouw (216), and into a tie at #49 with Annette Jameson (223).

The young guns also chipped in, with Scout Smith knocking down eight points, Prescott reaching 100 on the season with six, Davidson rattling home four, and Renninger notching two.

Freshman Izzy Wells rounded out the scoring attack, scoring the game’s final bucket on a nicely-executed bank shot.

Roberts paced the Wolves on the boards with seven, while Scout Smith collected five rebounds, two steals and two assists while running the point almost flawlessly.

Hoskins and Nicole Laxton combined to pull down five rebounds, with defensive hawk Tia Wurzrainer harassing Turk ball-handlers into committing countless mistakes.

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Hannah Davidson and Coupeville kick off the postseason Monday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

So, you’re saying we have a chance?

The playoff push begins Monday, as the Coupeville High School girls basketball squad wades into the six-day, double-elimination district tourney.

First up for the Wolves is a road game at Lynden Christian, followed by a contest Wednesday against either King’s or Sultan.

Eight teams (five from the North Sound Conference, three from the Northwest Conference) are in the tourney, with four eventually moving on to bi-districts the next week.

That rumble, which pits District 1 (which includes Coupeville) against District 2, sends four teams to the state tourney, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

For the moment, let’s focus on the here and now.

A breakdown of what you need to know for districts:

 

What:

Northwest District 1 girls basketball tournament

 

When:

Feb. 4-9

 

Where:

Multiple locations. Coupeville opens at Lynden Christian and will almost certainly play its second game at King’s (though not necessarily against King’s).

After that would come games at neutral sites (Granite Falls and Mount Vernon).

 

Admission for individual games:

Adults / Students w/o ASB $7.00.
Students w/ ASB $5.00.
Children / Seniors $5.00.

 

Team capsules:

 

Coupeville:

Season record: 8-9

League finish: #3 in 1A North Sound Conference

Seniors: (3) – Nicole Laxton, Lindsey Roberts, Ema Smith

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 4-6 (beat Sultan and Granite Falls twice; lost to King’s and Cedar Park Christian twice; lost to Meridian and Nooksack Valley)

Coach: David King

Mascot: Wolves

 

Cedar Park Christian:

Season record: 12-6

League finish: #2 in NSC

Seniors: (1) – Sela Flynn

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 6-2 (beat Sultan, Granite Falls and Coupeville twice; lost to King’s twice)

Coach: Brittani O’Malley

Mascot: Eagles

 

Granite Falls:

Season record: 5-14

League finish: #4 in NSC

Seniors: (5) – Alex Chavez, Sadie Hutchinson, Jasmin Myers, Hailey Nelson, Hannah White

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 1-8 (split with Granite Falls; lost twice to Coupeville, King’s, Cedar Park; lost to Nooksack Valley)

Coach: Dave Kaupp

Mascot: Tigers

 

King’s:

Season record: 16-4

League finish: #1 in NSC

Seniors: (2) – Dominique Kirton, Rachel Phelan

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 8-0 (beat Cedar Park, Sultan, Granite, Coupeville twice)

Coach: Dan Taylor

Mascot: Knights

 

Lynden Christian:

Season record: 17-3

League finish: #2 among 1A schools in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference

Seniors: (3) – Josie Bocci, Isabela Hernandez, Grace Sterk

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 1-1 (beat Nooksack Valley; lost to Meridian)

Coach: Brady Bomber

Mascot: Lyncs

 

Meridian:

Season record: 17-4

League finish: #1 among 1A schools in NWC

Seniors: (5) – Alexis Groen, Makenna Holz, Abigail Martin, Lindsey Moore, Ella Zander 

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 2-1 (beat Coupeville, Lynden Christian; lost to Nooksack Valley)

Coach: Mark Gilmore

Mascot: Trojans

 

Nooksack Valley:

Season record: 13-7

League finish: #3 among 1A teams in NWC

Seniors: (1) – Jenna Tenkley

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 4-1 (beat Granite Falls, Coupeville, Meridian, Sultan; lost to Lynden Christian)

Coach: Shane Wichers

Mascot: Pioneers

 

Sultan:

Season record: 7-13

League finish: #5 in NSC

Seniors: (4) – Ashley Evans, Nina Frame, Kiana Kendall, Tori Mayer

Record vs. district tourney qualifiers: 1-8 (split with Granite Falls; lost twice to Coupeville, King’s, Cedar Park Christian; lost to Nooksack Valley)

Coach: Todd Weideman

Mascot: Turks

 

Bracket:

http://www.nscathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2827&sport=12

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Scoring 10 points Friday, Lindsey Roberts rose from #23 to #20 on the CHS girls basketball career scoring list. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

This is how you want to head into the playoffs.

Shaking off a long wait to get on the court Friday at Granite Falls, the Coupeville High School varsity girls hoop squad responded with “great energy,” claiming a 38-29 win.

The victory gives the Wolves a season sweep of the Tigers while lifting them to 6-4 in North Sound Conference play, 8-9 overall.

Coupeville, which was picked to finish fourth in the preseason coaches poll, instead heads to districts as the #3 seed from the six-team NSC.

The Wolves open the double-elimination tourney Feb. 4 against the #2 team from the Northwest Conference, Lynden Christian (17-3).

Win or lose, they’ll be back on the court, and on the road, Feb. 6 to play either King’s (16-4) or Sultan (7-13).

While its playoff path was already set before it played Friday, Coupeville wanted to end the regular season on a positive note.

Mission accomplished.

“Long wait for game time. Sat through both JV games and an interrupted pregame due to senior festivities,” Wolf coach David King said.

“We knew the building would be energized for their six seniors and their last home game,” he added. “We matched that energy and then some.”

CHS blew out to an 8-0 lead to open things, hushing the fans and giving the Tigers a taste of what was to come.

Granite wasn’t ready to crack, however, netting a three-ball to finally get on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter, before banking home a quick bucket to open the second frame.

That was the cue for Wolf senior Ema Smith to go to work, as she rained down 10 of her game-high 12 in the second quarter.

One, two, three, she shredded Granite’s defense for a trio of three-balls, then capped things with a free throw, sending Coupeville to the break up 21-14.

The two teams exchanged body blows in a very close second half, but the Wolves reached deep and always found an answer when they needed one.

Defensive dynamo Tia Wurzrainer got wild on the other end of the floor, popping home a pair of key buckets, while Lindsey Roberts swished a big-time three-ball in the fourth after the Tigers had sliced away at Coupeville’s lead.

The Wolves played with solid energy on defense, typified by Hannah Davidson, who “came up big with four steals,” including one on which she stole the ball at the free throw line, then led the fast break.

“Posts, they always want to play the point guard position,” King said with a big smile.

Coupeville flustered their foes with quick hands (Ema Smith and Chelsea Prescott chipped in with five and four steals, respectively) and hit the boards with intensity.

Ema Smith and Roberts paced the Wolves on the glass, ripping down eight rebounds apiece.

The senior captains also led the team in scoring, with 12 and 10, while Wurzrainer, Scout Smith, and Prescott each had four and Avalon Renninger and Davidson added a bucket apiece.

With a pair of baskets in the first quarter, Roberts passed Cassidi Rosenkrance (423), Mika Hosek (424), and Sarah Powell (425) on the CHS girls career scoring list.

Sitting with 432 points, the four-year varsity player enters her final playoff run as the #20 scorer all-time, coming up fast on #19 Maureen Wetmore (438) and #18 Vanessa Davis (448).

With seven of his eight regular varsity players scoring Friday, and point guard Scout Smith “doing a great job with her passing,” King got the boost he was hoping for as his team preps for the postseason.

“This was a good bounce-back game for us after a tough schedule in our last two games,” he said. “Very proud of the team in the regular season and especially in league play.

“We wanted to get that sixth win vs. playing .500 ball in league.”

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Lindsey Roberts (left) and Ema Smith were two of the three Wolf hoops stars honored Tuesday on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It didn’t go the way they might have hoped.

Run ragged Tuesday by a King’s team with state title aspirations, the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team got crunched on Senior Night.

Even on an evening when their six-foot freshman prodigy wasn’t at the top of her game, the visiting Knights had an answer for everything the Wolves tried, exiting the gym with a 59-11 win.

The loss, coming after Coupeville put up its fewest points in any game this season, drops CHS to 5-4 in North Sound Conference play, 7-9 overall.

The Wolves, who are guaranteed to be the #3 seed from their league when the double-elimination district playoffs start Feb. 4, close the regular season Friday at Granite Falls.

Things got off to a nice start Tuesday when Coupeville honored seniors Nicole Laxton, Lindsey Roberts, and Ema Smith before tip-off.

After the ball was tossed up in the air, however, things got much tougher.

King’s features frosh phenom Jada Wynn, who played in the junior NBA world tournament before attending a single day of high school.

On this night, though, she took a back seat, picking up four fouls, including an offensive charge after Wolf freshman Ja’Kenya Hoskins stood her ground, and scored “just” 10 points.

The Knights, a deep, talented, polished team, merely shrugged, with sophomores Claire Gallagher and Mia Flor tossing in 17 and 12 respectively.

Coupeville, as a team, didn’t crack double digits until the next-to-last play of the third quarter, then went scoreless in the fourth.

Down 8-0 in the early going, but dodging bullets as King’s had some shooting issues of its own, at least for a bit, the Wolves finally got on the scoreboard six minutes into the game.

The first bucket came courtesy Ema Smith, and it gave her 201 points for her prep career, making her just the 55th Wolf girl to top that mark since the modern program began in 1974.

Unfortunately for CHS, that was its only basket of any kind for quite a bit.

By the time Hannah Davidson swooped in, snatched a rebound and went back up strong for a second-chance bucket, the game was 21-2 in favor of King’s and slipping away quickly.

To make sure to drive the point home, the Knights followed up Davidson’s put-back by nailing back-to-back three-balls, two of the eight treys they hit on the evening.

A 27-7 halftime deficit ballooned badly after the halftime break, as King’s, continuing to play with its customary take-no-prisoners style, went on a 25-4 romp in the third.

Two buckets from Roberts, one off a nice dish by Scout Smith, gave CHS fans some brief respite, but, ultimately, it was a game the Wolves will do well to quickly scrub from their brain pans.

But, just because it was a one-sided affair doesn’t mean there weren’t a few bright spots.

Coupeville coach David King praised the play of Roberts, who had to fight through a constant wave of defenders, as well as Davidson’s work on the boards, and defensive dynamo Tia Wurzrainer’s scrappiness while still contesting passes in the late going.

Roberts finished with four points Tuesday, lifting her to 422 for her career.

She needs just two more buckets to pass Cassidi Rosenkrance (423), Mika Hosek (424), and Sarah Powell (425) and become the #20 scorer in program history.

Chelsea Prescott added three free-throws in support of Roberts, with Davidson and Ema Smith providing the night’s other buckets.

Roberts had a team-best eight rebounds, Avalon Renninger yanked down five boards and doled out three assists, with Scout Smith collecting five boards, two blocks and a steal.

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Ema Smith rippled the nets for 10 points Friday, as Coupeville made a play to upset Cedar Park Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The upset died at the free-throw line.

The Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team played often-superb defense Friday night, hit some pressure-packed shots, and didn’t flinch when facing a very-talented foe.

But the one part of the game that the Wolves totally controlled — walking to the charity stripe with the clock stopped, then sinking shots — failed, and so did any hope of shocking visiting Cedar Park Christian.

Bouncing 12 of 22 free throws off the rim, Coupeville fell 37-28 and saw its chances to finish in the top two of the six-team North Sound Conference vanish.

With the loss, the Wolves drop to 5-3 in league play, 7-8 overall, and clinch third place, a slot better than where the preseason coaches poll had them finishing.

Coupeville, which has two regular season games left, will finish behind league champ King’s (8-0) and CPC (7-2), and ahead of Granite Falls (2-6), Sultan (2-6), and South Whidbey (0-7).

After hosting King’s next Tuesday, and traveling to Granite Friday, the Wolves open the double-elimination district tourney Feb. 4 on the road at Meridian.

If Coupeville had won Friday, it would have gone a half game up on CPC and still been in contention for second-place, and the home playoff opener which comes with that finish.

And, after losing by 20 points in Bothell the first time these teams played, the Wolves looked like a team very interested in playing out that scenario.

Forcing CPC star Irena Korolenko into a poor shooting performance, at least for awhile, Coupeville claimed the early lead and stayed within a bucket late into the third quarter.

Hannah Davidson, who hit the boards with a nice intensity, opened the scoring when she ripped a carom away from an Eagle and went right back up with it for the night’s first bucket.

Add an Ema Smith free throw and the Wolves were up 3-0, and ready to claim the win if the game had been called early.

It was not, however, and CPC reclaimed the lead for good at 4-3 late in the first quarter on a turnaround jumper from Korolenko.

Up 8-3 at the initial break, the Eagles stretched the lead to 10-3, but Coupeville didn’t back down this time out.

Ema Smith spiked a CPC shot back up-court, then followed the ball and sank a long three-ball when Scout Smith threaded a pass between defenders and onto her older teammate’s fingertips.

Another Scout Smith special, this one an outlet pass which soared through the air and dropped into the waiting arms of a sprinting Lindsey Roberts, kept the pressure on.

While Korolenko had eight points at the half, that was a bucket less than she scored in just the first quarter the last time the teams met, and a 14-10 deficit at the break certainly didn’t seem insurmountable.

CHS kept up the pressure in the third, forcing the Eagles out of their comfort zone, and staying within a basket until the final minute of the frame.

The Wolves couldn’t quite get over the hump, however, cutting the margin to 14-13 and 18-16, but missing free throws which would have given them the lead.

Meanwhile, Korolenko, who took, and hit, all seven Cedar Park free throws on the night, whistled four straight freebies through the net to close the third, then opened the fourth with a three-point play the hard way.

Suddenly, a one-score game had momentarily gotten out of hand, with the visitors up 27-16 and seemingly pulling away.

But, after some words of wisdom from coach David King, the Wolves got buckets from Ema Smith and Chelsea Prescott, packaged around a free throw, and the deficit was back to a manageable six points.

Korolenko is a star for a reason, though, and, after being “held” to 14 points through three quarters, she torched the Wolves for 11 more in the fourth.

While two long jumpers and a layup off an inbound pass stung, the ultimate killer came on a basket set up when Cedar Park saved a runaway ball at the last millisecond, and, against all odds, turned it into a gut-punch of a bucket.

Scrambling towards the line, Korolenko got her finger on the ball, somehow spinning it back onto the court as she crashed into the back wall.

As the ball hit the court, it took a perfect spin (for CPC), shooting between two Wolves and right to a surprised Eagle, who immediately hit a soft lil’ jumper in the paint.

Coupeville kept coming, with Scout Smith nailing a three-ball from the top of the arc to cut the margin to 33-28, but the Wolves couldn’t score across the final minute-plus, and Korolenko ended things with two more perfect free throws.

CHS, which missed three free throws in the first quarter, four more in the second, three in the third, and two in the fourth, was left to contemplate what could have been.

And what could still be, if the teams meet a third time in the postseason.

Ema Smith, who has been on a shooting tear of late, paced the Wolves with 10 points, pulling her within a single free throw of becoming the 55th Coupeville girl to score 200 in their career.

Davidson (4), Roberts (4), Scout Smith (4), Prescott (3), Avalon Renninger (2), and Ja’Kenya Hoskins (1) also scored, while Roberts and Hoskins snatched eight rebounds apiece.

Renninger dealt out three assists, Scout Smith pilfered two steals, and Ema Smith registered two blocks.

 

No JV:

Cedar Park doesn’t have a second team, so Coupeville’s young guns sat Friday night out.

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