Posts Tagged ‘Makana Stone’

Early morning gym rats (l to r) Alana Mihill, Makana Stone, Ema Smith and Ja’Kenya Hoskins. (Eileen Stone photo)

The early bird gets the basket.

Former Coupeville hoops legend Makana Stone, just back from an all-star tour through Brazil and soon to head back to Whitman College for her junior season, is back on The Rock and still working hard.

She was in the CHS gym at the crack of dawn (6 AM or so) Saturday, and invited current Wolves to join her.

Three hoops stars, senior Ema Smith, and incoming freshmen Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Alana Mihill, accepted the challenge and were ruthless with their snooze buttons.

With Stone set for one more early morning workout Sunday at her alma mater, it presents an ideal opportunity for a Wolf legend to give back, and for current players to emulate the player they would all like to grow up to be.

“This is what it takes to improve your game,” said CHS coach Amy King. “Way to go, and a huge thanks to Makana for allowing them to join her.”

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Six years, 50 athletes. Jae LeVine is on the list. Who else made the cut? (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a lovely day to start an argument.

With Coupeville Sports creeping up on its six-year anniversary (the first of 6,200+ articles hit Aug. 15, 2012), this seems like an ideal time to look back at the athletes who made the biggest impact in these pages.

And rank them!

Oh no … no, no, no, you fool … are you insane? Do you just want to piss people off?


So, yep, defying all rational thought, here we go — two lists which encompass my slap-dash rankings of the 25 best female and male athletes to play for Coupeville High School between Aug. 2012 and July 2018.

Ultimately, it’s a work in progress. Come back tomorrow, and I may have changed my mind about more than one thing.

Even as I was preparing to hit “publish,” I was still arguing with myself over not including Christine FieldsSage RenningerHaley Sherman, Morgan Payne, Kailey Kellner, Aaron Trumbull, Marisa Etzell, Jacob Martin, Amanda d’Almeida, Zane Bundy and many, many other very deserving candidates.

Heck, return in a few years, and I’m sure the list will probably look radically different.

For one thing, there are only five active Wolves — four seniors and one junior — who crack the countdown.

Which makes sense. If you’ve put in four years, it paints a much-fuller picture of your career than what one campaign has to offer.

But there are young athletes, some only a year or two into their high school days, who will likely crack the list by the time they’re done.

Scout Smith, Sean Toomey-Stout, Mallory KortuemAvalon Renninger, Matt HilbornChelsea Prescott, and Genna Wright, to name a few, have already made a sizable impact, with plenty of action still left in their careers.

Lists like this are an ever-changing thing.

Careers will be reevaluated, legacies polished and my thought-process called into question. Probably often, and possibly, very loudly.

Wouldn’t be the first time.

So, with that out of the way, on to the arguments … I mean, lists.

PS — ** indicates active athlete



25) Gabe Wynn – Four-year varsity basketball player who also made an impact in baseball, football and tennis along the way. Plus, he’s just a good guy who always played his heart out every game.

Risen Johnson: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

24) Risen Johnson – Brought Showtime to the hardwood, wheeling, dealing, and throwing down impossible buckets during two torrid years in a Wolf uniform.

23) Clay Reilly – Offense, defense, special teams, he could do it all on the gridiron. Same with a baseball field.

22) Joel Walstad – The youngest of three siblings, he made his own mark as a football, basketball and soccer player. Owns school record for TD passes in a season.

21) Jordan Ford – Only had him for one year, but ultimate team player in football and basketball, then shattered school record in pole vault.

20) Caleb Valko – Passionate, outspoken leader in football and basketball, he fought to the final play in every game and never backed down from anyone, no matter what fancy school they attended.

19) Sebastian Davis – Played tennis like a chess grand-master and soccer like a wild man.

18) ** Danny Conlisk – Four trips to state (and counting) as a track and cross country runner, plus he’s competing this week at the national Junior Olympics.

17) William Nelson – If he was ever nervous, I never saw it. Four years of stellar soccer and tennis for “Will the Thrill,” and he never let them see him sweat.

16) Hunter Downes – He broke QB records on the gridiron, emulated Dennis Rodman on the hardwood and cracked heads as a soccer defender.

15) Abraham Leyva – He’d be napping as game time approached, then calmly take the soccer pitch and rattle home a hat trick before halftime. Every dang time.

Dalton Martin (center), ready to unleash the magic.

14) Dalton Martin – Injuries haunted him in football and basketball, but he capped career as the first Wolf to win three throwing medals at the same state meet.

13) CJ Smith – “Captain Cool,” a three-sport standout who pitched the Wolves to their first baseball league crown in 25 years.

12) Cole Payne – The next great football star, until injuries took that (and basketball) away. Rebounded by being The Man on diamond, where he closed baseball run as league MVP.

11) Joey Lippo – A star in tennis, basketball and baseball, plus he was the second-best ballet dancer at CHS, trailing only twin sister Skyy, who is a dance lifer.

10) Cameron Toomey-Stout – Three-sport sensation who proved the doubters wrong and fully earned the moniker “Camtastic.” Best hair, best work ethic, best heart.

9) Jacob Smith – One of only two Wolf track stars (Jon Chittim in 2006 is the other) to bring home four competitive medals from the same state track meet.

8) Ben Etzell – Only Wolf to win a league MVP award in the Cascade Conference (baseball), went to state in tennis, collected 249 bruises chasing basketballs.

7) Aaron Curtin – Went to state tennis tourney in both singles and doubles, splendid basketball player, ace baseball hurler.

6) Lathom Kelley – Frequent injuries were a pain, but dude could do anything, and do it all extremely well. A truly special athlete (when healthy) and a stand-up guy.

5) Wiley Hesselgrave – Ultimate throwback to old-school athletes who just went out, did their thing, then went home. No social media, just four years of kickin’ your fanny in football and basketball.

4) Jake Tumblin – The muddier the football field or baseball diamond, the faster he ran. He’s not stumblin’, he’s rumblin’.

3) Nick Streubel – “The Big Hurt” was a man among boys in football, basketball and track and field. The anchor of both gridiron lines, he got one chance to run with the ball at the end of his junior season, and promptly busted around the corner, where it took eight Chimacum defenders to finally bring him down, a mass of bodies disappearing into a sinkhole full of mud. The only guy to emerge still in one piece? The guy in the Wolf uniform.

2) Josh Bayne – “Awesome Joshsome” broke people in half on gridiron, inspiring coach Chris Tumblin to offer the immortal “Josh had one tackle on a receiver, folded him in half like a cheap hooker who was punched in the gut by her pimp. He had to sit out for awhile and wait for his liver to start working again.” Also a terror on the baseball diamond, where he’s the last Wolf to clear the CHS fence with a round-tripper.

Hunter Smith slices ‘n dices.

1) Hunter Smith – Two-time CHS Male Athlete of the Year, league MVP in baseball, owns seven CHS football records, torched basketball nets. Consistency, consistency, consistency, in everything he did.



25) Jae LeVine – The biggest heart of any athlete. Could have been miserable when life-long health issues forced her to give up basketball and volleyball. Instead, “Flash” held on to what was left, softball, becoming the ultimate spark-plug.

24) Kacie Kiel – Volleyball and basketball star who embraced every challenge with an epic smile. Hit one of the most cold-blooded buzzer-beating shots I’ve witnessed, forever destroying the psyche of an entire Sequim hoops team.

23) Payton Aparicio – Athlete of the Year winner, volleyball record-setter, tennis ace who made a great run at state tourney.

22) Lauren Rose – As solid as they come, “Mouse/Munchkin/Keebler Elf” was a volleyball, basketball and softball standout who was money from day one to her final swing.

21) Mia Littlejohn – Played like she was from Jersey, bumping and weaving and bobbing, then sticking the dagger in on both the soccer pitch and basketball court.

Maya Toomey-Stout, superstar rising.

20) ** Maya Toomey-Stout – The youngest athlete on our list, “The Gazelle” is the only female Wolf to qualify for the state track meet in four events in one year. Her volleyball spikes are teeth-rattling, basketball fans pray for her return, and, she seems a lock to shoot up these rankings in the next two years.

19) Allie Hanigan – Power and grace personified, a big hitter at the net in volleyball and an ace on the tennis court.

18) ** Kalia Littlejohn – A hot second away from being the CHS soccer career scoring leader, and (when she wants to be) a tornado unleashed on the basketball court.

17) ** Sarah Wright – In the argument for best Wolf softball player of all time, with a season left to really make her case. Toss in successful volleyball, soccer and basketball stints, and you have a natural born leader who combines power and skill with a giddy sense of humor.

16) Amanda Fabrizi – Volleyball standout who was severely underrated as a hoops supernova, tossing in that lil’ running hook time and again, then going full lock-down on defense.

15) Sylvia Hurlburt – Cheer captain and one of the best relay runners in the history of CHS track, a vital part of record-setting, medal-winning units.

14) McKayla Bailey – The Photo Bomb Queen, the best quote machine in the biz and also a dang good softball hurler who could bring the heat (and the power when she was hefting a bat) like few others.

13) Madison Tisa McPhee – A bolt of lightning on the track oval and in the horse-riding arena.

12) Hope Lodell – Record-setting ace machine in volleyball and a walkin’, talkin’ defensive web gem in softball. League MVP in volleyball, also wowed with her sideline gigs, walking everywhere while doing handstands, and ripping off pull-ups on the edge of the dugout during rain delays.

11) Lauren Grove – Promising volleyball player turned stellar soccer goalie. Basketball fireball who was a shut-down defender. A young woman who pointed at the track record board as a freshman, said, “I will be up there,” then backed it up in style.

Julia Myers, AKA “Elbows,” runnin’ the court.

10) Julia Myers – Overcame horrifying injuries to shine as a soccer, basketball and tennis star. “Elbows” was never better than when on the hardwood, attacking the boards and beatin’ the crud out of rivals, then quietly smirking as they crumbled in her wake.

9) Bessie Walstad – Miss Consistency, an absolute rock who anchored volleyball, basketball and softball teams for four years.

8) Hailey Hammer – 12 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. Capped prep career with movie-like, game-winning double into the fading sun on the prairie in final at-bat.

7) Valen Trujillo – Cartwheeling after runaway volleyballs or chasing down tennis balls into the corner, a beast of an athlete, who always remained the epitome of class. If she didn’t give up basketball after middle school, she might be #2 on this list.

6) Katrina McGranahan – League MVP in two different sports (volleyball, softball). Might have been three, if she had stayed with basketball.

5) ** Lindsey Roberts – Highest-ranked active player. As she enters senior season, the soccer/basketball/track sensation is coming for all the records. All of them.

4) Mikayla Elfrank – She cranked a home run to dead center field in Sequim, denting a carnival ride behind the fence, and just about killed a girl in volleyball with a spike off the face.

3) Breeanna Messner – Team, team, team —  she lived and breathed that mantra through volleyball, basketball, softball and cheer.

2) Madeline Strasburg – “Maddie Big Time” once hit the exact same basketball shot from the exact same spot — a buzzer-beating, running three-ball from just inside the half court-line, banking the ball home to end the third quarter — in back-to-back games, a week-and-a-half apart.

Makana Stone, best I’ve ever seen. (Sylvia Hurlburt photo)

1) Makana Stone — Soccer, basketball or track, there’s never been anything like her. Most-electrifying, jaw-dropping, compassionate killer of an athlete I have covered in 28 years of writing about sports, girl or boy, and it’s not even remotely close.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone (left), on tour with an all-star basketball team in Brazil, poses with a local player. (Photos courtesy Stone)

Team USA, ready to rumble on foreign soil.

Visiting the world-famous, 125-foot high, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio.

Stone, who will be a junior at Whitman College, reps her Team USA colors.

Basketball has been very, very good to Makana Stone.

The hoops life has taken the Coupeville grad around the world, with a big highlight being a trip to Brazil that’s just wrapping up.

Stone, a junior at Whitman College, was picked to be part of a 10-player USA D-III women’s basketball team.

She and her teammates played four games in Brazil, facing off with squads from Jundiai, Santa Andre, Queimados and Fluminese.

The second of those four rivals was a pro team.

For Stone, who was an All-League First-Team pick during her sophomore season at Whitman, the trip has been everything she expected, and more.

“It has been a once in a lifetime experience!,” she said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play with some of the USA and Brazil’s best players.

“The talent out here is unreal,” Stone added. “I’m thankful to have been able to have the chance to play with and against it.”

While on the trip, the Team USA players (a men’s squad joined Stone and Co. on the road) got to experience the culture and food of Brazil.

They also had an opportunity to work with the next generation of hoops stars, something Stone loved.

“One of my favorite parts of this trip was being able to hold a clinic for Brazilian kids in Rio,” she said.

The act of putting the ball in the hoop bridged any gaps between people from different countries.

“There was a bit of a language barrier and they laughed at my attempts to use Portuguese,” Stone said with a chuckle.

“But, there’s really nothing like making new friends through a little basketball on the streets of Rio!”

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone is off to Brazil as part of an all-star basketball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Basketball has carried Makana Stone from Cow Town to Brazil.

The Coupeville High School grad, who has spent the past two seasons ripping up the floor at Whitman College, has been tabbed to join the USA D-III Women’s Basketball Team.

As a member of the 10-player squad, Stone is jetting off to Brazil and will be overseas July 16-25, playing four games while there.

The trip, set up by USA Sports Tours and Events, has American women and men’s teams playing games against Jundiai, Santa Andre, Queimados and Fluminese.

The Santa Andre women’s squad is a pro team.

When they’re not playing and practicing, the USA hoops teams will have a chance to experience everything Brazil has to offer.

The players will visit schools and sports clubs, and will have a chance to see the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Stone, who is entering her junior year at Whitman, is the lone player on the tour to hail from Washington state.

The women’s team includes athletes from nine states and a variety of colleges, and will be led by coaches from Luther College in Iowa.

Stone is coming off a sophomore season in which she torched the nets for 12.3 points a game, snatched 7.2 boards a night and was named a First-Team All-Conference pick by the Northwest Conference.

Whitman has advanced to the NCAA tourney in both of her seasons, piling up a 48-10 record in her time in Walla Walla.

While growing up in Coupeville, playing soccer and basketball and running track, Stone put together one of the best individual prep sports careers the town has seen.

A two-time CHS Female Athlete of the Year (who should have been at least a three-timer and I will never stop arguing she was robbed as a freshman), she finished as the #3 scorer in Wolf girls basketball history.

Stone also has the most state meet medals of any Wolf female track competitor, and kicked off her high school career by winning her first 28 races – the best streak in the history of CHS.

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   Makana Stone capped her sophomore season at Whitman Friday, tossing in six points and grabbing seven rebounds in a playoff loss. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The dream died at the free throw line.

East Texas Baptist University scored the game’s final seven points on charity shots Friday, turning a one-point deficit into a 65-59 win over Whitman College.

The loss, coming in a first round game at the NCAA D-III women’s national championship tourney in Richardson, Texas, ended the season for the Blues and their stellar sophomore, Makana Stone.

The Coupeville grad went for six points, seven boards and two assists, including a gorgeous pass to set up Emily Rommel for a key bucket in the final two minutes.

Snagging a pass deep in the paint, Stone shoveled the ball under the defense to her senior running mate, who knocked down a bank shot to knot the game at 58-58.

When senior Casey Poe drained a free throw at the 1:22 mark, Whitman took its final lead, but couldn’t hold on.

Unable to net a field goal in the final minute and 45 seconds, and unable to score at all after Poe’s free throw, the Blues had to foul, and East Texas made them pay.

Erin Meeks, who entered the night shooting an ice-cold 44% from the free throw line, netted four straight in the final minute, giving her a season-best 7-8 performance at the stripe.

Add two freebies each for Madison McCoy and Kim Childress, and the Tigers (23-6) advanced to play in the regional final Saturday night.

Whitman, which made a run to the Elite Eight last season, closed at 22-5.

After ripping off 21 straight wins at one point this season, the Blues struggled down the stretch, losing four of their final five games.

Poe, the Northwest Conference player of the year, had a very off night Friday, with her only point being her late-game free throw.

She averaged 17 a night during the season.

Making up for things a bit was sophomore Mady Burdett, who knocked down four balls from behind the three-point arc in the first quarter alone.

She finished with eight treys, helping Whitman hold a 9-0 advantage in that shooting category, and scored a college career-high 24 points.

While the Blues were hot from the outside, East Texas went inside time and again, and ended with a staggering advantage at the free throw line.

The Tigers netted 23-26 at the stripe, while Whitman was 6-10.

The game was a prime slice of March Madness, as the teams exchanged leads for much of the night.

Up 19-17 after one quarter (Stone fed Maegan Martin for the three-points-the-hard-way play which gave Whitman the lead), the Blues stretched it to 33-27 at halftime.

East Texas, with the support of the local crowd, surged 19-13 in the third quarter to knot the game at 46-46 headed into the final quarter.

Twice the Tigers started to threaten to pull away and twice Burdett dropped treys to get Whitman back in things, before she and her teammates went cold at the end.

The game closed a very strong season for Coupeville’s finest, as Stone finished with 332 points, 194 rebounds, 52 assists, five blocks and 18 steals.

She shot a very-strong 51.2% from the floor (140-273) and 76.5% from the line (52-68).

A First-Team All-Conference pick this year, she was Whitman’s #1 rebounder and #2 scorer.

Whitman, which loses captains Poe, Rommel and Sierra McGarity to graduation, has gone 48-10 during Stone’s first two seasons.

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