Posts Tagged ‘Mason Grove’

Mason Grove, here to entertain. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove would make Alexander Hamilton proud, cause the former Wolf never, ever threw away his shot.

Instead, the 2020 CHS grad spent most of his days in the red and black making the net jump, three-ball after three-ball falling from the skies.

Grove feared no rival on the hardwood, and played basketball in the style of a Damian Lillard, letting fly from any angle, any spot on the floor, at any point in the game.

From a scrappy, undersized youngster to a confident elder statesmen and team leader, his journey on the basketball court was a thrilling one to watch for hoops fans.

Not that Grove was a one-sport guy, as he also excelled on the tennis courts and baseball diamond.

Grove always seemed to enjoy his time as an athlete, even after a collision with teammate Matt Hilborn left him with a smashed-up nose. (Chris Smith photo)

He made an especially-strong case for himself with a racket in hand, where he meshed often dynamic shot-making skills with a nice bit of attitude.

Paired up with James Wood, Grove was a top doubles ace for Ken Stange’s Wolf tennis squads, and the duo thrived in the spotlight of being Coupeville’s #1 team.

But, while he was a jack of all trades on the baseball diamond, and a throwback to a better, grittier time on the tennis court — unlike most modern players, Grove wasn’t afraid to drill a rival player with the ball, something which makes ’80s tennis players such as myself nod in approval — it’s basketball which dominates his resume.

“You will not score! I will … a lot … but you won’t!!” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Grove loved to shoot, and, while he developed as an attacker as he matured, getting to the free throw line more often, the three-ball was his prime weapon.

His shot was always a little bit different than a lot of other players, as he would rear back and fling the ball from over his shoulder.

And it worked, big time.

Since he snapped off his shots, Grove almost always got the ball up before defenders could adjust, and the resulting heaves were rainbows caressing the roof of the gym.

When he got hot, it seemed like he would never miss, shot after shot rippling the net, while Grove, slight smirk hiding behind his mouth guard, ambled away like a gunfighter after another successful shoot-out at high noon.

Early in his CHS hoops career, he was on pace to be the highest-scoring JV player the Wolf boys program had ever seen.

In one game against Port Townsend, Grove rained down 10 three-balls on his way to 34 points, and the only reason he didn’t catch Allen Black for the single-season JV scoring mark was because his JV playing time became limited as varsity coach Brad Sherman started using him as a go-to gunner.

Once he made his mark at the varsity level, immediately stroking long-range shots and opening space for older teammate Hunter Smith to rumble, Grove never looked back.

He was the #6 scorer on the varsity team as a sophomore, despite playing in just a handful of minutes, then jumped to #3 as a junior and #1 during his senior season.

When he walked off the court for the final time at CHS, after a season and prep career-ending playoff loss, Grove had rung up 414 points in varsity games, which puts him #54 all-time for a program which has played for 103 seasons.

And the numbers are nice, definitely.

But it’s how he played which fans will remember.

In all of his sports, Grove was just flat-out entertaining, capable and willing of putting on a show.

He always got the most out of his talent, and seemed to enjoy every moment he had on a court or field.

So, for the numbers, and for the style, and for the way he would stand off to the side, talking and smiling with a rival player, while free throws were being shot, and then, bam, two seconds later, drill a three-ball right in that guy’s face, he joins big sis Lauren in the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

After this, you’ll find the duo up at the top of the blog, hanging out under the Legends tab.

Right where they belong.

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Gavin Knoblich and the Coupeville High School varsity boys hoops squad host a playoff game Saturday. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re coming home.

A narrow loss at Sultan Tuesday night in the regular-season finale means the Coupeville High School boys varsity basketball squad will open the playoffs on their own court.

Despite 23 points from senior sniper Mason Grove, the Wolves fell 66-59 to the Turks in a game which decided the #4 and #5 playoff seeds from the North Sound Conference.

Coupeville finished league play at 2-7, a game off of Sultan, which swept the season series from the Wolves to go 3-6.

As a #4 seed, CHS would have advanced straight away to the double-elimination portion of the district playoffs.

Instead, as a #5 seed, the Wolves, who sit at 6-12 overall, will host Mount Baker, the #4 seed from the Northwest Conference, in a loser-out play-in game.

That rumble goes down Saturday, February 8, with tip-off set for 7 PM.

Mount Baker is 5-14 with one regular-season game left to play, but the Mountaineers play in a 1A/2A/3A league, which tends to skew records a bit.

Win Saturday, and the Wolves move on to play games Feb. 10 and 12.

To see the playoff bracket, pop over to:


Coming off an emotional Senior Night win over Granite Falls in which it punched its playoff ticket, Coupeville was looking for a bit of revenge against Sultan.

The first time around, the Wolves led for much of the game, before falling by five.

This time out, CHS stayed close, but couldn’t get over the hump.

Grove nailed the first two of his game-high seven three-balls in the opening quarter, while fellow backcourt gunner Hawthorne Wolfe added four points, but Coupeville trailed 17-13 at the first break.

From there, Sultan, which got double-digits scoring from three players, stretched the lead to 32-26 at the half, clung to a 52-47 advantage after three quarters, and held on for the crucial win.

While the Turks got 42 points combined from the trio of Austin Wood (16), Tyler Sargent (14), and Jeremy John (12), Coupeville’s big three virtually matched them.

Grove, who hit at least one three-ball in every quarter as he put up 23, was backed by sophomores Xavier Murdy (9) and Wolfe (8).

Sean Toomey-Stout (4), Gavin Knoblich (4), Koa Davison (4), Jered Brown (3), Jacobi Pilgrim (2), and Ulrik Wells (2) also scored, as every Wolf to hit the floor put the ball through the hoop.

It was a milestone night for Grove, as the senior cracked the 400-point club.

Heading into his final playoff run, he has 405 points, putting him #57 on the CHS boys hoops career scoring list, which stretches across 103 seasons.

Wolfe is just a three-ball away from joining his older teammate in the club, and his 397 points has him sitting #59 all-time.

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Mason Grove pumped in a team-best 20 points Tuesday night, pacing the Coupeville varsity in its battle with South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, that was something.

In a game which featured three technical fouls called on a South Whidbey squad which seemed to do an awful lot of whining, the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball team showed grit and passion Tuesday, but couldn’t overcome a substantial height disadvantage.

The Falcons, who feature four players between 6-foot-7 and 6’4, are a talented team, and they showed it, earning a season sweep of the Wolves with a 76-65 win.

The victory lifts South Whidbey to 6-1 in North Sound Conference play, 14-3 overall, headed into a Friday tango with King’s (6-0, 10-9).

The Knights, whose record is deceptive, as the 1A state title contenders have spent the season playing a ton of 3A and 4A schools, ran the Falcons off the floor the first time they met, crushing them 78-45.

Win Friday to seal a perfect league mark, and King’s will give South Whidbey plenty more to kvetch about.

Coupeville, which sits at 1-6 in league play, 5-11 overall, is in a battle with Sultan (2-5, 4-13) and Granite Falls (1-6, 3-15) for the #4 and #5 playoff seeds from the NSC.

The Wolves welcome Granite to town Friday, then travel to Sultan Feb. 4 for the season finale.

Tuesday’s battle for Whidbey produced some stellar basketball, liberally mixed with some hard fouls, though the technical fouls came not for scrappiness, but for South Whidbey’s apparent love of flapping its gums.

Not to make too much out of things, but we’re 92% into the season, and no collection of players that I’ve seen this year has spent so much time complaining, making faces, whispering sweet nothings at the refs out of the side of their mouths, and losing their cool on what seemed like EVERY SINGLE PLAY.

Big props to Dexter Jokinen, South Whidbey’s senior guard, who played with great intensity, but took calls good and bad in stride, merely nodding his head and quickly moving on to gutting the Wolves.

Maybe it was a one-night thing. Maybe not.

I’ve only see the Falcons play once this season, since I was sick the first time they played Coupeville in Langley, but good lord, if you’re going to make a solid playoff run and represent Whidbey, you all need to suck it up, buttercups.

You crack like this against a scrappy underdog team, you are going to implode when you face a Lynden Christian.

Come on, be like Jokinen. That dude gets it.

Anyways, let the hate mail flow I guess, Falcon faithful. It’s been a hot moment or two since I managed to tick off the South end of the Island.

The game itself, in between the frequent freak-outs, was your usual intense Island rivalry clash.

South Whidbey has talent, and can sting you from multiple directions, whether it’s Sterling Patton raining three-balls or Carson Wrightson roaring through the paint and finishing with a nasty two-handed dunk.

Coupeville responded in the early going with a couple of quick buckets from senior Mason Grove, who nailed his own trey, before slapping home a layup off of a dish from sophomore Xavier Murdy.

After that, X marked the spot, as the now healthy and ready to rumble CHS young gun ripped off his team’s next 10 points.

Showing off his rapidly-developing skill set, Murdy got his points in a variety of ways, hitting from range while also crashing hard to the hoop for three-point plays the hard way.

Tack on a couple of free throws from Jacobi Pilgrim and Jered Brown, then another Grove three-ball, with this one set up by a kick-out from Ulrik Wells, and the Wolves led 21-20 at the first break.

It was a huge change from the first time these teams met, when Coupeville fell behind 14-0 in a hail of turnovers.

CHS continued to fight hard through the second quarter, but the Falcons closed the half on a 9-4 run, stretching a three-point margin out to eight at 43-35.

A little runner in the paint from Hawthorne Wolfe to open the third quarter had thoughts of a comeback in the air, but then South Whidbey asserted its dominance to make things tougher.

Despite missing six consecutive free throws during the run, the Falcons put together a 9-0 surge to put the lead into double-digits for the first time.

Coupeville actually outscored the visitors 28-24 the rest of the way, but the damage was done, as the Wolves were unable to get all the way back.

Coming down the back stretch, they did get a ferocious block from Pilgrim, who caught a Falcon shooter just as he came off the floor, then rejected the ball off the back wall to loud applause from the Wolf student section.

“We put up a great, hard-fought effort against a tough basketball team,” said Coupeville coach Brad Sherman.

“This team really does not ever quit,” he added. “They kept scrapping and stopped several runs when they could have been blown out.”

Grove finished the game with a team-high 20 points, while Nick Young paced the Falcons with 21.

Koa Davison, who played strongly down low in the paint, banged home 11 to match Murdy, with Sean Toomey-Stout (7), Wolfe (5), Wells (4), Gavin Knoblich (4), Brown (2), and Pilgrim (1) also scoring.

Jean Lund-Olsen also saw floor time for CHS.

Coupeville’s top scorers this season, Wolfe and Grove, continue to climb the program’s career scoring chart.

Wolfe, a sophomore, has 371 points as a prep player, and jumped from #67 to #64 all-time Tuesday, passing Ray Harvey (368), Caesar Kortuem (369), and Ty Blouin (369).

His senior teammate scaled six players with his 20-point night, moving from #74 to #68 on a list which covers 103 seasons of CHS hoops action.

Grove sits with 361 career points, having passed former Coupeville greats like Pat Brown and Glenn Losey.

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Chris Ruck was one of eight JV players to score Tuesday night against always-tough King’s. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove hit four treys as part of a team-high 14 points in the varsity game.

And we shall never see you again.

With Coupeville High School finally being granted a chance to return to 2B status starting next school year, the chances the Wolves will play private school power King’s in coming seasons is extremely limited.

Tuesday night the CHS boys basketball teams made the trip to Shoreline for their farewell tour, absorbing three more losses to one of the state’s premier hoops programs.

Instead of rehashing it all across three articles, we’re going to compress it into one, and then move on, with the Knights in our rearview mirrors.

At least in this sport, since the Coupeville girls basketball teams make their final trip to Shoreline Jan. 28, and then there’s spring sports.

But soon, very soon.

So, about tonight…



King’s is playing for nothing less than a state title this season.

Featuring a power-packed team that can kill you inside or outside, the Knights convinced most of the North Sound Conference teams to only play them once, and not twice.

With extra spots open on the schedule, the private school juggernauts added 2A and 3A schools to the mix, and went to Arizona for a big-time holiday tourney.

So, while King’s might be just 9-8 on the season (5-0 in league play), it’s a very-deceptive win-loss record.

Tuesday night went about as expected, as six-foot-seven sophomore sensation Tyler Linhardt pumped in 27 points across the first three quarters and King’s rolled to an 81-29 win.

The loss drops Coupeville to 1-4 in league action, 4-9 overall, though Wolf coach Brad Sherman emerged from the game with a positive mindset.

“We fought hard against a very, very tough team,” he said. “Proud of the effort, attitude, and fight in our guys.

“Ready to get back to work tomorrow. Still a lot of season left!”

Coupeville, which is still very much in the fight for either the 4th or 5th playoff seed from the NSC, has five regular-season games left, starting with a trip Friday to Bothell to play Cedar Park Christian.

Tuesday night the Wolves fell behind 20-6 after one quarter, then got roughed up 27-0 in the second frame.

The second half was much better, as CHS stayed competitive through the game’s final 16 minutes.

Mason Grove paced Coupeville with 14 points, all after the break, including hitting four three-balls.

His support crew included Hawthorne Wolfe (7), Koa Davison (2), Sean Toomey-Stout (2), Jacobi Pilgrim (2), and Gavin Knoblich (2), while Jered Brown, Jean Lund-Olsen, and Xavier Murdy all saw floor time.

Not to be lost in the defeat were personal milestones for three Wolf players.

Pilgrim’s bucket gives him exactly 100 points for his prep career, making him the 186th CHS boy to reach triple digits in 103 seasons of hoops action.

While the senior big man was notching that honor, backcourt gunners Grove and Wolfe continued their assault on the career scoring chart.

Grove, a senior, now sits with 321 points, and he moved from #90 to #85 all-time Tuesday, passing five former Coupeville players, ranging from old school star Bob Rea to recent alumni Gabe Wynn and Nick Streubel.

Meanwhile, Wolfe, just a sophomore, now has 335 points, and he broke out of a three-way tie with Brad Brown and Charlie Tessaro at #78, then passed Aaron Trumbull (330) and Jim Yake (331) to land at #76 on the career chart.



A four-game winning streak came to a stop for Coupeville, as Chris Smith’s squad fell 62-30.

Even with the loss, the Wolves are still sitting strong at 4-1 in league, 8-4 overall.

King’s jumped out to an 18-7 lead, then steadily added to the margin, until CHS fought the Knights to an 8-8 standstill in the fourth quarter.

Logan Martin and Sage Downes were twins on the night, both scoring a team-high eight points, while also both netting a pair of three-balls.

Also scoring for Coupeville were TJ Rickner (4), Grady Rickner (3), Chris Ruck (2), Alex Murdy (2), Chris Cernick (2), and Daniel Olson (1).

Alex Jimenez, Miles Davidson, Andrew Aparicio, and Cody Roberts rounded out the roster, all seeing floor time for the Wolves.



Improvement was the key word.

Despite playing without starters Ty Hamilton and Ben Smith, the young Wolves increased their scoring total seven times from last season.

Back then, CHS fell 60-3, while Tuesday night, it hung tough in a 63-21 loss.

The defeat drops Coupeville to 0-4 in league play, 1-7 overall.

Freshman Dominic Coffman spurred the much-improved offensive attack, rattling home a team-high nine points, while Brayden Coatney added six.

Coen Killian and Alex Wasik both dropped three-balls to round out the scoring, with Coffman also hitting on a shot from behind the arc.

Josh Upchurch, Caleb Sonntag, and Nick Armstrong also saw floor time for Patrick Upchurch’s squad.

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Jacobi Pilgrim fought hard Monday, but Coupeville’s varsity struggled against a hot-shooting Cedar Park Christian squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s hard to win when the other team refuses to miss a shot.

Give Cedar Park Christian credit, cause they shot the lights out Monday, rattling home buckets from every direction imaginable as they roared past the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball squad.

By the time the Eagles boarded the bus for the trip back to Bothell, they had an 87-44 win and Wolf coach Brad Sherman had a case of angina.

“They’re one of the harder teams to game plan for,” he said with a small shake of his head as he perused the scorebook. “They just have so many weapons that can beat you.”

The Eagles finished the night with five players having reached double digits in scoring, led by a game-high 21 from Justin Trout.

There were three-balls, yes, with CPC outgunning Coupeville 7-4 from behind the arc, but the visitors also knocked down mid-range jumpers in great, greasy gobs, and were nearly flawless on quick cuts to the hoop.

With the loss, the Wolves fall to 1-3 in North Sound Conference play, 4-8 overall, and things don’t necessarily get any easier.

Coupeville travels to Shoreline Tuesday to face league leader King’s, then gets a rematch with Cedar Park Friday in Bothell.

The Wolves wrap a busy week Saturday with a home non-conference matchup with Port Townsend.

Monday’s tilt was essentially over before the first quarter ended, as Cedar Park came out blazing, rolling to a 19-2 lead.

At that point CHS had just a Hawthorne Wolfe bucket to claim as its own, and while the basket came courtesy a nice runner in the paint, it wasn’t enough to stem the tide.

Coupeville got a small run going right before the break, with Koa Davison hitting a hook shot off of an offensive board, before Xavier Murdy got three points the hard way. Still, it trailed 21-7 at the first break.

The second quarter was the sweet spot for the Wolves, however.

Or, at least, semi-sweet.

Shots started dropping, with Mason Grove heating up from the outside, and Wolfe crashing hard to the hoop, but any real hopes of a rally were blunted by Cedar Park matching CHS shot for shot, and then some.

Grove was on fire, nailing four three-balls as he rang up 14 points in the frame, while his younger running partner slapped in seven points, but Coupeville was still outscored 26-21 in the quarter.

The Wolves pulled within 13 late in the second quarter, but Cedar Park closed the half with a fast five points, then went wild to open the third, ringing up 16 straight to put things way out of reach.

Coupeville continued to scrap down the stretch, but as long as the Eagles couldn’t miss, Wolf fans had to look to small moments to get their pleasure.

One came in the fourth, when Jacobi Pilgrim banked home a bucket while being banged in the face, then added a free throw to complete a three-point play.

Grove finished with a team-high 16 points, while Wolfe singed the nets for 12.

Both CHS sharpshooters continue to charge up the school’s career scoring chart, with Wolfe bouncing from #86 all-time to a tie with Brad Brown and Charlie Tessaro for #78.

The sophomore guard has 328 career points, while Grove, a senior, joined the 300-point club Monday, and now sits at #90 with 307 points.

Murdy pumped in five points Monday to back up the dynamic duo, while Davison (4), Pilgrim (3), Gavin Knoblich (2), and Jered Brown (2) also scored.

Rounding out the active roster were Jean Lund-Olsen, Sean Toomey-Stout, and Daniel Olson, who all saw floor time.

Toomey-Stout was hobbled all night by refs with super-quick whistles, but when the guys in the stripes let him play, the ever-springy one was his usual ferocious self on the boards.

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