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Posts Tagged ‘Mollie Bailey’

Coupeville goaltender Mollie Bailey recorded a shutout Tuesday, lifting the Wolves to a crucial 1-0 win at home against Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sultan tried to get rough, but Coupeville is too tough.

Avalon Renninger bled for her team, Nezi Keiper made a rival lose her cool, and Mallory Kortuem proved stronger than the prairie wind, and now the Wolf girls soccer squad is back in the playoff hunt.

Pulling out a 1-0 win against visiting Sultan Tuesday, Coupeville finally broke into the win column after several close calls.

Buffeted by injuries to key players, the Wolves have been better than their 1-9-2 record might indicate.

And now, with the shutout victory against the Turks, Coupeville moves into a tie with Sultan at 1-6 in North Sound Conference play.

With three games left in the regular season, South Whidbey (7-0, 11-0-1) and King’s (6-1, 9-4) are chasing a league title, while Cedar Park Christian (3-4, 6-5) and Granite Falls (3-4, 6-6) are holding steady in the middle of the six-team league.

Five teams make the playoffs, and Coupeville has a slightly easier schedule than Sultan, which plays South Whidbey, King’s, and CPC to wrap up things.

The Wolves travel to CPC Thursday, make a short trip to South Whidbey next Monday, then close at home Wednesday, Oct. 23 against Granite Falls.

If CHS and Sultan remain deadlocked eight days from now, the teams will play a tiebreaker game Oct. 24, and it will be at Coupeville’s Mickey Clark Field.

The #5 seed from the NSC hosts a district play-in game Oct. 26 against the #4 seed from the Northwest Conference, which is currently an 0-12 Mount Baker team.

For their part, the Wolf players would prefer to punch their playoff ticket without having to go through Sultan again, which took the first meeting by a similar 1-0 score.

“I don’t really want to see them anymore,” said freshman Nezi Keiper. “I’m fine if we don’t have to play them again.”

Having already witnessed Renninger bleed on the field after taking an elbow to the nose Tuesday, Keiper, fellow defender Carolyn Lhamon, and goaltender Mollie Bailey shared a laugh about something else late in the game.

At which point a frustrated Turk glared at Keiper and blurted, “It’ll be funny when I punch you in the face.”

To which I say, you picked the wrong Wolf to try and buffalo.

Keiper is a former football lineman, who bench presses 700 pounds and eats nails for breakfast.

Well, at least the first of those three things is true, but she’s also not a player likely to get pushed around on the field anytime soon, under any conditions.

With Keiper and Lhamon, and senior captain Tia Wurzrainer anchoring the defense, the Wolves kept the Turks from mounting much of an attack.

Playing with the wind in the second half, Sultan finally pushed the ball onto the other side of the field, but Bailey was there to meet them with open arms (which collected all their shots).

Sultan’s best scoring opportunity came late in stoppage time, that magical slice of the clock where only the lead ref knows how many ticks of the clock are truly left in the game.

Desperate to get a tying score, the Turks were handed a golden opportunity, awarded a free kick at the 40-yard line.

The ball was mashed on a line, with the wind flowing behind the wobbly orb, but Bailey laughed one final time, stepping in front of the shot, bouncing slightly off the ground, and snaring the incoming missile.

That closed a battle of wills, a donnybrook where the Wolves proved to be the better team on almost every play.

Coupeville had 1,001 shots on goal in the first half, but Sultan net-minder Amanda McKay played inspired ball, deflecting each Wolf attack with precision.

Renninger had a great scoring opportunity, as did Lhamon, as did Sophia Martin, as did Anna Dion, as did Lhamon again, as did Kortuem several times, as did Wurzrainer, unloading a laser from midfield.

Each time McKay was exactly where she needed to be at the very last second, and, even playing with the Whidbey wind gunning for her face, she carried Sultan into the locker room with a scoreless tie intact.

One of her teammates wasn’t quite as lucky, as she dodged the wind only to take a soccer ball to the face from three paces.

Staggered but unbowed, the Turk wobbled, weaved, then kept on playing.

Much like Renninger, the pluckiest of plucky players, the calm, cool, and eternally serene captain who got crunched in the face (fairly accidentally it seemed), and added her blood to the mix of fluids to decorate the Coupeville pitch over the years.

“I thought it was snot,” she told her dad after the game, as she moved her nose gingerly. “It was NOT!!”

Still, Renninger proved why she is among the most-revered of all Wolf athletes, anchoring her squad through the facial pain.

Afterwards, as she headed for the parking lot, her voice a mix of tiredness, pain, and pride, she remarked, “Yep, going home and doing some homework and getting some sleep. Maybe just some sleep … sleep sounds good.”

Making sure Renninger’s dreams will be pleasant, Kortuem went toe-to-toe with the breeze which kept the fans in the stands bouncing around to stay warm.

Slashing through defenders, the ball on her foot, Coupeville’s speed demon cranked a wicked shot through the wind, narrowly slipping it past the outstretched fingers of McKay and into the back of the net.

Her first goal of the season, and fifth of her career, Kortuem’s crowd-pleaser came with 24 minutes to play in the game, and would be all the Wolf defense needed to secure the win.

Afterwards, as his players bounced around, awash in their celebration (and not being punched in the face), CHS coach Kyle Nelson surveyed the scene and smiled.

“A well-deserved victory,” he said. “The defense did a nice job and adjusted with the wind, doing all the right things we talked about.”

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CHS sophomore Chelsea Prescott smacked three hits, including a triple, and made a sensational defensive play Friday in a close loss to Lynden Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They filled up the highlight reel.

Three different Coupeville High School softball players pulled off sensational defensive plays Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple perennial power Lynden Christian.

Despite web gems from Mollie Bailey, Mackenzie Davis, and Chelsea Prescott, the Wolves fell just short, dropping a 9-6 non-league decision on the road.

The loss evens Coupeville’s early-season record at 1-1, heading into a doubleheader Saturday at Oak Harbor High School.

The 1A Wolves face 2A Lakewood at 11 AM, then return to the field at 3 PM for a Island rivalry showdown with their 3A hosts.

Friday, CHS jumped on Lynden early, scraping together a run in the top of the first thanks to the fleet feet of Emma Mathusek and the hot bats of Prescott and Sarah Wright.

Mathusek got things started by ripping a shot to third base, then using her go-go wheels to make the Lync fielder come up with the ball too quickly.

The ball was juggled, the throw was low, and the Wolf junior shot across the bag a step ahead of the incoming orb, earning a big cheer from first-base coach Ron Wright.

Coupeville’s sluggers took over from that point, with Prescott rifling a single into center, before Wright whacked an RBI single to virtually the same spot on the field.

Lynden Christian’s hurler escaped, tossing back-to-back strikeouts after that, but some damage was done.

Wolf freshman hurler Izzy Wells started strongly in the bottom of the first, whiffing a pair of Lyncs, and getting the first of the day’s three web gems from her defense.

This time it was Bailey at third, who almost had her head taken off by a line-drive from Lynden’s lead-off hitter.

The ball came screaming down the line, but the ever-easy-going Bailey snapped her mitt in front of her face at the very last millisecond, snagging the frozen rope, then nonchalantly flipping the ball back to her pitcher.

While she didn’t seem overly-impressed with herself, the play made her coach jump to attention.

Mollie caught a life-saving hard line, and then we had to restart her heart,” CHS coach Kevin McGranahan said with a small chuckle.

Despite the great snag, Lynden got on the board in the bottom of the first, thanks to a high looping ball that dropped into the gap behind short, plating the tying runner.

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the third, and part of that was due to the second Wolf web gem.

Lynden’s lead-off hitter in the second smoked a shot into right which had extra bases written all over it, but Davis was having none of those shenanigans.

Charging the ball, she snagged the rapidly-sinking liner an inch off the ground, her mitt mowing the grass as she kept moving forward.

To the amazement of everyone in attendance, the ball stayed in her mitt, Davis stayed on her feet, even while churning across the turf, and the Lync batter could do little more than throw her hands in the air in frustration and amazement as the field ump emphatically punched the air to signal an out.

The tie was finally broken thanks to the one bad inning Coupeville endured.

Lynden put together four hits, and took advantage of a few bobbled balls, to pile up five runs in the bottom of the third, threatening to blow the game open.

Prescott finally snuffed out the rally with a pair of strong defensive plays.

The first was the eye-opener, as the Wolf shortstop pulled in a throw from Mathusek after a long RBI double to center, then alertly whirled and lunged backwards, slapping the tag on the incoming Lync as she came around the base a step too far.

That heads-up play blunted the Lynden rally, and then Prescott gunned down the next hitter, going into the hole, then coming up with a laser to CHS first-baseman Veronica Crownover to end the inning.

Down 6-1 at that point, the Wolves gave up another run in the fourth inning, before launching a comeback rally in the top of the fifth.

Coupeville’s first six batters reached base, with four scoring, thanks to some timely hits and a rare Lynden brain freeze.

Mathusek and Prescott kicked things off with singles, before Wright smashed an RBI base-knock back up the middle.

The Lyncs got helpful on the next batter, when their shortstop straight up muffed a play on a blooper off of Bailey’s bat.

It looked like the fielder was going to pull in the ball while it was still airborne, freezing the Wolf runners to their bags.

When the Lync failed to hold on to the ball, that left everyone scrambling at the last second.

In the heat of the moment, Lynden, instead of getting the easy force at second base, which was three inches from where the ball landed, tried to gun down Prescott heading for third.

It didn’t work, as the Wolf sophomore stretched out her quads in a hurry, then lunged under the tag.

With Lynden suddenly flustered, Coupeville took advantage, striking with a quick one-two combo.

Crownover belted a ball off of the right fielder’s glove to plate a run, then Davis lashed a two-run single to get her dugout really jumping.

Back to within 7-5, with two runners on and no outs, the Wolves sent Lync fans into a panic.

Unfortunately, the audible prayers of the Lynden faithful were answered, as their squad escaped thanks to a bang-bang double-play and a strikeout.

The two teams exchanged runs from there, with the home sluggers notching a single run in both the fifth and sixth, while Coupeville got one more back in its half of the sixth.

That final Wolf run came courtesy of a two-out rally, with Prescott launching a moon shot to right field, then sliding under the tag for a triple.

A pitch later, Wright smashed another RBI single, skipping to second when the ball was bobbled.

Coupeville’s last best hope ended a few feet short of nirvana, however, as Bailey’s ensuing blast to left was tracked down and caught.

Despite a one-two-three top of the seventh, McGranahan came away pleased with much of what he saw from his team in a road game against a school which regularly advances to the state tourney.

“Well, little errors got us today,” he said. “It was still a good game; there were a lot of positives to take away.

“If we clean it up we will be fine,” McGranahan added. “Young team making young team errors. It is only game two of a long season. No need to panic.”

Wright paced Coupeville, collecting four singles and three RBI in four trips to the plate, while Prescott racked up a triple, two singles, and a walk.

Mathusek, Crownover, and Davis also had base-knocks, while Coral Caveness eked out a base on balls.

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Kylie Van Velkinburgh had six points and two blocks Friday as the Wolf JV closed its season with a road victory. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

After beating Granite Falls, the young guns finished 9-7, best record of any CHS hoops team this season. (Amy King photo)

Best record in town.

Kicking off a four-games-on-one-court evening Friday at Granite Falls, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team got things going with a jolt.

Riding a game-winning three-ball in the final seconds from Mollie Bailey, the Wolves escaped with a 29-27 win, got a sweet bit of revenge, and capped a winning season.

The victory, which was payback for a loss to Granite earlier in the season, allows the JV to close at 5-3 in North Sound Conference play, 9-7 overall.

Despite playing less games than Coupeville’s other squads, thanks to Cedar Park Christian not having a girls JV team, the Wolf young guns have the most wins, and the highest winning percentage, of any CHS hoops team this winter.

The finale was a nice cap to another season under long-time Wolf basketball whisperer Amy King, who got her team going with a small challenge.

“Four games back-to-back (on the same court). I told the JV girls, who had the first game of the night, that their game would set the tone for the rest of the evening.

“And the battle began.”

The two teams went back and forth, exchanging big buckets and ferocious defensive stops all night.

Anya Leavell banked in a three-ball in the opening quarter, one of her two on the night, but the Wolves trailed 9-8 at the first break.

“We pressed, we got some steals, but struggled against their two posts, who used a high-low offense when possible for easy baskets,” King said. “We ran our offenses, got great steals – blocked and just worked together all night.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh had some key blocks and hit a couple of shots tonight,” she added. “Anya had some nice fast breaks, slowed down for control and hit the layups.”

Coupeville flipped the script in the second quarter, taking a one-point lead to the locker room, only to see Granite knot things up at 20-20 heading into the final quarter.

With the two teams standing in the middle of the ring and exchanging rib shots, a big play here or there was liable to be the deciding moment.

Enter Bailey, the coolest cucumber in the bunch, the drummer who bops to her own beat, long braids slapping a rhythm on her back as she glides through life.

Clock madly churning down, the Wolves pulled off of a nifty fake on an inbound pass. Three players dove towards the girl with the ball, but Bailey went her own way.

A jab step forward, a pirouette back behind the arc, ball lands on her fingertips, eyebrow arches slightly, ball flips skyward, splashes through net, world goes bonkers, Bailey slightly nods.

As excited as Coupeville was when the three-ball rippled through the net, turning a one-point deficit into a two-point lead, there were still a few ticks left on the clock.

Granite got the ball up floor, but aggressive pressure from Wolf frosh Audrianna Shaw threw the Tigers off their pace and a potential game-tying shot was not going to drop.

“Time runs out and we all go crazy,” King said. “It was an awesome game to end our season. Very proud of these girls.”

Leavell paced the Wolves with 10 points, four steals and three assists, while Izzy Wells added seven points and four rebounds.

Van Velkinburgh (6), Bailey (5), and Shaw (1) rounded out the scoring attack, with Shaw filling up the stat sheet with four rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Abby Mulholland (three rebounds), Ivy Leedy, Morgan Stevens, Ja’Kenya Hoskins (two rebounds, two steals), Lily Leedy, and Alana Mihill all saw floor time, while injured stars Kylie Chernikoff and Kiara Contreras provided vocal bench support.

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Mollie Bailey slapped home a pair of buckets Tuesday as the Coupeville JV girls tangled with powerful King’s. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a brawl, then it was a blowout.

The Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad stood tall for nine minutes Tuesday, pushing visiting King’s to the brink.

Then, the Knights remembered they have a roster stocked full of AAU vets with dreams of playing college ball, and they reverted to form, exploding on separate runs of 15-0, 20-0, and 12-0.

What was a 10-9 CHS lead after Morgan Stevens rained down a fall-away jumper to open the second quarter turned into a 58-23 King’s win, and you can’t say it wasn’t expected.

The Knights second squad is a shiny 11-4 this season, having lost only to 3A and 4A schools and one of the state’s premier 1A schools, Cashmere.

But, while the Wolves fell to 4-3 in North Sound Conference play, 8-7 overall, heading into their season finale Friday at Granite Falls, they made some inroads.

The 23 points is the most the King’s JV has surrendered to a conference foe this season, and is a solid nine-point improvement from the first time the schools met, a 49-14 Knights win.

Coupeville came out aggressively Tuesday, using inspired rebounding from Ja’Kenya Hoskins to force King’s to up its game.

Early buckets from Mollie Bailey, off a sweet feed from Anya Leavell, and Hoskins, off of an offensive rebound, staked the Wolves to a 4-2 lead, the first of four positive scores for CHS.

Izzy Wells drained a put-back after snagging a rebound to make it 6-5, Abby Mulholland twirled in a jumper off a pass from Audrianna Shaw to put Coupeville up 8-7, then Stevens netted her bucket off a Leavell set-up pass.

The action was crisp, the Wolves were scrambling for loose balls and caroms, and anything seemed possible.

And then death came from above.

King’s dropped in a trio of three-balls, part of the seven it would hit in the game, and, in the blink of an eye, a 15-0 run had changed everything.

Mulholland did her best to get the Wolves back into the flow, netting back-to-back jumpers, with the second bucket coming of yet another superb pass from Leavell, but King’s wasn’t having it.

Scoring the final eight points of the half, then 24 of the first 26 after the break, the visitors put the game far out of reach.

From the final three minutes of the second quarter until the last half of the fourth, Coupeville could only hit one single, solitary shot, though it was a beautiful, crowd-pleasing jumper from hard-working freshman Alana Mihill.

While the rim was unforgiving, the Wolves never stopped working, and they garnered some respect from their foes at the end, closing the game on a 7-2 surge.

Wells went off for five of her team-high seven points during that part of the game, while Bailey added an artful layup.

Mulholland tossed in six points to back Wells, with Bailey (4), Mihill (2), Stevens (2), and Hoskins (2) also scoring.

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Kylie Chernikoff enjoys the annual CHS dodgeball tourney Wednesday, part of Homecoming week festivities. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolf seniors rule the gym.

Teo Keilwitz comes flying in hot.

The juniors fear no one.

Emma Smith hides behind a cascade of hair, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

The sophomores, eternally loud and proud.

Matt Hilborn stalks his targets.

The fan section threatens to get out of control.

Kiara Contreras upholds freshman honor.

Mollie Bailey (left) and Genna Wright pause in the heat of battle.

You can dodge a ball, but not the cameraman.

Wandering from gym to gym Wednesday night, paparazzi to the stars John Fisken paused to capture a slice of Coupeville’s Homecoming week festivities.

The event was the annual dodgeball tourney, pitting players from all four classes against each other.

After you’re done with the pics above, you can see the rest by popping over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Events/Dodgeball-2018-10-03-at-CHS/

And this time, all photos are open and free to download.

Though, if you want an extra-glossy version, you can toss Fisken a few bucks and get a high-quality image.

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