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Posts Tagged ‘Mount Vernon Christian’

Mount Vernon Christian, here doubling up on Coupeville’s Maddie Georges, hosted an elite eight-team postseason hoops tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Looks like La Conner might not have won a girls basketball state title this year, after all.

The Braves dominated play in the Northwest 2B/1B League during the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, going undefeated against Coupeville and Co., then added non-conference wins against elite larger schools such as King’s, Lynden, and Meridian.

But given a chance to face off with some of the other top 2B teams in the state this week, La Conner came up six points short of a title.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association didn’t hold any postseason events this season, so eight top small school programs crafted their own unofficial championship.

Called Summer State, it went down Wednesday through Friday at Mount Vernon Christian High School, with seven 2B schools and the hosts, who are a 1B program.

La Conner dismantled Toldeo 65-30, then slipped past Wahkiakum 65-62, before falling 72-66 to Warden in overtime in the title game.

Warden placed 6th in the official 1A state tourney last season, before new classification counts moved the school to 2B beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

While La Conner exited with a 2nd place trophy, MVC finished 6th after going 1-2.

The Hurricanes fell 51-34 to Tri Cities Prep, bounced back to drill Onalaska 61-35, then closed with a 34-31 loss against Toledo.

La Conner star Sarah Cook — who lit Coupeville up both times the Wolves faced the Braves during the regular season — was named to the First-Team All-Tournament team.

MVC’s Emma Droog and La Conner’s Juna Swanson both were given Second-Team honors.

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Xavier Murdy scored 22 points Thursday as Coupeville won a wild one 66-65. (Jackie Saia photos)

Just call ’em the Hurricane busters.

Xavier and Alex Murdy scored 12 of Coupeville’s final 15 points Thursday, including the game-winning free throws, as the Wolves pulled out one of the most-dramatic wins in the 104-year history of CHS boys basketball.

Fighting foul trouble all game, Coupeville built a 14-point lead, blew it all, then came back around to ice visiting Mount Vernon Christian 66-65 in a game capped by the student section storming the floor.

The second win over a major Northwest 2B/1B League rival in as many days, it lifts Coupeville to 5-3 and keeps it in the thick of the chase for a league title.

Now, the Wolves carry a three-game winning streak to Orcas Island Saturday, where they’ll face a 5-2 Vikings squad.

MVC also sits at 5-2, with both of those losses coming at the hands of Coupeville.

The first time the teams squared off, Hawthorne Wolfe blitzed the Hurricanes for 38 points and CHS won fairly easily.

This time out, a trio of refs who combined to have a less-than-stellar game fouled Wolfe out of the contest with six minutes to play, sending Coupeville’s main gunner to the bench.

In stepped Alex Murdy, and the sophomore responded in crunch time with his best performance as a varsity player, teaming with older brother Xavier to thwart and bedevil the Hurricanes and their hyped-up cheering section.

The biggest plays came with the clock frozen at 11 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter and Coupeville trailing by a single point.

Having built a 14-point second-half lead, only to fall behind by six, the Wolves went on a 9-2 run to reclaim the lead at 64-63.

Then promptly lost it after MVC banged home a bucket in the paint — after the Hurricanes somehow got away with body-slamming Grady Rickner to the floor at the other end as he drove to the hoop.

Not a ticky-tacky foul.

Not a questionable call.

A pile driver worthy of a WWE title bout, which sent the Coupeville captain into an unpleasant collision with the floor, his body crumpling in pain and surprise.

The non-call, which came as one ref stared silently as the play unfurled mere inches in front of him, sent the Coupeville faithful into screaming fits of righteous fury.

But redemption was mere seconds away, as Alex Murdy was hip-checked as he brought the ball past the scorer’s table.

Sent to the line with both sections of the stands rockin’ and rollin’, Xavier’s younger brother carried himself with a surprising calmness.

Perhaps Alex was having a seizure deep inside his soul.

If so, he never betrayed it, calmly sinking the tying and go-ahead charity shots, before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.

Alex Murdy (center) celebrates his game-winning free throws.

MVC still had a chance, putting the ball in the hands of its most-dangerous player — 8th grader Davis Fogle, who scored 21 points — but the (really) young gun couldn’t get his potential game-winning layup to stay in the basket.

Cue Coupeville students rumblin’ and tumblin’ onto the court as if the Wolves had just won a state title.

While it might not be to that level, it is potentially one of those defining wins where you look back 10 years later and point to it as the moment where a program really made a statement.

CHS coach Brad Sherman, who was a player the last time the Wolves won a league title, had the look of a man who had gone through the whirlwind and lived to tell about it.

But it was a happy tiredness, and a proud tiredness.

“So proud of the heart our boys showed tonight,” Sherman said. “We put four strong quarters together, and we did it back-to-back nights (after beating La Conner on the road Wednesday).

“Shows how resilient these guys are.”

Even with its foul trouble starting in the game’s opening moments, Coupeville controlled the game from opening tip until late in the third.

Daniel Olson knocked down the game’s first bucket, snatching a rebound and powering past several Hurricanes for the put-back, and five Wolves scored in the opening quarter.

A three-ball from Sage Downes, followed by Grady Rickner slapping home a layup off a sharply-angled inbounds pass sent Coupeville to the first break up 13-8.

Wolfe and Xavier Murdy carried most of the scoring load in the second quarter, combining for 19 of their team’s points in a 23-16 run.

X-Man dropped in a pair of treys — one set up by a Logan Martin rebound and kick-out, the other coming off a steal — while Hawk got ridiculous.

He poured in 11 points in the frame, with a pair of three-balls on which he released the ball while dribbling somewhere out around Deception Pass Bridge.

Add in a smooth sideline jumper from Martin and a steal and layup for Alex Murdy, and the Wolves were in control at 36-24 at the half.

Things got better in the third quarter, as Coupeville twice stretched its lead to 14 points.

One of those moments came when Wolfe, hanging in the air for an eternity, dropped in a short runner to pass 1950’s CHS star Pat Clark and move into 36th place on the school’s career scoring chart.

But MVC wasn’t done, as the Hurricanes launched a torrid comeback in the fourth.

A 19-4 run put the visitors up 63-57 and things looked dire.

Enter the Murdy boys, and exit any worries.

Xavier swished four consecutive free throws, stepped aside to let Martin nail a charity shot of his own, then returned to slash through the paint for the bucket which reclaimed Coupeville’s lead.

Which brings us back to his sibling getting his magical moment.

A moment which prompted the older brother, who’s pretty low-key about his own big plays, to bust out his biggest smile of the night, reveling in Alex’s success.

It was a grand night for the Murdy boys all around, with Xavier topping all scorers with 22 points.

Jumping from #150 on the CHS boys career scoring chart to #138, he passes notable names from the past like Anthony Bergeron, Scott Stuurmans, and Dale Sherman.

Wolfe added 16 points, with Alex Murdy finishing with eight.

Olson (6), Downes (5), Martin (5), and Grady Rickner (4) also scored, with TJ Rickner sacrificing part of a tooth while crashing the boards like Dennis Rodman in his furious prime.

TJ Rickner battles in the trenches.

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William Davidson and the Coupeville JV have won three straight games. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They called in the legend.

With Coupeville High School JV boys basketball coach Hunter Smith not available Thursday, the Wolves turned to hardwood guru Randy Bottorff, and he made all the right calls down the stretch.

Guided by their mentor, the CHS young guns won a wild one, toppling visiting Mount Vernon Christian 48-46 in an overtime thriller.

The victory keeps a hot streak burning, as Coupeville has won three straight and carries a 3-3 record into a Saturday road trip to Orcas Island.

Thursday’s tilt was a nice bit of revenge for the Wolves, who lost by 16 the first time these teams played.

Trailing 11-5 at the first break, Coupeville dug down deep and put together two strong quarters in a row.

A 14-8 run in the second, powered by six points from Jonathan Valenzuela, knotted the game at 19-19, before a 15-10 third quarter surge staked CHS to a 34-29 lead heading into the final frame.

Playing their second game in a 24-hour period, the Wolves hit the wall a bit in the fourth quarter, allowing MVC to play catch-up, but overtime belonged to the home team.

Valenzuela dropped in five of his team-high 12 points in the extra period, with running mate Cole White tickling the twines for a crucial free throw.

With all five Wolves on the floor playing stiff man-to-man defense, Coupeville forced MVC into a weak shot at the buzzer to seal the win.

“We were gassed, but our guys showed a great deal of resiliency,” Bottorff said. “I’m pretty proud of them.”

Dominic Coffman made the nets jump to the tune of 10 points in support of Valenzuela’s 12, with White (9), Nick Guay (8), Logan Downes (6), Zane Oldenstadt (2), and William Davidson (1) also scoring.

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Audrianna Shaw leads the Coupeville girls in scoring this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The road ahead gets easier.

After enduring the toughest 24+ hours of the season, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team has four very-winnable games left on the schedule.

Thursday night was painful, as the Wolves fell 55-6 to visiting Mount Vernon Christian, their second blowout loss to a Northwest 2B/1B League powerhouse in as many days.

Now 3-5 after falling to undefeated La Conner Wednesday, then coming up short against the one-loss Hurricanes a day later, CHS gets back at it Saturday with a trip to Orcas Island.

That’s a school the Wolves lost a thriller to the first time around, while they have already beaten each of their final three foes — Friday Harbor, Concrete, and Darrington.

Thursday’s clash with MVC was the first time the Hurricanes had been on the floor since La Conner shredded them in a match-up of unbeaten teams.

I might be guessing, but the visitors looked hungry for payback, and against anyone who wandered into their path.

With Coupeville coming hard on defense, the game actually stayed close for a large chunk of the first quarter.

Junior guard Audrianna Shaw, who leads the Wolves in scoring this season, drilled a three-ball from the top of the arc to pull CHS within 5-3.

While MVC responded with three quick buckets, Coupeville got a free throw from Izzy Wells, a nice play from sparkplug Maddie Georges — where she expertly drew a charging foul — and trailed just 13-4 at the first break.

Unfortunately, that was where everything started to break down.

The Wolves went scoreless in the second quarter, while MVC got hot, burying four treys on its way to an 18-0 run.

Up 31-4 at the half, MVC stretched the margin to 39-6 after three quarters, before holding Coupeville scoreless again in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves only bucket in the second half came from Izzy Wells, who narrowly avoided having the ball stolen, spun around her defender, then banked home a lil’ runner in the paint.

And that was it, as Coupeville recorded its worst offensive night of the season, by a large margin.

The previous low for CHS was 13 points, which came against La Conner.

Wolf coach Scott Fox played everyone available, with Savina Wells, Lyla Stuurmans, Gwen Gustafson, Anya Leavell, Georges, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Ryanne Knoblich, Morgan Stevens, and Kylie Van Velkinburgh getting floor time.

Rampaging rebounder Carolyn Lhamon missed her second-straight game with a lingering injury, but is expected back for the Orcas game.

 

No JV game:

MVC doesn’t have a second squad, so Coupeville’s young guns were in the stands, cheering on their varsity counterparts.

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Hawthorne Wolfe rippled the nets for 38 points Tuesday, most by a Coupeville player since the 2003-2004 season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They waited. And they worked. Then they worked some more.

When the moment finally arrived Tuesday, when the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball squad reclaimed the court for the first time in 465 days, the Wolves were ready.

Given a chance to play again, Hawthorne Wolfe, Xavier Murdy, and Co. made the night memorable, raining down pain on host Mount Vernon Christian in an action-packed 72-63 win.

The victory opens a new season and a new story for Coupeville, which is returning to the Northwest 2B/1B League after a long absence.

And that first welcome back featured Wolfe, the sharp-shooting guard who lives and breathes, and probably dreams, hoops, going bonkers.

Scoring all 20 of Coupeville’s second quarter points, the junior torched the joint for 38 points, the most by a Wolf since Allen Black banked in 39 against Concrete during the 2003-2004 season.

It was just 10 points off the 48 points scored by Jeff Stone against Darrington in 1970’s district title game, a school record which has stood untouched for 51 years.

The third 30-point game of his prep career, Tuesday’s performance lifts Wolfe from #55 to #50 on the CHS boys career scoring chart, which dates back to 1917.

With 448 points and counting, he passes Mason Grove (414), Caleb Powell (421), Tony Ford (432), Del O’Shell (440), and Gary Hammons (443).

Next up are Frank Marti (462) and Sean Dillon (469), with Stone and Mike Bagby tied at #1 with 1,137 points apiece.

Wolfe got off to a decent start Tuesday, rattling home nine points in the first quarter, with Xavier Murdy adding five, and Alex Murdy and Daniel Olson each dropping in a bucket during an 18-14 run.

But the second quarter belonged to Hawk, who scored from all angles, outpacing MVC 20-13 by himself to stake Coupeville to a 38-27 halftime lead.

Wolfe drained three treys, three two-point buckets, and five free throws during his second-quarter assault on the rim, then turned the spotlight over to fellow junior Grady Rickner.

After a brief cameo in a playoff game at the end of his sophomore season, this was Rickner’s varsity coming-out party and he responded, scorching the Hurricane defense for 10 points in the third quarter.

MVC managed to cut the margin down to single-digits thanks to a 14-10 advantage in the frame, however, and the fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle.

Coupeville never blinked, with Wolfe tacking on another nine points down the stretch, with Olson, Logan Martin, Xavier Murdy, and Grady Rickner all scoring in the fourth.

“It was a good game. MVC was tough, and physical. Proud of our guys resilience tonight,” said Coupeville coach Brad Sherman. “Every time MVC started to make a run, somebody stepped up and made a big play.

“Was really great to see our guys come together as a team, keep composed when it was needed late, and pull out the league win,” he added. “After the long break, certainly a nice way to start.”

Wolfe’s 38 points were backed by Grady Rickner (12), Xavier Murdy (8), Olson (8), Martin (4), and Alex Murdy (2), while Sage Downes, TJ Rickner, and freshman Logan Downes all saw floor time.

With his first four varsity points, Logan Martin becomes the 394th Coupeville boy to score in a varsity game, and the second in his family.

Older brother Dalton tallied 47 points in the 2014-2015 season.

Coupeville returns to action Thursday with a home match-up against Orcas Island, which is 2-0 after beating Concrete and Friday Harbor.

There will be no fans at that game, per the request of the Orcas School District.

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