Posts Tagged ‘non-conference’

Skylar Parker (left) and Ryanne Knoblich will not play at home next Monday after all. (Chloe Marzocca photo)

Here one second, gone the next.

A late-season addition to the Coupeville High School girls’ basketball schedule has fallen by the wayside.

The Wolves were set to welcome Lummi Nation to Whidbey Monday, Jan. 30 for non-conference varsity and JV games.

Now, thanks to the crush of the postseason, those games are gone with the wind.

Lummi, whose varsity girls’ squad sits at 12-2, starts playoff action Feb. 1.

With four regular-season league games left to play and a week to go, the Blackhawks needed to reclaim the Jan. 30 date, and are now scheduled to host conference rival Tulalip Heritage that night.

After Coupeville and Lummi plugged the game into the schedule, CHS officials originally moved Senior Night festivities to that night, to separate them from ones for Wolf boys’ basketball players and cheerleaders.

Now, all three Coupeville programs will honor their seniors Feb. 7, when La Conner comes to town.

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Hawthorne Wolfe dropped 21 points Saturday as Coupeville ran Port Townsend off the floor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was exactly what Brad Sherman was looking for from his team.

Ending a long, tough week with an explosion of joy, the Coupeville High School boys varsity basketball squad put together one of its best games of the season Saturday night.

Playing for the fourth time in six days, the Wolves picked up 57 points from their Three Musketeers, played inspired second-half defense, and cruised past visiting Port Townsend 79-66.

The non-conference win snaps a five-game losing skid for Coupeville and lifts it to 5-10 on the season heading into the stretch run.

The Wolves, who are fighting for one of the final two playoff spots from the North Sound Conference, have three regular season games left on the schedule.

After back-to-back home games against South Whidbey (Jan. 28) and Granite Falls (Jan. 31), CHS travels to Sultan Feb. 4.

If the Wolves can replicate how they played Saturday, they’ll punch that postseason ticket.

Facing off with a RedHawks team which has given it major trouble in recent years, Coupeville came out firing on all cylinders.

The Wolves got balanced scoring, with sophomores Xavier Murdy and Hawthorne Wolfe dropping in 22 and 21 points respectively, while senior gunner Mason Grove added 14.

But it was the team’s play on the other end of the floor which brought the biggest smile to Sherman’s face.

“Defensively, it was a really great night for us,” the CHS coach said. “The kids responded in a big way after a tough week, and played with a lot of scrappiness and energy.”

Coming off a week in which they had to face hot-shooting Cedar Park Christian twice, wrapped around a rumble with state title contender King’s, Saturday’s match-up was Coupeville’s best shot at garnering a win.

Achieving one of Sherman’s top goals — playing four solid quarters, with no letdowns — the Wolves went toe-to-toe with Port Townsend from the opening tip.

RedHawk senior Noa Montoya played out of his mind in the game’s first eight minutes, banging home 16 of his game-high 27 points, while hitting one eye-popping shot after another.

But, as good as he was in the early going, Coupeville slowed Port Townsend’s main man after the first break, mainly by making him work like a devil to get his shot off.

The Wolves responded to Montoya’s hail of shots by spreading out the offensive love, with five different players rattling home a bucket in the opening frame.

Wolfe, Grove, and Gavin Knoblich all nailed three-balls, with Wolfe’s trey being set up by a sizzlin’ cross-court pass from Grove which threaded its way between multiple defenders on its journey.

Coupeville pulled within a single point twice in the second quarter, but couldn’t seem to get over the hump, eventually falling behind 40-33.

Enter Ulrik Wells, and key the comeback music.

The CHS big man pulled off a three-point play the hard way, banking in a short runner, then adding a free throw, and the fire was lit.

Back-to-back shiver-inducing plays from a rampaging Murdy — a three-ball on the move, then a steal and breakaway bucket — really kicked things into gear, and Coupeville closed the half on a 13-0 run.

Even with top rebounder Sean Toomey-Stout sidelined with first-half foul trouble, the Wolves crashed the boards hard, with Koa Davison capping things with a put-back off of an offensive board he ripped free from a rival’s hands.

The joy ride continued into the third quarter, with Murdy popping another trey, then slipping a pair of free throws through the twines.

With 18 straight points on the board and their biggest lead at 51-40, the Wolves looked golden.

Then, they stumbled for a second or two.

Montoya slipped away from his defender for a blink of an eye, arcing a three-ball to pay dirt, and Port Townsend was suddenly off on its own 13-0 tear, reclaiming the lead and the momentum.

To which the Wolves said, not today, my man, not today.

Grove made the net whisper sweet nothings with an elegant trey from the top, Davison netted a free throw, then Wolfe let the lightning erupt from his fingertips.

Scoring Coupeville’s final 10 points of the quarter, which set off his boisterous fan section comprised of autograph-seeking middle school hoops stars, Wolfe staked CHS to a lead it would never lose.

Putting the exclamation point on things in the fourth, Coupeville pulled off another 9-0 run, with all the buckets fueled by ferocious defensive stops.

Jered Brown, harassing the Port Townsend ballhandler every step of the way, bumped him, poked the ball loose, then yanked the orb back off the floor and shot down court for a game-icing layup.

Not to be outdone, Toomey-Stout corralled a madly-skipping loose ball, twirled, and drained a three-ball a moment later, driving the final stake through Port Townsend’s collective heart.

On the sideline, Sherman nodded, a hoops guru happy to see his plans play out as drawn up.

“Just a really, really strong team win, which should give us the momentum we need for those final league games,” he said.

All nine Wolves who hit the floor scored Saturday, with Murdy’s 22 a career-best for him at the varsity level.

Along with Wolfe (21) and Grove (14), CHS got points out of Davison (6), Knoblich (5), Toomey-Stout (3), Brown (3), Wells (3), and Jacobi Pilgrim (2).

The 79 points are a season-high for the Wolves, topping the 77 they notched against Orcas Island, and, with their performances, Wolfe and Grove continue to assault the CHS boys hoops career scoring chart.

With 366 points and counting, Wolfe jumped from a tie for #71 to sole possession of #67 on a list which encompasses 103 seasons, while Grove, with 341 points, rises from #81 to #74.

Among the former greats the duo passed Saturday were Glenn Losey, Ethan Spark, Aaron Trumbull, and Robin Larson.

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Maddie Vondrak celebrates another kill Saturday, as Coupeville pounds Orcas Island. (Brian Vick photos)

7-0 and headed home for a huge rumble with King’s.

It was a nice warm-up.

Perhaps playing with one eye on the mega match-up awaiting it, the Coupeville High School volleyball squad made short work of host Orcas Island Saturday afternoon.

Using everyone in uniform, the Wolves stuffed their foes in short order, ringing up a 25-7, 25-15, 25-9 win.

The victory lifts CHS to 7-0, the second-best start in program history behind the 10 wins the 2004 squad began their season with.

Pursuit of win #8 in a row will require a mammoth effort, however, as Coupeville faces a major test Monday when King’s (6-0) comes to town.

The Wolves and Knights sit in a tie atop the North Sound Conference with 3-0 league records, and both teams have blitzed opponents.

Coupeville has won 21 of 23 sets, dropping just a single frame to Cedar Park Christian and Anacortes, while King’s is 18-2, giving up a set to Lakeside and Skyline.

It’s the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams, with a second match in Shoreline Oct. 24.

King’s is the defending league champs, and claimed 3rd place at state in 2018, while Coupeville was conference runner-up last season.

Tip-off Monday is 7 PM in the CHS gym, with JV and C-Team action at 5:15.

While the long trip to Orcas on a weekend day could have made for a potential stumbling block for the Wolves, they quickly tossed that scenario out the window.

Senior captains Scout Smith (27 assists, four service aces, two kills) and Maya Toomey-Stout (10 kills, six aces, four digs) paced the attack.

Zoe Trujillo and Chelsea Prescott rang up eight kills apiece, while Maddie Vondrak pounded six, and freshman Lucy Tenore collected four.

Coupeville was deadly at the service stripe all day, with Vondrak (four aces), Willow Vick (4), Kylie Chernikoff (1), and Raven Vick (1) all chipping in from the line.

Emma Mathusek pulled six digs off the floor, Lucy Sandahl went low for three more, while Vondrak and Tenore soared high at the net to collect a block apiece.

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Sarah Wright cracked an inside-the-park two-run home-run Saturday as Coupeville softball pasted Meridian 11-1. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a message, loud and clear.

Playing under blue skies on the prairie Saturday, the Coupeville High School softball team put visiting Meridian down hard, rolling to an 11-1 win thanks to a hail of extra-base hits.

In the moment, it’s just one win, and a non-conference one at that, but it was a warning to a school the Wolves might face in the playoffs, and a shot in general across the bow of the Northwest Conference.

Now 7-6, after winning for the third time in its last four games, Coupeville first turns its attention to chasing a league title.

The Wolves are nipping at the heels of North Sound Conference leader Granite Falls, and begin a final six-game stretch of regular-season contests with games Monday and Tuesday against cellar dwellers Sultan and South Whidbey.

After that comes the district playoffs, an eight-team double-elimination tourney May 16 & 18, which pits the five NSC teams against the four NWC squads in the pursuit of three tickets to state.

Coupeville has its win against Meridian, and a narrow 9-6 loss at Lynden Christian, but doesn’t face Mount Baker or Nooksack Valley during the regular season.

The game against Meridian was delayed a week by rain, and the weather looked iffy for much of Saturday morning.

But five minutes before the first pitch, the clouds peeled away, the sun came pouring in, followed soon after by a never-ending stream of bubbles from somewhere around the first-base dugout, and the Wolves started flexing their biceps.

In the early going, CHS showed off an uncanny ability to deliver the goods with no room for error, building a lead it would never relinquish.

With Emma Mathusek rocking back and forth at first-base after eking out a walk, the Wolves dropped three consecutive two-out RBI base-knocks, using all three parts of the field.

Sarah Wright smashed a single to center, Mollie Bailey lobbed a single to right, then Veronica Crownover pasted a double to left, leaving Meridian’s pitcher reeling, and trailing 3-0 on the scoreboard.

While the Trojans eventually got out of that jam thanks to a nice snag to rob Nicole Laxton on a liner, things had been set in motion.

Coupeville added another run in the third, on a two-out Crownover RBI single, before smashing things open in the fourth inning.

Scout Smith cracked a majestic, run-scoring double to kick things off, then came around to score herself on a Chelsea Prescott ground-out.

Meridian tried to pull off an inning-ending double play on the ball, but Smith, pulling off some Matrix-style moves, limbo’d under the tag to the delight of her boisterous fan section.

Not only did her heroics add another run to the big board, they kept the inning alive, giving Sarah Wright a chance to go big time.

Coupeville’s catcher got a day off behind the plate, playing third while Bailey caught, so her legs might have been a little more limber than if she had been crouched down all day.

Or maybe she’s just that quick all the time.

Tagging a shot to right field, Wright hit maximum warp speed three steps towards the first-base bag and never let up, crashing around the base-paths for a legit two-run, inside-the-park home run.

Her third tater of the season (the first two cleared the fence) it staked the Wolves to an 8-0 lead and raised the idea of the 10-run mercy rule being visible on the horizon.

It would take a little bit longer to get there, though, as Meridian snuffed out a rally in the fifth.

The Trojans robbed Laxton for a second time, intercepting a missile back up the middle and turning it into a surprise double-play.

The visitors also scraped together a single, lonely run in the top of the sixth, thanks to a couple of walks and a couple of artfully-placed bunts, but Coupeville’s defense remained stingy.

Freshman hurler Izzy Wells, who whiffed five (and drilled one unlucky Trojan with an especially nasty, tear-inducing fastball gone rogue) made a nice play on a liner back to the circle.

Very next pitch, it was Crownover’s turn to snag a hot shot in the air at first-base, and, just like that, Meridian’s scoring was over and done.

While they couldn’t end the game in five innings, the Wolves got the job done in the sixth, plating the first three hitters to approach the plate.

Wells conked a double to left to lead off the frame, bouncing the ball off the wall on one hop, before Smith hammered an RBI single up the middle, and Emma Mathusek got medieval.

Moments before being asked to Prom by CHS baseball star Gavin Knoblich, the Wolf center-fielder thumped an RBI triple and almost (but not quite) made the turn like she wanted to match Wright’s inside-the-park round-tripper.

Mathusek got to come home a moment later, anyway, as Prescott once again put the ball exactly in the right place.

While she didn’t get a base hit on the day, the sophomore shortstop placed both of her RBI ground-outs precisely where the Meridian fielder was unable to nail the runner coming home.

If Mathusek’s slide into home wasn’t as graceful as the one by Smith, it was still pretty dang crowd-pleasing.

Rumbling and stumbling, she did the world’s most-awkward, yet effective, half-cartwheel, reaching back to tap her hand on the plate as she crashed by in a tangle of body parts.

The final run capped a day in which eight of 10 Wolves reached base, six had hits, and six collected RBI’s.

Smith (2B, 1B), Crownover (2B, 1B) and Wright (1B, 1B, HR) led the hit parade, with Mathusek (3B), Wells (2B), and Bailey (1B) all collecting base-knocks.

Chloe Wheeler and Mackenzie Davis both walked, while Prescott racked up two RBI, joining Wright (3), Crownover (2), Smith (2), Mathusek (1), and Bailey (1) as run-producers.

And Laxton, who was flat-out robbed twice of big hits by quick (and lucky) Meridian gloves, and Coral Caveness, in street clothes as she recovers from being drilled in the funny bone a game earlier?

They sung as loudly as anyone in the post-game victory song, smiles stretching across the prairie, basking in the glow of their teammate’s achievements and ready to get some of their own next time out.

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Mason Grove and Co. put in a solid effort Wednesday against a strong University Prep team, but came away still looking for their first win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A rebuilding Coupeville High School baseball team made positive strides Wednesday night in Shoreline.

While it wasn’t enough to stop a dangerous University Prep team, which rolled to an 11-2 non-conference win, its fifth straight victory, it’s all about the progress for the Wolves.

A young, fairly inexperienced club, which was missing its starting catcher and #1 hitter, started to wake up the bats.

Coupeville, which is 0-7 on the season, has been struggling to collect base-knocks.

Wednesday night they fared better, however, rapping out four hits off of strong Puma pitching.

Ulrik Wells bashed a double, while Matt Hilborn, Hawthorne Wolfe, and Jake Pease all notched singles.

Take those four hits, toss in five walks, and the Wolves scored more than a single run for just the second time this season.

Both runs came in the third inning, when CHS combined walks to Shane Losey and Dane Lucero with singles by Hilborn and Pease to plate a pair.

Coupeville had other chances, but stranded several base-runners, including Wells after he blasted his two-bagger.

Another bright spot for the Wolves was getting strong performances from a trio of young hurlers.

Sophomore starting pitcher Daniel Olson whiffed six batters across three innings of work, while freshmen Hawthorne Wolfe and Cody Roberts combined to add three more K’s between the fourth and sixth innings.

Roberts was especially sharp, tossing two shutout innings to end the game.

He surrendered just a single hit, while ringing up a pair of Pumas, including the final batter he faced.

University Prep, which bashed Coupeville’s North Sound Conference rivals Sultan (23-4) and Granite Falls (14-0) earlier, never delivered a true knockout punch to the Wolves.

The Pumas chipped away, scoring a run in the bottom of the first, before adding three in the second, five in the third, and a final two in the fourth.

They weren’t able to 10-run Coupeville like they had done with the Turks and Tigers, however, forcing them to play the full seven innings before walking off with a 5-2 record.

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