Posts Tagged ‘Orcas Island’

Coupeville High School softball coach Justine McGranahan and grandson watch action unfold during a pre-season intra-team scrimmage. (Photo courtesy McGranahan)

They’re back.

Less than a week after saying it wouldn’t participate in sports until students were back in class, Orcas Island High School has returned to the playing field.

Coupeville athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Tuesday that the Vikings had “approval to begin athletics.”

That means Wolf softball and baseball regain four games on their combined schedules.

The CHS diamond queens get back a home game March 13 and a road doubleheader March 23, while the diamond men pick up a single road game March 23.

Coupeville softball now sits with a 14-game schedule, the maximum it can have under Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules during this shortened pandemic season, while Wolf baseball has 11 contests.

Both teams open play this Saturday, March 6 with home games against Friday Harbor.

Baseball plays at 11 AM, with softball hosting a doubleheader with games at 11 and 1 PM.

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With Orcas Island stepping away from spring sports, Daniel Olson’s senior season dips from 10 games to nine. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And then there were six.

Things change at a moment’s notice in the Age of Coronavirus, and Wednesday brought a new wrinkle.

Orcas Island informed Northwest 2B/1B League officials it will not begin athletics until students return to in-person education.

Currently, the expectation is for that to happen in late March, though nothing is guaranteed.

With a condensed spring sports season running from February 22 to April 3, Orcas is out, with the hope it will be back in when traditional fall sports run March 29 to May 8.

The Vikings are the second group of NWL athletes to bow out due to COVID-19 concerns, as Chimacum already opted to delay joining what is intended to be an eight-team league.

Chimacum combined with next-door neighbor Port Townsend for the 2020-2021 school year, and the schools are playing in the 1A/2A Olympic League as East Jefferson.

With Orcas stepping away from spring sports, two Coupeville teams lose a total of four games from already pared-down schedules.

The Wolf softball squad was set to host the Vikings March 13, then join the CHS baseball team in traveling to Orcas March 23.

That road trip was to feature a softball doubleheader and a lone hardball contest.

With the changes, Coupeville softball sees its schedule shrink from 12 to nine games, while Wolf baseball goes from 10 to nine.

CHS track and girls tennis are unaffected, as Orcas doesn’t field teams in those sports.


UPDATE #1: A trip to Friday Harbor has been added to the schedule on March 19, bringing both Coupeville diamond schedules up to 10 games.


UPDATE #2: Softball will play a home doubleheader March 6 against Friday Harbor, instead of the previously-planned single game, raising its schedule back to 11 games. 

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Bill Jarrell wheels and deals. (Photo courtesy Renae Mulholland)

“Rebound up and in by Mike Ankney!”

The Wolf hoops stars of yore return, thanks to some slick technical work by Coupeville High School grad Renae (Keefe) Mulholland.

She’s digitizing her dad’s radio cassettes, which contain the audio from KBRC play-by-play of CHS games.

First up is a district playoff clash between Coupeville and Orcas Island from 1975, a thriller won 59-52 by the Wolves.

Dennis Wills and Ken Thompson were on the call, while Tom Keefe used his “new realistic Radio Shack cassette deck” to record the broadcast for posterity.

The broadcast even includes the commercials which ran during breaks in the action.

“Pie alone makes it worth the trip” to the Tyee, even back in 1975.

Mulholland plans to “knock a few out each week, if I have time,” making sure the ’70s glory days of Coupeville basketball will be available to Wolf fans young and old.

“Hopefully these 46-year-old cassettes will last a little longer,” she said. “Fun to listen to!”


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Sophomore Hawthorne Wolfe singed the nets for 33 points in a win Saturday, a game after netting 34. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hawk was hot, but he had plenty of help.

Sophomore Hawthorne Wolfe knocked down 33 points Saturday, while numerous teammates, most prominently senior Koa Davison, came up huge as the Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball team led from start to finish while capturing its first win of the season.

The Wolves, who came within a point of having four players reach double-figure scoring, ran away from visiting Orcas Island to capture a 77-58 win in Coupeville’s home opener.

The non-conference victory, coming just days after CHS almost toppled 3A Oak Harbor in overtime, lifts the Wolves to 1-2.

Both of their losses have been super-close, but Saturday’s win was one in which the Wolves dominated for long stretches.

After torching Oak Harbor for 34, then equaling Larry Bird’s jersey number Saturday, Wolfe is the first Coupeville player in at least a decade-plus to record back-to-back 30+ point games at the varsity level.

While he came out sizzling against the Wildcats, going on a 12-0 run by himself on his way to scoring 15 in the first quarter, Wolfe came with a different flow against Orcas.

He had “just” 14 at the half Saturday, then went bonkers in the third quarter, throwing down 16 of Coupeville’s first 18 points in the frame.

But as dangerous as he was, slashing hard to the hoop, baffling the Vikings with tricky foot work, then popping outside for the occasional three-ball, Wolfe, as we mentioned, had plenty of help.

Davison, who has taken a huge step forward between his junior and senior season, scraped the boards clean all night, while also throwing down a career-high 15 points which included his own miracle shot.

It came as time ran down at the end of the third quarter, with Coupeville whipping the ball from player to player, looking for an opening before the clock hit all zeroes.

The ball came to rest, for a split second at least, in the hands of Davison, and he thrilled the weekend crowd by elevating and knocking down a three-ball which banked off the glass and hit pay-dirt a half of a second before the buzzer sounded.

The Wolves spent much of the night pulling off similarly-electrifying plays, as they controlled the action from the very first offensive set.

That ended with Mason Grove splashing home one of his three treys on the night, a ball which arced high in the air, then barely rippled the net as it hustled through on its way back to the floor.

Davison and Wolfe followed the three-ball with buckets on which they carved up the Orcas defense while crashing aggressively to the hoop, and, up 7-0, CHS was in sync and on fire.

Five different Coupeville players scored in the opening quarter, allowing the Wolves to head to the bench with a 15-6 lead and a nod of approval from head coach Brad Sherman.

While the visitors found their shooting touch in the second quarter, the home team matched them bucket for bucket (almost literally), with the two squads battling through an intense 21-21 frame.

Again the Wolves spread the offensive love out, but Sean Toomey-Stout, playing in front of siblings Cameron and Maya, was the king of the highlight reel.

Twisting in mid-air, tearing down rebounds, then muscling his way back up though the defense, the ever-springy one known as “The Torpedo” had a ferocity no Viking could match.

Down 36-27 at the half, Orcas got as close as 45-40 midway through the third, thanks to back-to-back three-balls, but Wolfe and Co. were having none of it.

The sweet-shootin’ sophomore could not miss in the third, and every bucket came on a different move guaranteed to give his fan club the vapors.

Wolfe started his 16-point run in the third with a three-ball, then got creative, mixing little runners with quick slashes to the hoop, taking the blows and never cracking as he used both hands to slap home bucket after bucket.

The Orcas defense couldn’t stop him, and the few moments in which they slowed him down, he smartly gave the ball up and let someone else be The Man, whether it was Ulrik Wells pounding away inside, or Grove firing rainbows from outside.

Up 16 at the end of three quarters, the Wolves traded three-balls to start the fourth, with Wolfe notching his final points on a play set up by a Tucker Hall rebound.

After that, it was the “Koa Being Big Time” Hour, as Davison went off for eight of his 15 with four impressive plays in the paint.

One was set up by an entry pass from Wolfe, the other on a kick-out from Toomey-Stout, but on all four the lanky senior had to finish while being pounded on by the Vikings.

Each time, Davison came up big, showcasing a ton of heart under duress.

Koa played big tonight, but he’s played like that consistently over all three games,” Sherman said. “He’s working hard on the boards for us, and I’m very happy to see it.”

The Wolf head man praised his entire team, especially for the way they bounced back after being nipped in overtime by Oak Harbor.

“I’m extra proud of the way we came out tonight, and immediately took control,” Sherman said. “I liked the way we got to the basket, and the fact we came out so strongly in the third, which is something we had a bit of a problem with in the past.”

With his 33 point explosion, Wolfe continues to fly upwards on the CHS boys career scoring chart.

He passed another 13 former players Saturday, including quality guys such as Joel Walstad, Jordan Ford, and Tim Quenzer, and now sits at #119 all-time just three games into his sophomore campaign.

Coupeville is playing its 103rd season of boys basketball, and yet the precocious Wolfe, with 231 points and counting, is just 47 points from cracking the top 100.

Davison finished with 15 Saturday, while Toomey-Stout banked in 12, Grove knocked down nine, Jered Brown rattled the rim for six, and Wells capped things with a bucket.

Gavin Knoblich, Hall, Jacobi Pilgrim, and Jean Lund-Olsen also saw floor time for the Wolves, who have a busy week coming up, with games against Friday Harbor, Concrete, and The Bush School.

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Hannah Davidson was a force on the boards Saturday as Coupeville won its home opener. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Scout Smith, who leads the Wolves in scoring, passed eight players on the CHS girls career scoring chart and now sits at #65.

It was beautiful, then kind of scary, then beautifully scary.

But it all worked out in the end.

Leading from start to finish Saturday, but veering madly from a 15-point lead right before halftime to just a two-point margin with a minute to play, the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team lived dangerously.

But the Wolves made the plays they needed to down the stretch, especially on the defensive end of the floor, and survived to beat visiting Orcas Island 34-31.

The non-conference win, coming in Coupeville’s home opener, lifts the squad to 2-1, while possibly adding some grey hair to the head of coach Scott Fox.

When his players were locked-in Saturday, they were highly-efficient, deadly on the run and on the finish, and on their way to a blowout win.

But when they weren’t on, such as when they netted just four of 23 free throw attempts, they gave the visiting Vikings hope, and hope can be dangerous.

Up 24-9 shortly before the halftime break, Coupeville still led by 11 late in the third, only to watch in horror as Orcas found its groove.

A 10-1 run stretching from late in the third to late in the fourth, started and finished by three-balls splashing down from the skies above, cut the Wolf lead to just 31-29.

For the first time all night, or at least since way back when the game was briefly 2-1 in favor of the Wolves, Orcas was a single shot away from ruining everyone’s evening.

But Coupeville had an answer, hitting first with a little offense — a free throw from Chelsea Prescott and a sweet lil’ jumper from Hannah Davidson, off of a drive ‘n dish by Prescott.

That stretched the lead back out to 34-29, and while Orcas got one more basket, using a put-back of a miss to slice things to 34-31 with 1:02 on the clock, the Wolves didn’t break.

The home team didn’t score in that final 62 seconds, missing two free throws with 4.1 seconds to play, when even one made shot would have been nirvana.

But the Wolves also didn’t allow Orcas to get a decent shot off, much less score.

Freshman Nezi Keiper came up especially huge in the game’s final seconds, ripping down a key rebound on one side of the floor, then forcing a turnover on the other end.

Coupeville is a young team, with three fab frosh — Keiper, Carolyn Lhamon, and Maddie Georges — getting quality floor time, while four sophomores are also on the team.

Youth is learning under fire, and coming up strongly.

While Keiper and Lhamon were ferocious on the boards, teaming with senior Hannah Davidson to clean the glass, Georges delivered three gorgeous long-range jumpers, each shot a knife through the collective heart of the Vikings.

Two of those baskets came in the first, when the freshman point guard teamed up with her senior mentor, Scout Smith, to score 10 points as CHS jumped out to a 14-4 advantage.

Smith opened the scoring by jumping a pass, spearing an incoming ball, then taking off the other way for a slick breakaway bucket.

After that she added baskets on a give and go play, worked to perfection with Davidson, and a careening layup in which she went airborne, then flipped the ball to her other hand at the last second to avoid a would-be blocker coming in hot.

Toss in Davidson thunking home a bucket on a strong power move in the paint and Prescott rolling sharply to her left, then flicking a layup up and over her defender’s outstretched arm, and the Wolves looked super-sharp in the opening frame.

That continued well into the second quarter, a frame in which sophomore Izzy Wells carried the brunt of the scoring load, while Tia Wurzrainer was the one and only Wolf to go to the free throw line and hit both of her shots in the same trip.

Orcas carved its 24-9 deficit down to 24-12 right before the half, then scored the first five points of the third quarter, but Coupeville didn’t crack.

Smith went coast to coast for a bucket to break the run, before Avalon Renninger drained a shot which hit the rim, rolled around, and around, and around some more, before finally running out of steam and flopping through the net.

That all set up the frantic fourth, a time when the Wolves might have bent (a bit), but never broke.

Headed into another busy week, when it will face Friday Harbor, Concrete, and Bush, with the first and last of that trio on the road, that’s a true positive.

Smith finished with a game-high 11 points, a night which allowed her to pass eight more players on the Wolf girls basketball career scoring list.

It was a group which included well-known names like Yashmeen Knox, Marie Hesselgrave, Sherry Bonacci, and Aimee Messner, and Smith, with 171 points and counting, now sits at #65 on the chart.

Prescott, who is hot on the trail of her older teammate (she’s only 15 points off of Smith), finished with five Saturday, while Georges (6), Davidson (4), Wells (4), Renninger (2), and Wurzrainer (2) also scored.

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