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Posts Tagged ‘playoffs’

The excitement is palpable. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Playoff action dominates the diamond.

North Whidbey Little League hosts a series of district tournaments over the next week, with play going down at its fields on Bayshore Drive in Oak Harbor.

The photo above, capturing the pomp and pageantry of player introductions, comes to us from John Fisken.

To see actual action pics, and possibly purchase some glossies for grandma, pop over to:

BB 2021-06-30 NWLL All-Stars vs Burlilngton – John’s Photos (johnsphotos.net)

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone had a strong season playing basketball in England. (Photo property Loughborough University)

It was a rough ending to a standout season.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone finished her first season of basketball in England on the bench after taking a nasty fall while hauling in a rebound during a Women’s National Basketball League semifinal playoff game.

Without its American assassin, who had 11 points and seven rebounds at the time of the incident, Loughborough University couldn’t hang on and fell 64-50 to host CoLA Southwark.

The loss left the Riders with a final record of 13-6, while the Pride advance to the WNBL championship game against regular-season kingpin Ipswich, which nipped Nottingham Trent 75-72.

The matchup between Loughborough and CoLA Southwark was a tense affair, with the Riders trailing just 42-36 when Stone was injured.

The Pride took advantage of the loss, closing the third quarter on a 7-0 tear to salt away the victory.

Playing in London, the two teams opened with a back-and-forth first quarter, with the hosts going to the break up 21-15.

A 13-13 stalemate in the second frame left the margin at six for Loughborough, and the Riders started strongly in the second half, with Stone slashing to the hoop for her final buckets of the season.

The former Wolf, who made the move to England after four standout seasons at Whitman College, played in 17 of Loughborough’s 19 games and was among the WNBL statistical leaders in several categories.

Stone finished with 270 points, 231 rebounds, 33 assists, 58 steals, and eight blocked shots.

While there are no more games on the schedule, she is in line for possible postseason honors, nominated for WNBL Player of the Year, Team of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year.

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone scored 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter Saturday. (Photo property Loughborough University)

Two wins from a title.

With their American assassin coming up big in the fourth quarter Saturday, Loughborough University held off plucky Reading 72-63 in the quarterfinals of England’s Women’s National Basketball League playoffs.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone erupted for 11 of her 19 points in the final frame, spurring the Riders from a seven-point deficit.

With the win, Loughborough, which entered the eight-team, single-elimination WNBL playoffs as the #3 seed, gets to 13-5 on the season.

The victory avenges a regular season loss to Reading in April, and sends the Riders on to a semifinal clash with #2 seed CoLA Southwark next Saturday, May 22.

Regular-season champ Ipswich faces off with #5 Nottingham Trent in the other final-four matchup.

In the buildup to the playoffs, Reading and Loughborough split a pair of regular season games, and through three quarters Saturday the Rockets looked primed to pull off a postseason upset.

A game which had been knotted 12-12 after one, then 32-30 in favor of the Riders at the half, took a disastrous turn in the third frame.

Reading jumped on Loughborough, ripping off a 15-6 run to carry a 45-38 advantage into the fourth.

But Stone and her British teammates never flinched, calmly fighting back while closing the game on a torrid 24-8 tear.

Coupeville’s progeny kicked things off by making off with a steal, then slapping home a breakaway bucket to open the period, and the fuse was lit.

Loughborough got all the way back to 45-45, then claimed the lead for good at 48-47 when Katie Januszewska rippled the net on a three-ball with a tick over seven minutes to play.

Reading hung around for a bit more, staying within 52-51 at the five-minute mark, but Stone promptly sliced and diced the Rockets defense for another layup to blunt the rally.

The former Wolf, who also snatched nine rebounds and pilfered three steals, held her team together even as they shot just 28% from the floor, hitting just 21 of 74 attempts.

Stone hit 50% of her field goal tries (6-12), and was a dead-eye 7-9 at the free-throw line, on a day when none of her teammates topped 33% from the floor.

Januszewska did match Stone’s 19-point effort, with Molly James tossing in 10.

On the season, Stone, who is nominated for the WNBL’s Player of the Year, Team of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year honors, has 259 points in 16 games.

She also has 224 rebounds, 33 assists, 57 steals, and eight blocked shots.

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Coupeville senior Sam Wynn scored two goals Friday in his final high school game. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Call it a private school special.

Get to the playoffs, face off with a team you’ve already beaten, and, ta-da, that other squad suddenly has a dominant new player inserted in the lineup.

Maybe us hicks from the sticks living out here in Cow Town are just overly suspicious, but sometimes you wonder…

Anyways, having removed the tin foil hat from my head (for a moment at least), I can report that Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood, with its new Cristiano Ronaldo-style ringer, capped its boys soccer season Friday with a 5-3 win over visiting Coupeville.

Sam Wynn, the pride of public schools everywhere, banged home a pair of goals for the scrappy Wolves, but when the other team has a guy pegging all his shots from 25+ yards out and recording a hat trick, well…

Still, CHS coach Robert Wood came away from the finale fairly pleased.

“A great game. Tons of fun,” the pitch guru said. “Their guy, who missed our first game, put the ball anywhere he wanted.

“A coast-to-coast dribbler, pretty amazing, but not impossible to defend,” Wood added. “(Our) kids never gave in to them … played strong the ENTIRE game. They just had our number.”

Wynn rattled home his first scores of this pandemic-shortened season, punching home the sixth and seventh goals of his prep career while making his final appearance in a Wolf uniform.

The first came on a penalty kick, while the second sprang from a torrid run upfield.

“Speedy Sam beat the defense several times, and finally went one-on-one with the keeper and buried it,” Wood said.

Coupeville’s other goal came from a star of the future, as freshman Nick Guay “drilled a ball to the upper right corner” for his first high school score.

While the Wolves finished 1-5 on the season, they were young, hungry, and highly-competitive.

Bouncing back after the program was originally shut down due to a lack of sufficient players, they finished the season with 14 players, 12 of whom can return next season.

Wynn and fellow senior defender Owen Barenburg depart, but the players who scored during this campaign included a junior, a sophomore, two freshmen, and an eighth grader.

Xavier Murdy is one of five Wolves who scored this season who can return next year.

 

Final scoring stats:

Aidan Wilson 3
Xavier Murdy 2
Sam Wynn 2
Nick Guay 1
Cole White 1
Cael Wilson 1

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Ryan Blouin gets dramatic. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nathan Ginnings plays keep-away. (Morgan White photo)

One more time.

The Coupeville High School boys soccer team will get another game during this pandemic-shortened season, with a “playoff” contest Friday afternoon.

The Wolves, who are 1-4 on the season, travel to Lynnwood to face Cedar Park Christian, which is 3-3-1.

The game is a rematch of Coupeville’s season opener, which it won 3-0 at home April 16.

While there are no conventional playoffs this school year, Northwest 2B/1B League Athletic Directors set up a one-day royal rumble, featuring six of the seven schools to play soccer this time around.

Along with CHS vs. CPC, league champ Orcas Island plays Providence Classical Christian, while La Conner and Mount Vernon Christian square off.

Grace Academy, which finished in last place, sits out the mini-tourney, while Friday Harbor sat out the entire fall sports season because of Covid concerns.

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