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Wolf seniors (l to r) Dominic Coffman, Alex Murdy, Jermiah Copeland, and Jonathan Valenzuela were honored Tuesday night. (Morgan White photo)

Level one achievement, unlocked.

Playing aggressive, often-inspired team defense Tuesday, the Coupeville High School varsity boys’ basketball squad polished off visiting La Conner 60-47.

That keeps the Wolves undefeated against fellow 2B schools and lifts them to 13-6 overall heading into Friday’s regular-season finale at Friday Harbor.

Winners of 11 of its last 13 games, Coupeville also clinches the #1 playoff seed from District 1 with the win over the Braves.

That guarantees the Wolves will play all their games in the bi-district tourney on their home floor, as they seek to punch a ticket to state in back-to-back seasons for only the second time in program history.

Coupeville hosts Northwest Christian (Lacey), the #2 seed from District 2, Feb. 14, while D-1 #2 La Conner hits the road the same night to face D-2 #1 Auburn Adventist Academy.

The winners play at CHS Feb. 16 for the bi-district title and a state berth.

The losers of the opening games wage a loser-out affair, also at CHS Feb. 16, with the winner of that rumble advancing to a game Feb. 18 against the title game loser for District 1/2’s second state tourney ticket.

Which is a long way to getting around to the fact Coupeville controls its own destiny from here on out, with home cookin’ and rabid Wolf Nation fans within easy reach.

Advance to state, as CHS did last season, breaking a 34-year dry spell, and the Wolves will match the run when both the 1974-1975 and 1975-1976 teams made it to the big dance.

La Conner, as expected, put up a hard fight Tuesday night, but couldn’t quite recreate the same magic it showed in a one-point loss to the Wolves earlier this season.

The first quarter was a donnybrook, however, with Coupeville overcoming a six-point deficit to knot things up at 17-17 thanks to back-to-back three-balls from Logan Downes and Cole White.

CHS senior Jonathan Valenzuela, who gutted the Braves with a buzzer-beating bomb last time, banked in another trey this time out, while Alex Murdy and Dominic Coffman keyed a hyped-up Wolf defense.

Freshman Chase Anderson soon joined the shut-down brigade, coming on to harass, irritate, and thoroughly chafe any La Conner gunner who touched the ball.

Scrappy beyond his years, and also capable of tossing down a bank shot under duress on offense, “The Magic Man” was the secret ingredient in Wolf coach Brad Sherman’s defensive gumbo, and he drove several Braves batty.

Which is awesome.

The game remained a war of attrition through much of the second quarter, with four ties and several lead changes, before Coupeville made its move.

Coffman, hanging high in the air, yanked a loose ball away and put it back up and in to stake the Wolves to a 28-26 lead and the home team would never trail again after that.

Downes drilled the bottom out of the net on a three-ball right before halftime to make it 32-27, then slipped a free throw through the net with less than a second left in the third to keep CHS up 44-38.

In between, Coupeville got gut-check baskets from White and Murdy, as the Wolves responded in style each time La Conner tried to pull even.

Still, no one was feeling safe as the fourth quarter began, until CHS dropped a couple of haymakers.

Valenzuela banked in a jumper to open the final frame, cracking the 100-point club for his varsity career, but it was a 10-2 run midway through the quarter which allowed Brad Sherman to finally exhale.

Six of the points in that tear came off of the fingers of White, channeling the spirit of dad Greg as he went hard to the hoop for repeat buckets.

Valenzuela and Downes set up their teammate with precision passes, while Anderson, still magnificently chafing the Braves, drew a charging foul which knocked the last bit of wind out of La Conner’s sails.

Logan Downes makes it rain. (Bailey Thule photo)

Coupeville spread its scoring out between six shooters, with Downes popping for a game-high 27 points and White rippling the nets for 15.

Valenzuela (7), Murdy (5), Anderson (4), and Coffman (2) also wrote their names in the scorebook, with Nick Guay and Jermiah Copeland earning floor time.

While the win, the chance to nab a top playoff seed, and the defensive effort were the big stories, two Wolves also made some personal history.

Valenzuela finished the night with 103 career points, becoming the fifth active Wolf boy to crack triple-digits, while Downes continues to throw down numbers rarely seen in the 106-year history of Coupeville basketball.

The junior gunner heads into the regular-season finale with 457 points this season, and 681 for his career.

Only Jeff Stone (644 in 1969-1970) and Jeff Rhubottom (459 in 1977-1978) have scored more in a single season.

Career-wise, Downes performance Tuesday pushes him past Wolf legends Jason McFadyen (654), Wade Ellsworth (659), Pat Bennett (659), Foster Faris (668), Virgil Roehl (674), and Gavin Keohane (677), and places him #22 all-time for a program launched in 1917.

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Maddie Georges rumbles in the paint. (Morgan White photo)

The mission is simple.

Hit the road this Friday, Island-hop from Whidbey to Friday Harbor, and win the regular-season finale.

Do that, and the Coupeville High School girls’ varsity basketball team is playoff-bound, with the bi-district tourney on their home floor.

However, if the hosts win Friday, the Wolves and Wolverines will immediately turn around and play a tiebreaker game Saturday at a neutral location.

Whichever team comes out on top in the battle for the #2 playoff seed from District 1, it will face District 2’s Auburn Adventist Academy in a loser-out game Feb. 13.

La Conner, the D-1 #1, plays D-2 #2 Northwest Christian (Lacey) in the nightcap of a playoff doubleheader.

The winners Feb. 13 face-off Feb. 15 for the bi-district title and a berth to the state tourney.

The Braves clinched District 1’s top seed thanks to a 48-22 win over Coupeville Tuesday night, hitting 10 three-balls to ease past the feisty Wolves.

The loss drops CHS to 8-9 heading into its regular-season finale.

Playing on Senior Night Tuesday, the Wolves honored the Fab Five — Maddie Georges, Carolyn Lhamon, Gwen Gustafson, Alita Blouin, and Ryanne Knoblich, and were stung by a slow start.

La Conner hit a trio of three-balls in the first quarter, building a 15-2 lead by the first break, and that put Coupeville in catch-up mode the rest of the night.

Knoblich came dangerously close to getting some of those points back, dropping her own three-ball at the buzzer, but the ball departed her fingertips after the buzzer clanged, forcing the refs to wave off the still-splendid shot.

After that, the rims turned fairly unforgiving, with La Conner using mini 6-3 and 9-3 runs across the second and third quarter, respectively, to push its lead out to 30-8.

All of the Braves points in those frames came via three-balls, and the one which stung the most was the one which found the bottom of the net with just a half-second left in the first half.

But, after struggling to score against the Northwest 2B/1B League leaders in the game’s first 24 minutes, the Wolves found their shooting touch late, banking home 14 fourth-quarter points.

It started with Blouin swooping to the hoop for a three-point play the hard way — flipping a shot up with her left hand while being hammered about the neck and shoulders.

Knoblich ended things with a pullup jumper in the paint, and in between those two buckets, Georges put on a sweet shooting display.

The fiery Wolf point guard slashed to the basket for a pair of buckets, hit a short jumper off an inbounds pass, and banked home a three-ball off the glass while staring daggers at her would-be defender.

The late-game rush gave Georges a team-high 13 points on the night and bumped her two slots up on the Wolf girls career scoring chart.

With 357 points and counting, she passes big-timers Tracy Taylor (350) and Amy Mouw (353) and sits #28 all-time for a program launched back in 1974.

Blouin tossed in six points in support of her running mate, while Knoblich (2) and sophomore Mia Farris (1) rounded out the scoring attack.

Katie Marti, Lyla Stuurmans, Gustafson, Skylar Parker, Jada Heaton, Madison McMillan, and Lhamon also saw floor time for Megan Richter’s squad.

Defensive dynamos Gwen Gustafson (left) and Lyla Stuurmans harass the ballhandler. (Bailey Thule photo)

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Whatcha gonna do when the Wolves come for you?  (Bailey Thule photo)

The round robin decides everything.

While Coupeville High School basketball teams, and their closest rivals, can play up to 20 regular season games, only four of those rumbles dictate playoff participation.

The Northwest 2B/1B League currently houses four 1B schools — Darrington, Orcas Island, Concrete, and Mount Vernon Christian — and three 2B institutions — Coupeville, La Conner, and Friday Harbor.

When the postseason arrives, 2B and 1B split off and go their own ways.

For basketball, all four 1B schools make the playoffs, which began Thursday.

When it comes to 2B hoops, however, you have to be top two to get the call, since there are a lot less 2B schools in the region, making for a smaller postseason tourney.

Those two NWL teams, repping District 1, pair off with District 2’s Auburn Adventist Academy and Northwest Christian (Lacey), at bi-districts Feb. 13-18.

That event, held at Coupeville High School, offers two tickets to state for the boys this year and one for the girls.

D1/2 will get two state berths for the girls next year. Allegedly.

With that in mind, La Conner swept a pair of home games from Friday Harbor on Friday night, which officially clinches three of the four playoff berths.

On the boys’ side, Coupeville and La Conner are in, while Friday Harbor is eliminated after the Wolverines blew a 20-point lead and fell 59-57 to the Braves.

On the girls’ side, La Conner is in after a 65-18 romp, with Coupeville and Friday Harbor still fighting for the other spot.

Seeding is still up for grabs on both sides, however.

Coupeville closes the regular season next week, hosting La Conner Tuesday, Feb. 7, before island-hopping to Friday Harbor Feb. 10.

The Wolf boys clinch the #1 seed with a win in that first game.

Meanwhile, Coupeville’s girls need to sweep both games next week to have a shot at being #1 but need just a victory over Friday Harbor — who they beat 47-27 first time around — to claim the #2 seed.

If there any ties, teams will play a tiebreaker game, at a neutral site, Saturday, Feb. 11.

 

Where the round-robin sits heading into the final week:

 

Boys basketball:

School Vs. 2B
Coupeville 2-0
La Conner 2-1
Friday Harbor 0-3

 

Girls basketball:

School Vs. 2B
La Conner 3-0
Coupeville 1-1
Friday Harbor 0-3

 

Bi-district brackets:

Boyshttp://www.nw1a2bathletics.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=3810

Girlshttp://www.nw1a2bathletics.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=3809

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Andrew Williams and CHS soccer host a bi-district playoff game Tuesday night in Oak Harbor. (Morgan White photo)

November kicks off with high-stakes action.

Having won a three-team tiebreaker for a playoff berth, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team hosts Seattle-based Summit Atlas Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Oak Harbor’s Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

Game time for the loser-out bi-district playoff game is 6 PM.

Unlike regular season soccer games, the playoffs require fans to pony up hard-earned cash to gain entrance.

Prices are:

Adults or students without ASB – $8
Children (5-12) – $6
Senior Citizen (62+) – $6
Students with ASB – $6

Tickets can be purchased in person or online at:

https://gofan.co/app/events/760340?schoolId=WA86277

The winner of Tuesday’s game advances to play a road rumble against Mount Vernon Christian in a loser-out/winner-to-state game.

Coupeville sits at 5-8 on the season, while Summit Atlas, which has seemingly done its best to hide athletic info from the internet, may be 3-1-1.

At least that’s what it says on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association site, though past history teaches us to take WIAA standings with a grain of salt.

Summit Atlas, which uses an Orca as its mascot, is listed as beating Rainier Christian 7-0, Sound Christian 9-0, and Crosspoint Academy 7-1.

A 6-2 loss to Auburn Adventist Academy is Summit’s lone listed defeat, while a 1-1 tie with Concordia Christian Academy likely pleased hardcore soccer fans who lust for pitch stalemates.

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Wolf seniors (l to r) Grant Steller, Aidan Wilson, Cameron Epp, and Reiley Araceley are not done just yet. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Now, it gets complicated.

Like maybe really, really, really complicated.

What we do know for sure is the Coupeville High School boys soccer team played a very strong first 30 minutes Thursday on Orcas Island, pushing the defending state champs to the brink.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, pitch contests are 80 minutes, and the last 50 belonged to the host Vikings, who turned a 1-0 deficit into an 8-1 win.

The loss, coming in its regular-season finale, drops Coupeville to 3-5 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 5-8 overall.

And that’s where it gets complicated.

Of the nine schools to play boys soccer in the NWL, five advance to the playoffs.

Orcas (7-0 in league) faces La Conner (2-5) Friday, then heads to the postseason.

Friday Harbor (7-1), Mount Vernon Christian (6-2) and Grace Academy (4-4) are also playoff-bound.

Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood (0-8) is eliminated, and La Conner will be as well unless they spring the upset of the year against Orcas.

If that should somehow happen (it won’t), we’d have a four-way tie for the fifth, and final, playoff berth, with the Braves joining Coupeville, Lopez Island, and Providence Classical Christian at 3-5.

But, even if La Conner gets routed (it will), that’s still a three-way tie, which means we need something more than a straight tiebreaker game to decide the last postseason slot.

What will it be?

Personally, I vote for a team eggnog chugging contest, on a moving ferry, in the style of a penalty kick shootout.

Player barfs, team out. Last team standing with spotless uniforms “wins.”

Some call me a genius. Others use different words…

Meanwhile, back in reality, the #5 spot will be decided, in some manner, likely Saturday, Oct. 29, with the winner advancing to host the #4 team from District 2 in a loser-out playoff game Monday, Oct. 31.

The winner of the Halloween night game advances to face Mount Vernon Christian in a loser-out, winner-to-state game either Nov. 1 or 2.

Details of the tiebreaker should be revealed after the Orcas vs. La Conner game, when everyone knows if it’s a three-team or four-team affair. Stay tuned.

Coupeville had a shot to deny the logjam at #5, as a win on Orcas Thursday would have left the Wolves in a fourth-place tie with Grace Academy at 4-4.

That still would have necessitated a tiebreaker, as the NWL #4 team automatically gets a loser-out, winner-to-state game, but it would have been a straight up two-team affair.

Enduring a fair amount of wind, the Wolves held Orcas scoreless for almost 30 minutes, taking the lead when Aidan Wilson banged home his ninth goal of the season off of a deflection.

That gives the Wolf senior 12 tallies for his high school career, breaking a tie with Zane Bundy and leaving Wilson as the sixth-best goal scorer in CHS boys soccer history.

Orcas eventually broke through, however, netting the tying goal on a penalty kick and the go-ahead score in stoppage time right before the halftime break.

A tense 2-1 affair fell apart in the second half, with the Vikings raining down six goals and showing why they are a strong favorite to win back-to-back state 2B/1B titles.

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