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Jered Brown, here thundering to the hoop in an earlier game, scored seven points Wednesday at Friday Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A play here, a play there, and they’re 4-0.

But, sometimes those shots don’t drop, or those passes go wide, or that defensive stand doesn’t quite hold long enough, and you’re 1-3.

The Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball team has played strongly all season, and Wednesday night was no different.

That being said, the Wolves came out on the short end of a 43-38 defensive war at Friday Harbor, the third time in four games they have fallen by just a bucket or two.

Coupeville’s losses have been by four points (in overtime to a 3A school), five, and seven, while their win was a 19-point romp over Orcas Island.

As the Wolves try and find the perfect mesh between strong play and a positive win/loss record, they’ll get two more chances this weekend.

CHS hosts Concrete (0-2) Friday, then travels to Seattle Saturday to face off with The Bush School (2-2).

Wednesday night the Wolves led 8-7 after the first quarter, thanks to four points apiece from Sean Toomey-Stout and Koa Davison.

After that, the two schools waged a tense back-and-forth affair, with Friday Harbor slowly pulling away.

A 13-10 surge in the second frame sent the host team to the locker room up 20-18, while the third and fourth quarters went 9-8 and 14-12 in favor of Friday Harbor.

Dylan Roberson and Ethan Germain led the Wolverines with 15 and 10 points, respectively, while the game’s final margin was set at the free throw line.

Coupeville netted its highest percentage of the season, nailing six of eight shots at the charity stripe, but Friday Harbor, while not shooting particularly well (11-20), converted just enough to ice the win.

Sophomore shooting guard Hawthorne Wolfe, who was named a WIAA Athlete of the Week earlier in the day Wednesday, was top man for Coupeville with nine points, while Mason Grove banked in eight.

With the performance, which included a pair of three-balls in the third quarter, the senior reached a personal milestone, becoming the 132nd Wolf boy (in 103 seasons) to score 200+ career points.

Grove sits with 207 after Wednesday’s game.

Jered Brown notched all seven of his points in the heat of the fourth-quarter battle, with Toomey-Stout (6), Davison (4), Ulrik Wells (2), and Gavin Knoblich (2) also scoring.

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Avalon Renninger and Co. are 3-1 after beating Friday Harbor. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re making a statement.

After years of being one of the smallest 1A schools in the state, Coupeville High School drops back to 2B next school year.

When that happens, the Wolves will join the Northwest 2B/1B League, so they’re getting ready by playing some of their looming rivals this season.

Wednesday night, the CHS girls varsity basketball squad traveled to Friday Harbor, and made it three straight wins over their soon-to-be league mates.

Bouncing their hosts 35-26, the Wolves raised their non-conference record to 3-1.

In the win column are victories over Friday Harbor, Darrington, and Orcas Island, while Coupeville hosts Concrete (0-2) Friday.

The only Northwest League teams not on the Wolves girls hoops schedule this season are La Conner and Mount Vernon Christian.

Coupeville’s lone loss so far came to 3A Oak Harbor, which at 4-0 is off to its best start in many seasons.

After making the long ferry trip to Friday Harbor, the Wolf hoops stars came out with fresh legs, bolting to an 11-5 lead after one quarter of play.

Junior Chelsea Prescott led the way in the opening frame, knocking down all eight of her points to get things kicked off with a bang.

From there, the Wolves led start to finish, stretching their lead to 19-9 at the half and 29-13 after three quarters of play.

Friday Harbor mounted a bit of a comeback, scoring half its point total in the fourth quarter, but CHS had an answer at every turn.

Senior guard Tia Wurzrainer, in particular, stepped up big time, nailing crucial shots in both the third and fourth quarters to bring a stop to rallies.

“I told the kids if I had a game ball it would have gone to Tia,” said Coupeville coach Scott Fox. “A great team win!”

Prescott and Scout Smith tied atop the scoring column, with each netting eight points, while Hannah Davidson tossed in six.

Wurzrainer (4), Izzy Wells (3), Avalon Renninger (2), Maddie Georges (2), and Carolyn Lhamon (2) also scored for the Wolves.

 

JV sidelined:

Coupeville’s second squad was denied a chance to play when Friday Harbor called off the JV game early Wednesday morning, citing a sudden lack of players.

The young Wolves, who are 2-1 on the season, return to action (most likely) this Friday, when Concrete comes to Whidbey.

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CMS hoops star Zane Oldenstadt powers to the basket in a recent game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, there was a little something for everyone.

Playing on the road in Sultan Tuesday, the Coupeville Middle School boys basketball teams came away with three very different results.

There was a big win, a competitive loss, and a blowout defeat, all of which offered lessons to the young Wolves.

“Team 2 played fantastic and team 3 showed huge improvements,” said CMS coach Greg White. “Team 1 ran into the toughest middle school program I’ve ever seen.”

Coupeville, which is opening the season with five of its first seven games on the road (then closing with three straight at home) is off until Dec. 2, when it hops on the bus for a trip to Lakewood.

How Tuesday played out:

 

Level 1:

Sometimes you walk right into a buzz-saw, as this game shows.

Hitting from every angle, including raining down nine shots from behind the three-point arc, Sultan cruised to a 67-22 win.

The loss drops Coupeville’s top squad to 1-3 on the season.

Logan Downes paced the Wolves with 12 points, lifting his season total to 61, while Cole White netted a three-ball on his way to five points of his own.

Nick Guay (2), Landon Roberts (2), and Ryan Blouin (1) also scored, with Roberts netting his first bucket as a middle school hoops star, while William Davidson and Zane Oldenstadt also saw floor time.

 

Level 2:

Coupeville’s hottest team kept its unbeaten record alive, using a second half surge to clinch a 36-15 win.

With the victory, the Wolves sit at 3-0-1 on the season, and yes, this is not soccer, and yes, that is a tie, and yes, middle school basketball rules preventing overtime are ridiculous.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Right now, CMS is basking in a win, as the Wolves second squad came out of the halftime locker room up 16-11, then went on a 9-2 run in the third quarter.

Five different Coupeville players netted points in the frame, while the fourth quarter was even better, with an 11-2 surge sparked by six points off the fingertips of Hunter Bronec.

He finished with a game-high 12, while Timothy Nitta was hot on his tail with 11.

Mikey Robinett scored in every quarter on his way to racking up eight points, with Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim (2), Hurlee Bronec (2), and Nathan Ginnings (1) also scoring.

 

Level 3:

Coupeville’s third squad is still looking for its first win, but getting closer and closer each time out.

Tuesday, the Wolves fell 36-26, dropping their record to 0-3.

Justin Jansen and JP Edoukou each tossed in 10 points to take care of most of the scoring, while Chris Villarreal (2), Alex Clark (2), and Harlan Mouw (1) also scratched their names in the scoring column.

Jesus Madrigal and Jordan Bradford also hit the floor for the Wolves.

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Makana Stone is off to a 4-0 start during her senior season at Whitman. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The spotlight found its star.

Saturday night in California, two undefeated women’s basketball teams went down to the wire, but the squad with the Coupeville connection came out on top.

Throwing down 19 of her 21 points in the second half, Makana Stone gave Whitman College a fighting chance against their host, the University of Redlands.

Then, with the Blues clinging to a one-point lead, the former Wolf slammed the door shut, springing forward and rejecting what could have been a game-winning shot with just five ticks left on the clock.

Elevating at the exact right moment, Stone slapped away Redlands bid for a win, then corralled the loose ball, even as she was roughly knocked to the floor.

Tack on two ensuing free throws from fellow Whitman senior Mady Burdett, and the Blues headed to the door with a hard-fought 79-76 win.

The non-conference victory, coming in night one of a two-game trip to Cali, lifts Whitman to a pristine 4-0 on the season.

The Blues play at Whittier College Monday, then head to Texas for two games, as they play their first seven games away from home.

Whitman’s home opener in Walla Walla isn’t until Dec. 13.

Both teams entered play Saturday sporting identical 3-0 marks, and the game was a beautiful battle.

With Burdett trading three-balls with Redlands gunner Alyssa Downs — the duo finished with 26 and 31 points respectively, while netting seven treys apiece — the squads vied for control of a wild game.

Up 22-17 after one quarter, Whitman found itself trailing 42-37 at the half after Redlands momentarily took control.

That was when the Blues handed the ball to Stone, and let the one-woman wrecking crew go to work.

Pounding the ball inside, Coupeville’s progeny couldn’t be controlled in the second half, racking up nine points in the third quarter, then going for another 10 down the stretch.

With the game knotted at 64-64 headed into the fourth, Stone knocked down the first three points of the final frame, before Redlands surged back to take a 71-70 lead.

Cue Stone running wild through the paint, with three layups and a free throw on the offensive side of the ball and a big block on the defensive side, as Whitman turned the deficit into a 77-71 lead.

Things weren’t going to be that easy, however, as Redlands swished a three-ball, then rattled home two free throws, off a fairly bad call, to get back within 77-76.

Both charity shots bent the laws of physics, popping up, rolling around, then somehow crawling back into the net at the very last second.

With Whitman unable to get the ball inside to its red-hot second-half hero in the final moments, the Blues missed a layup, then a three-ball off of an offensive rebound, giving Redlands its final shot.

Not that the Bulldogs had a realistic shot, as Stone sprang on the shot like a jaguar, sending shock waves all the way back home to Whidbey.

The Coupeville grad finished with nine rebounds, three blocks, and two assists, to go with her 21 points, which she racked up by hitting 9-15 from the field and 3-4 at the line.

On the season, Stone has piled up 70 points, 26 rebounds, six steals, five blocks, and three assists, while shooting 27-47 (57.4%) and 16-20 (80%).

Heading into Monday’s game, she sits with 998 career points, a basket shy of becoming just the ninth woman in Whitman history to top 1,000.

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Nick Guay leads the charge. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Aha, my old foe, you thought you could escape from me, but you were wrong, so wrong!”

Familiarity breeds improvement.

During its first season of competition, the Coupeville Middle School boys soccer team has just three rivals filling out its 10-game season.

The Wolves have beaten Granite Falls twice, while falling all three times they’ve played both Lakewood and Northshore Christian Academy.

The latest of those defeats came Wednesday in Lakewood, where CMS fell 4-0 on the pitch to their large-school rivals.

While the losses have piled up a bit during a 2-6 season, the chance to face off with the same squads has given the Wolves a chance to measure their progress.

In each of their three meetings, Coupeville has reduced the goals scored by Lakewood, a much-larger middle school which funnels students to a 2A high school.

The Wolves have brought the number down from eight in game one, to five in game two, then to four in the final meeting this season between the schools.

And it was actually much closer, as Lakewood only led 1-0 at the half and 2-0 late in the game.

A pair of back-to-back scores in the waning moments stretched out the margin, but didn’t dampen the positive showing from the Wolves.

“We played a great game against an undefeated team,” said Coupeville coach Reese Cernick.

“The Lakewood coach kept commenting the whole game how much we had improved and how on point our defense is.” he added. “This was one of the best games we’ve played this season, hands down.”

Coupeville has two games left on its schedule, traveling to Granite Falls Monday, Oct. 21 in pursuit of a season sweep.

After that, the Wolves wrap their inaugural season Oct. 23 at home against Northshore Christian.

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