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Coupeville’s Daniel Olson reached base twice Friday, rapping a single and eking out a walk in a road loss to King’s. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

At least they’re headed home.

After absorbing an 8-0 loss to King’s Friday night in Shoreline, the Coupeville High School baseball team will spend much of the second half of its season on The Rock.

A team which lost eight players to graduation continues to struggle at the plate, averaging just a single run per game.

Hopefully, steady home cooking will power up the bats.

With Friday’s loss, the Wolves fall to 0-6 in North Sound Conference play, 0-10 overall.

Coupeville is tied with Sultan (0-6, 0-11), a half-game off of Granite Falls (0-5, 2-8) for the fourth, and final, NSC playoff berth.

Cedar Park Christian (8-0, 10-1), South Whidbey (8-1, 11-1), and King’s (4-2, 5-6) hold down the top three slots at the moment.

The Wolves play seven of their final nine regular-season games on the Island, with six in Coupeville.

CHS has three-game series with South Whidbey, Sultan, and Granite remaining on the schedule.

Over the next three weeks, Coupeville plays at home every Monday and Friday, with Wednesday road trips.

While the win/loss record is a big step down from last year, when a veteran Wolf squad finished 15-6, won a league title, and fell a game shy of the state tourney, this year’s team has been competitive.

Pitching and defense have been generally solid, and Coupeville has put runners aboard at a decent clip. But they keep missing out on getting a game-busting hit or two.

The Wolves hung with private school power King’s all week, but, after close 5-0 and 3-2 losses, Friday’s game finished with the most lopsided score.

The host Knights put the game away early this time around, using seven hits and two walks to pile up six runs across the first two innings.

After that, Wolf hurler Daniel Olson and reliever Gavin Knoblich largely stifled their foes.

Olson retired six straight batters from the end of the second inning to the beginning of the fourth, tossing four strikeouts in four innings of work.

Knoblich, who moved out from behind the plate, where he nailed a would-be base thief earlier in the game, pitched the final two innings.

He gave up just a single hit and whiffed a batter, while throwing to senior shortstop Matt Hilborn, who caught for the first time since his freshman campaign.

After banging out seven hits Wednesday, the Wolf offense sputtered Friday, putting only three runners on base.

Olson had the longest adventure, ripping a one-out single in the second inning, moving to second on a stolen base, then scampering to third on a ground-out.

Unfortunately that’s where his trip ended, and the Wolves accomplished little more at the plate.

Knoblich singled in the fourth, but was thrown out on an attempted steal, while Olson led off the fifth with a walk, only to again be stranded.

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Owen Barenburg and his Coupeville High School soccer mates have 10 days off before their next game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

You go to bat country, sometimes you get bitten.

Missing a substantial number of players, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team got roughed up good Monday, falling 9-0 at Forks.

The non-conference loss drops the Wolves to 4-5 on the season, and they now have a 10-day break between games thanks to spring break.

The lopsided score came thanks to a solid foe, a long road trip, and, most importantly, a severely depleted roster thanks to injuries, illness and vacations.

“I only had 12 players make the trip, about half of them JV,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “Not much else to say…”

When CHS returns to action Apr. 12, it jumps back into North Sound Conference play, hopefully with a full roster once again.

The Wolves sit at 2-2 in league play, holding on to third-place in their five-team conference.

With road games against King’s and Sultan, then home clashes with Cedar Park Christian and South Whidbey left to play, the Wolves are chasing a “home” playoff game.

Coupeville can’t host a district playoff game on its own field, as postseason clashes have to go down on turf.

But, if the Wolves hold on to that #3 seed, they would most likely get to host their playoff opener just up the road in Oak Harbor.

When it has been at full power, Coupeville has been competitive in every match.

The Wolves only surrendered 12 goals across their first seven games, but with starting goalie Dewitt Cole out with an injury and the defense comprised by missing players, foes have rung up 14 scores in the last two games.

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Avalon Renninger had four points and six rebounds Saturday as the Coupeville varsity girls absorbed a tough road loss. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Legendary basketball coach George Raveling once said, “Life is about turning obstacles into opportunities.”

It’s a lesson the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball team will need to embrace.

The Wolves looked like they were headed for their second-straight win Saturday, but took an unexpected left turn off a cliff with no parachute, watching in horror as their victory slipped away.

Able to score only seven points across the game’s final 16 minutes, Coupeville surrendered an eight-point advantage, tumbling to an unexpected 31-27 loss at Orcas Island.

The non-conference defeat drops the Wolves to 1-4 on the season.

With four days until their North Sound Conference opener at South Whidbey, it also presents them with a major gut-check moment.

“Now it’s up to us to turn things around,” said CHS coach David King. “Tonight’s game was an unexpected obstacle. This coming week will determine if we can turn it into opportunities.”

Despite a long day of bus and ferry travel to get to a far-flung outpost, Coupeville came out strongly, using its defensive press to disrupt the Orcas attack.

While they struggled a bit with turnovers, the Wolves did get going on offense in the second quarter, taking a 5-5 stalemate after one quarter and turning it into a 20-12 lead at the half.

Sophomore Chelsea Prescott and senior Ema Smith were a two-woman wrecking crew in the opening half, combining for 11 of their team’s points, with all of them coming in the second frame.

Prescott got hers the old-fashioned way, hitting three field goals, while Ema Smith stroked a three-ball and slipped a pair of free throws through the twines.

Toss in a pair of buckets from Avalon Renninger, a long trey off the fingertips of Scout Smith and a field goal from Lindsey Roberts, and CHS was beginning to click on the offensive end of the floor.

One of Renninger’s scores was especially highlight reel worthy.

A long pass intended for Roberts flew over her head as she charged down the sideline in pursuit.

Instead of giving up, the senior captain hit another gear only she has, saving the ball at the last millisecond (while crashing into the Orcas ticket-taker) and re-directing it towards her teammate.

Sprinting up the middle of the floor, Renninger, a professional ball-hawk, snatched the loose orb, pivoted and promptly banged home the bucket to complete an “all-out hustle play.”

Unfortunately for the Wolves, things dried up severely after that.

“Coming out for the third, everything went sideways,” King said. “We couldn’t take care of the ball, and, when we did, our offense slowed down to a snail’s pace.”

Coupeville went nearly five minutes into the second half without scoring, finally breaking through on a free throw from Prescott and a breakaway layup by Tia Wurzrainer.

And yet, despite tallying just three points in the third, the Wolves were holding on to the lead heading into the fourth.

But, up by four, they continued to stall on offense and didn’t help themselves at the free throw line, missing all five of their attempts in the final quarter.

“Orcas had taken the momentum from us; they kept fighting and got into the bonus and in the fourth they shot eight free throws and made four,” King said. “They also beat our press a couple of times with a full court dribble-drive that resulted in layups or getting to the free throw line.

“We played very well for about a quarter and a half,” he added. “The game is four quarters, and we just didn’t get it done and Orcas did.”

The way they lost, even more than the L itself, is what haunts the man at the helm.

“As a coach, this was a tough loss,” King said. “We can’t take possessions off — not keeping the ball moving — on offense. We turn the ball over 21 times, it’s going to show up in our ability to score.”

But there are still 13 regular season games left, including all 10 league contests, and Coupeville’s coach is confident his team can find its sweet spot.

“I was pleased with the press and the many deflections and our 16 steals,” King said. “Just need to convert those.

“We will see if we can correct some things,” he added. “We have to learn when we have a lead, we can’t let up.”

Prescott paced the Wolves with nine points, three rebounds and two steals, while Ema Smith (5), Renninger (4), Roberts (4), Scout Smith (3) and Wurzrainer (2) also scored.

Hannah Davidson and Renninger each snatched six rebounds, Ema Smith topped the stat sheet with five steals and Scout Smith doled out two assists.

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Coupeville 8th grader Mitchell Hall notched eight points Thursday at Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolf 7th grade coach Greg White and his sharp-shooting point guard (and son) Cole watch a recent high school game.

Four games, four very different results.

The Coupeville Middle School boys basketball squads trekked to the wilds of Sultan Thursday, and while the Wolves lost all four contests, the scores differed wildly.

 

8th grade varsity:

CMS came within a basket or two of sweeping the season series with their rivals, but fell just short.

Coupeville had strong first and third quarters, but cold shooting in the other two frames doomed it in a 28-26 nail-biter.

The loss drops the Wolves to 1-7 on the season.

“They got us, it sure is a stinger,” said CMS coach Dante Mitchell. “But I can’t be more proud of the guy’s heart and hustle they showed tonight.”

His squad torched the nets for 10 points in the first and third, but were held to two and four in the second and fourth.

Free throws also hurt the Wolves, as they connected on just 2-9 from the charity stripe.

Mitchell Hall and Alex Murdy paced Coupeville with eight points apiece, while Ty Hamilton tossed in four.

Alex Wasik, Kevin Partida and Dominic Coffman rounded out the Wolf scoring machine with a bucket each, with Levi Pulliam, Jesse Wooten and Josh Upchurch also seeing floor time.

 

7th grade varsity:

The roughest part of the afternoon, as Coupeville inadvertently played the role of the log being force-fed into the chipper.

Facing a brutally-good Turk team, the Wolves, now 2-6, suffered through their coldest offensive performance of the season, falling 47-7.

While his team fought until the end, CMS coach Greg White could see this loss coming.

“Sultan has the best 7th grade team I’ve seen,” he said. “They’ve got some great athletes.”

The Turks blew out to a 17-3 lead after one quarter, stretched the margin to 34-3 by halftime, then coasted home on fumes in the second half.

Cole White, Logan Downes and Mikey Robinett each scored two, while Nick Guay arced a free-throw through the net to complete the limited offensive fireworks for the Wolves.

Ryan Blouin, William Davidson and Zane Oldenstadt rounded out the CMS roster.

 

7th/8th JV:

A joint team, with three eighth-graders (Pulliam, Wooten and Upchurch) joining the younger crew, played twice, facing off with separate Sultan squads.

CMS doesn’t have enough 8th grade players to form different JV teams this season.

Both final scores were lost to the winds, as Sultan’s books went missing, but we know for a fact Coupeville scored 12 points across the pair of two-quarter games, and they were both Wolf losses.

Robinett had the hottest hand for the Wolves, knocking down a team-high six, while Pulliam netted four and Chris Villarreal added a bucket.

Quinten Pilgrim, Timothy Nitta, Andrew Williams, Alex Clark and Justin Wilkinson all saw floor time as well.

 

Next up:

Coupeville wraps its 10-game season with a pair of contests on the Island, traveling to Langley Dec. 11, then hosting Granite Falls Dec. 13.

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Cole White tossed in 11 points Thursday in a narrow loss to King’s. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

What’s a Dollar worth? About 19 points and a win, that’s what.

Sparked by the son of former UCLA great Cameron Dollar, King’s Junior High eked out some payback against Coupeville Middle School Thursday, avenging an early season boys basketball loss to the Wolves.

With Jalen Dollar, who wasn’t eligible the first time around, pouring in 19 of his team’s points, the Knights held off a scrappy CMS 7th grade varsity squad, escaping with a 28-25 win in Shoreline.

The elder Dollar played four seasons at UCLA, helping the Bruins win three Pac-10 crowns and a 1995 national title.

He was a major factor in the championship win, an 89-78 upset of defending champs Arkansas in a game played in front of 38,540 fans at Seattle’s Kingdome.

UCLA star Ed O’Bannon, who was the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player, threw down 30 points and snared 17 boards, but it was Cameron Dollar who was singled out for special praise by coach Jim Harrick afterwards.

Stepping in when starting point guard Tyus Edney went down with an injury in the first half, Dollar finished with a game-high eight assists and four steals.

After his playing days ended in ’97, the Bruin legend became a coach and has worked at seven different NCAA schools over the past 20 years. He’s currently an assistant at the University of Washington.

The loss drops Coupeville to 2-4 on the season, but Wolf coach Greg White and his players weren’t hanging their heads after going toe-to-toe with the big boys.

“Tough loss tonight, but the boys actually played their best game of the season,” he said. “They moved the ball well against a press.”

The Wolves hung tough all game, trailing by just a bucket at the half.

King’s used an 11-7 surge in the third quarter, with Dollar dropping a pair of three-balls, to put some room between the teams, only to see Coupeville put together an 8-5 run of its own in the fourth.

Cole White poured in a season-high 11 to pace the Wolves, while Logan Downes popped for nine and William Davidson slapped home five.

Ryan Blouin, Zane Oldenstadt, Nick Guay, Mikey Robinett, and Quinten Pilgrim also saw floor time for Coupeville.

 

7th grade JV:

The second unit didn’t generate a ton of offense, but played pretty well on defense in an 11-2 loss.

Robinett banked home Coupeville’s lone bucket, while Pilgrim, Justin Wilkinson, Alex Clark, Timothy Nitta, Andrew Williams, and Chris Villarreal were all in action for CMS during the two-quarter game.

 

8th grade varsity:

Mitchell Hall continues to captivate, but not even he was enough to quell a fierce Knights squad which stormed to a 51-22 win.

The loss drops the Wolves to 1-5.

Hall, who has come on strongly in the past few games, tossed in eight points to pace CMS, while Levi Pulliam knocked down a pair of buckets in support.

Dominic Coffman and Alex Wasik each added three, with Coffman drilling a trey, Alex Murdy and Kevin Partida had a basket apiece and Ty Hamilton, Josh Upchurch, and Jesse Wooten chipped in with hustle and hard work.

All three Coupeville teams return home for their next game, with Northshore Christian scheduled to travel to Whidbey Dec. 4.

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