Posts Tagged ‘road warriors’

Freshman Kiara Contreras, an Energizer Rabbit in a Wolf uniform, had a sensational blocked shot Saturday for the Coupeville JV hoops squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we’re not going to focus on that for very long.

Instead, if you keep reading, we have the world debut of a poem by a hoops coach, written while camped in a bouncing bus on the back-roads of America.

Yeah, you’re not getting that in the Seattle Times, now, are you?

But first, a few quick notes.

Yes, Nooksack Valley, using a full lineup of varsity swing players, beat the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball squad 54-24 Saturday.

With the non-conference loss, the Wolf young guns head into a 12-day break between games sporting a solid 4-4 record.

If you’re looking for statistical highlights, we have Kylie Van Velkinburgh, dropping a team-high seven points and snatching three rebounds, and Izzy Wells, going for six and nine.

Anya Leavell (5), Audrianna Shaw (2), Kiara Contreras (2), Abby Mulholland (1), and Morgan Stevens (1) also scored, while Ja’Kenya Hoskins tore down six boards.

Shaw and Mollie Bailey each dealt out two assists, while Contreras, the Energizer Bunny in a Wolf uniform, delivered the night’s loudest play.

Chasing down a Nooksack player from behind, the CHS guard sprinted from half court, went airborne, then rejected the Pioneer shot from behind at the very last second, LeBron James-style.

“She (Kiara) brought the most energy as always,” said Coupeville coach Amy King. “Everyone else took the court and did what they could do. Move the ball, help their teammates, play the best defense they could.”

And now on to the world-exclusive, as King, the Bard of the Hardwood, delivers a poem to send us into winter break.

Amy started writing her poem when we got on the bus and before we made our stop for food,” said CHS varsity coach (and proud husband) David King. “Less than 30 minutes. What a talent she has.”


A long trip up North,
No, not to North Pole
The Grinch is named Nooksack
We got in a hole

The game was a tough one
We did what we could
We were getting down on ourselves
But still did some good

They had one defender
Always harassing the guard
We found ways around it
But made it too hard

They stole like the Grinch would
They laughed as they shot
Their coach strayed out of his box
And finally got caught.

We weren’t watching the score
Though their book got it wrong
Thanks to Heidi and Nicole
For keeping it strong

The game was the normal
Back and forth fight
And every girl on our team
Did all they could for the night

Audri, Mollie, Kiara and
Anya led us up top
Ja’Kenya, Abby, Morgan
Izzy, Kylie pulled out all the stops

Kiara had a shot block
Surely heard from outside,
And Izzy, a spin move,
Her defender along for the ride.

Towards the end it was noticed
Their #12 needed to score
We would not let that happen
So we defended her more

So the Grinch got the win
But we put up a fight
We get to go eat now
And to all a good night

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Grady Rickner helped lead Coupeville’s JV to a win Saturday at Orcas. The Wolf varsity wasn’t as lucky. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Some good, some bad, and, hopefully, something to build on.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball squads endured an all-day trek Saturday while traveling to and from Orcas Island, finally making it back home with a split decision.

The Wolf JV romped to a win to push its win/loss record up over the .500 mark, while the CHS varsity almost stormed all the way back to grab its first win, only to run out of time.



After struggling to get much of an offensive show going in the first three quarters, the Wolves rang up a 22-7 run over the game’s final eight minutes.

With freshman Hawthorne Wolfe scorching the nets for 12 of his game-high 18 in the fourth quarter, Coupeville cut deeply into its deficit, before falling 48-40.

The non-league loss drops CHS to 0-5, with the North Sound Conference opener Tuesday at home against Sultan.

Saturday, the Wolves struggled from the field in the first half, falling behind 26-8 at the break. A 10-4 first quarter stung a bit, but a 16-4 second frame was fatal.

Orcas, which shot 22 more free throws than the visitors (but missed a ton of them) stretched the lead out to 23 points heading into the fourth.

That was where things finally seemed to click for the Wolves, as they hit five of their eight three-balls in the final stretch.

Wolfe rattled home three (he had five in the game), while Mason Grove netted both of his treys as the game wound down.

As mentioned before, Orcas enjoyed a huge disparity at the free throw line, but couldn’t do much once they got there, hitting just 9-28 from the stripe. Coupeville was 4-6.

Still, all the fouls hurt the Wolves, as two players fouled out and another two came within a single call of joining them permanently on the sideline.

Wolfe’s 18 points are his season (and high school career) high, while Gavin Knoblich and Grove added six apiece. Knoblich’s output doubled his scoring for the year.

Jered Brown added five, including a three-ball, while Ulrik Wells worked down low for three and Sean Toomey-Stout slipped a pair of free throws through the net to round out the attack.

Dane Lucero, Jacobi Pilgrim and Jean Lund-Olsen rounded out the active roster.



Coupeville’s second unit came out hot and never cooled off, rolling to a 39-23 win in which it outscored Orcas in every quarter.

The win lifts the young guns to 3-2 on the season.

Not only are they the only Wolf hoops squad with a winning record, they actually have more victories (3-2) than the other four CHS basketball teams combined.

With coach Chris Smith guiding things from the bench, Coupeville powered out to a 14-9 lead after one quarter.

Grady Rickner led the way in the early going, dropping three buckets in the opening frame, while Logan Martin and Daniel Olson chipped in with two baskets apiece.

A unit known for letting it fly from three-point land, the Wolves settled for just a single trey, from sophomore TJ Rickner, instead draining buckets every other way.

A five-point lead after one quarter became a six-point bulge at the half, then a 10-point margin after three, before finishing as a 16-point win, as Coupeville kept the pressure up.

Martin paced the Wolves with a game-high 10, while the Rickner brothers combined for 17, with Grady netting nine and TJ smacking home eight.

Olson (6), Tucker Hall (4) and Sage Downes (2) rounded out the scoring, with Miles Davidson, Chris Ruck and Cody Roberts also seeing floor time.

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Coupeville’s Sean Toomey-Stout tossed in seven points Monday at Sequim. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Closer and closer, but just not there yet.

The Coupeville High School varsity boys basketball squad has played three games this season, and cut their deficit in each outing.

Now they just need a win.

Attempt #3 went well for 16 minutes, as the Wolves carried a six-point lead in at the break Monday at Sequim, but a cold-shooting second half ultimately doomed them.

Only down by one after three quarters, Coupeville was outscored 14-7 by their hosts and fell 38-30.

The non-conference loss drops CHS to 0-3 on the season, but opportunity lurks, as the Wolves have two more games this week.

“We’ll get there,” said Coupeville coach Brad Sherman. “Just need to get our offense rolling. Shots will start to fall.”

Defense was the name of the game in the first half, as the Wolves held Sequim to single digits, heading to the locker room up 15-9.

After a 5-5 stalemate in the first, Coupeville rode the sweet shooting touch of Hawthorne Wolfe in the second frame.

A pair of buckets and a pair of free throws gave the fab frosh six in the quarter, letting him outscore his rivals by himself.

Unfortunately, while the Wolves doubled their output, scoring another 15 points after the break, Sequim ripped off 29, winning the quarter battles 15-8 and 14-7.

The hosts nailed five of their seven three-point bombs in the second half, and with Coupeville’s lone trey coming courtesy Wolfe in the fourth quarter, that tipped the scales a bit.

Both teams were fairly even at the free-throw line, as Sequim hit 5-7 and CHS finished 5-9.

Wolfe led Coupeville in scoring for the second time in three games, pouring in 11, while junior Sean Toomey-Stout banked home seven in support.

With 26 points apiece, the duo are tied atop the season scoring chart.

Ulrik Wells and Jered Brown added four points apiece in support, while Gavin Knoblich swished a pair of free throws and senior captain Dane Lucero knocked down his first bucket of the season.

Coupeville, which also gave floor time to Mason Grove, Jacobi Pilgrim, Jean Lund-Olsen and Koa Davison, has played teams from three separate classifications, and will soon make it four.

Oak Harbor is 3A, The Bush School 1A and Sequim 2A, while the next two foes, Friday Harbor and Orcas Island, hail from 2B.

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Coupeville’s Ben Smith snagged his first varsity reception Friday in a loss against Cedar Park Christian. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Put that coffee down. Coffee’s for closers.

If we follow the golden rule thrown down by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, the Coupeville High School football team gets no caffeine this morning.

Because, while the Wolves forced and recovered three fumbles Friday in Kirkland, and pulled off several outstanding pass plays, the one thing they couldn’t do was close against host Cedar Park Christian.

Unable to stuff the ball in the end zone, or prevent the Eagles from doing the same, Coupeville fell 42-0, handing CPC the win it needed to clinch the North Sound Conference title.

Win or lose the regular-season finale Oct. 26, Cedar Park (4-0 in league play) will hang the first league championship banner in program history.

And it only took disgraced former Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff two years to turn his new squad from also-rans to winners.

In the other NSC games played Friday, King’s shredded Sultan 52-13, while South Whidbey held off Granite Falls 19-14.

With one week left in the regular season, King’s (3-1) and South Whidbey (3-1) have also clinched playoff berths, and their game next Friday will decide the league’s #2 and #3 playoff seeds.

The fourth, and final, conference postseason berth is still up for grabs, with Granite Falls (1-3) and Sultan (1-3) tied, a game up on Coupeville (0-4).

If the Wolves, who are 3-5 overall, uphold Senior Night honor Oct. 26 and beat Granite Falls, and Sultan loses against CPC, it would leave all three teams in a deadlock.

For a moment Friday, it looked like Coupeville might be able to hold its own with Cedar Park, even playing on unfamiliar turf and having made its longest road trip of the season.

The Wolves got the ball first, with a strong kickoff return from Shane Losey setting the table.

A couple of ziggy, zaggy runs from Sean Toomey-Stout helped CHS move the ball, and, when they momentarily stalled, they took advantage of an Eagle error.

Coupeville lofted a nice punt, the ball popped free from the Eagle receiver, and Toomey-Stout alertly jumped on the runaway pigskin, helping the Wolves pick up an accidental 30 yards and a new set of downs starting at the CPC 26-yard line.

After both teams exchanged penalties, Wolf QB Dawson Houston dropped a sparkling pass down the left sideline for 12 yards, hitting Toomey-Stout right on the hands and CHS was knocking on heaven’s door.

It wasn’t to be, though, as a botched snap cost Coupeville eight yards, and then the Eagles defense stiffened, knocking away potential pass receptions on back-to-back plays to force a turnover on downs.

At that exact moment, with CPC going under center for the first time, and with the Wolves having carved six and a half minutes off the clock, it looked like the night might be a nail-biter.

The Eagles had other ideas though. Horrifying ideas.

A team known for running suddenly debuted an electrifying pass attack, garnering 46 yards on a long pass play down the middle of the field.

Before Coupeville could recover its composure, CPC sent a runner rambling the final 17 yards needed for the game’s first touchdown.

And, just like that, in two plays, the Eagles accomplished what the Wolves couldn’t get done in an opening drive which went 17 plays.

Proving it wasn’t a fluke, while also conserving energy, Cedar Park used just three plays to score a TD on its next possession, with a long pass, a questionable roughing the passer penalty and a short run combining to cover 39 yards and put CPC up 14-0 after one quarter of play.

The Eagles put the game on ice in the second quarter, with TD passes of 31 and 10 yards, followed by a 56-yard bolt to daylight.

The fifth score stung more than most, as it came one play after Derek Leyva saved a touchdown by chasing down a CPC runner from behind and yanking him down at the one-yard line.

After all that, the play was called back due to a holding call on Cedar Park, which just gave the host team a bit more room to run on the next snap.

Houston moved Coupeville down the field, connecting on big pass plays with Leyva and Toomey-Stout, but both drives stalled out at crunch time, leaving the Wolves with little to show for their efforts.

The first of Leyva’s two catches in the second quarter was especially impressive, as the converted soccer star went airborne, waited until two CPC defenders mashed him, one from each side, then, and only then, pulling in the pass and holding on to it for dear life.

Toomey-Stout added his second fumble recovery right before the half, while Andrew Martin, Dane Lucero and Ryan Labrador anchored the defense, piling up tackles.

But Cedar Park tacked on a final touchdown on the very first play of the third quarter, taking the kickoff to the house to stretch the lead out to its final margin of 42-0.

In the late going, Houston continued to chip away at the defense, taking what little it offered him, with superb passes under pressure to Lucero and Ben Smith.

With a running clock in affect after the third-quarter kickoff return, the second half moved quickly.

Coupeville, which was playing without starters Chris Battaglia, Matt Hilborn, Gavin St Onge, Jake Pease and Xavier Murdy, did its best to put up a fight until the final whistle.

Alex Turner terrorized Cedar Park’s backup ball-carriers, stuffing several running plays, while Leyva recovered his first fumble to cap his best all-around game in his short gridiron career.

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   An injury kept Maddie Vondrak on the bench Thursday, but she was invaluable as a sideline reporter. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The road warriors continue to rock.

Half the team has yet to play a high school volleyball match at home, but Coupeville’s JV spikers haven’t let unfamiliar courts throw off their game.

After running host North Mason off the floor to a 25-15, 25-14, 25-27 tune Thursday, the Wolf young guns are a crisp 3-0 on the season.

And now, finally, their new players will get a chance to play in front of their home fans for the first time, when Coupeville hosts Klahowya next Tuesday, Sept. 26.

While the trek to the wilds of Belfair (72.6 miles one way) made for a long day, CHS pulled things together quickly against their 2A opponents.

“The JV played well today after enduring the long trip to North Mason,” said Wolf coach Chris Smith. “Our bus legs had us playing a little slow out of the gate but we mustered up the energy.”

Raven Vick put the punctuation mark on both of the first two sets, ending the first with a service ace and the second with an emphatic kill.

Camped on the bench for a night with an ankle injury, Maddie Vondrak put in time as an unpaid assistant coach, and she was a treasure trove of info.

Documenting the Wolves high points (of which there were many), she hailed Chelsea Prescott, Maya Toomey-Stout and Zoe Trujillo for “aggressive swings” and Lucy Sandahl for “awesome sets and passes.”

Coupeville passed the ball strongly all night, with Emma Mathusek, Vick and Trujillo leading the way.

The Wolves stayed on the attack in the second set, with Sandahl firing multiple aces to key the offense.

Prescott was a constant threat, praised by Vondrak for “always reading, looking for spots when serving/hitting, reaching when hitting and nice covering.”

Her other fellow freshmen were on top of their game, as well, with Kylie Chernikoff delivering “an awesome hit on the 17th point,” while Savannah Smith had “good reads and transitions.”

With the win in hand for Coupeville, the two teams opted to play a largely meaningless third set, then promptly went to war whether it mattered or not.

Vondrak gushed over her teammates hustle and refusal to let plays die, even when the ball was seemingly dead in the net.

Whether it was Mathusek’s “awesome down-balls,” Sandahl dealing with “tricky tips,” or Chernikoff and Prescott spraying service aces, everyone chipped in on the victory.

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