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Carolyn Lhamon returned from an injury Saturday, helping Coupeville roll to a big road win on Orcas Island. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Quite the turn around.

A game after posting its fewest points of the season, the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball squad bounced back with a vengeance Saturday afternoon.

Led by Izzy Wells, who knocked down eight of her game-high 14 points in the final quarter, the Wolves held off Orcas Island 45-36 for a huge road win which doubles as sweet revenge.

The first time the teams met in Coupeville, the Vikings escaped with a three-point win.

This time out, with nine Wolves scoring and the team tying its season-high for points, it all ended in a much-happier way.

“We had a great practice yesterday and that led to an awesome performance today!,” said Coupeville coach Scott Fox. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of these girls.

“We could have folded, but we came out with a vengeance for a great road win.”

CHS was coming off back-to-back losses to undefeated La Conner and one-loss Mount Vernon Christian, but the Orcas win sends the Wolves in the right direction as the season nears its end.

The Wolves, now 4-5 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, have games left against Friday Harbor, Concrete, and Darrington — all teams they have previously beaten this season by double-digits.

Coupeville only scored six points total in its loss to MVC, but put up 15 Saturday in the first quarter alone.

Yet still trailed 20-15 at the first break, as the squads swapped buckets and pushed the pace.

A pair of Orcas three-balls to end the quarter was the difference, but the Wolves didn’t seem flustered a bit.

They were moving the ball crisply, and getting points from everyone on the floor, with six different players tallying a bucket in the opening frame.

Audrianna Shaw started things, going up and around a backpedaling defender for the game’s first bucket, then turned around and fired a crisp outlet pass to set up Maddie Georges for a layup on the very next possession.

Wolf 8th grader Savina Wells netted a three-ball of her own, flipping the net high, and the game looked like it might end with both teams gunning for 70-75 points.

Instead, the combined point totals came down the rest of the way, falling from 35 in the first, to 20 in the second, then 16 and 10 after the half.

A big part of that was Coupeville’s defense, which limited Orcas to more no three-balls after the first quarter, and just 16 points across the final three quarters.

Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Carolyn Lhamon, and Savina Wells dominated the boards, while the Wolf guards attacked from all angles, causing frequent turnovers.

Once they had the ball in their hands, the Wolves continued to spread out their offense, with Kylie Van Velkinburgh and Ryanne Knoblich getting on the board with buckets to open the second quarter.

Both baskets were set up by crisp passes, as Savina Wells and Georges fired balls which zipped between defenders before landing softly in their teammate’s hands.

Coupeville took the lead for good at 23-22, with Hoskins dropping a pair of velvety-smooth free throws through the net, then continued to turn up the defensive heat.

Orcas, playing its season finale in this pandemic-altered season, didn’t go down easily, however.

The Vikings stayed within range at 37-34 through three quarters, and it could have been even tighter.

But, up by a single point, Shaw busted the defense, hauled in a long pass, and slapped home a layup right before the Orcas scorekeeper could hit the buzzer to signal the end of the quarter.

After exchanging buckets to open the fourth, the ever-serene Izzy Wells strolled across the court and drove a stake through the heart of Vikings fans everywhere.

Scoring on a combination of moves, Savina’s older sister iced things by collecting the game’s final three buckets, earning a nod of approval from her coach.

Izzy’s offensive performance was spectacular to see,” Fox said. “Audri was our rock, as usual, and Ja’Kenya crashed the boards like no other.

“It makes the ferry ride home much nicer!”

With her 14-point performance, Izzy Wells cracks the 100-point club, becoming the 102nd girl in CHS hoops history to do so since 1974.

She actually has 102 points, and counting, and is (for the moment at least) the #101 scorer all-time.

Shaw, who is making her own run at the 100-point club, finished with 11 Saturday, while Hoskins and Georges tossed in four apiece.

Knoblich (3), Savina Wells (3), Gwen Gustafson (2), Van Velkinburgh (2), and Lhamon (2) rounded out the offense, while Lyla Stuurmans and Anya Leavell also saw floor time.

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Sophomore sharpshooter Ryanne Knoblich scored her first varsity points Saturday, helping Coupeville storm to a big road win. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Savina Wells rifles a pass to Maddie Georges, who cracked an exclusive scoring club.

“They finally busted out as a team.”

Roaring out of the halftime locker room, the Coupeville High School varsity girls basketball squad obliterated host Friday Harbor in the second half Saturday.

Turning a one-point halftime deficit into a double-digits victory, the Wolves captured a 38-25 win, and put a smile on coach Scott Fox’s face.

“After coming out flat from an early morning reveille and long ferry ride, we turned it up and came out firing on all cylinders in the second half,” he said.

“They all contributed. This was a great road win for a young team.”

Coming hot on the heels of a narrow loss at home less than 48 hours before, the victory lifts Coupeville to 1-2 at the quarter mark of this pandemic-altered 12-game season.

The Wolves now head home for back-to-back home games, with Concrete coming to Whidbey Tuesday, May 25, before Northwest 2B/1B League powerhouse La Conner arrives two days later.

Those are challenges for other days, however. For the moment, let Coupeville bask in the glow of victory.

Saturday’s game tipped at 11:30 AM, which meant the Wolves left their own gym at 7:45.

Once on the floor, they stayed close, leading 7-5 after one quarter, before slipping behind 12-11 at the half.

The third quarter was all Coupeville, however, with junior guard Audrianna Shaw throwing down seven of her game-high 12 points to spur an 18-8 Wolf run.

She got plenty of help, with Kylie Van Velkinburgh adding five in the quarter, while Maddie Georges banked in three, Izzy Wells popped for two, and Carolyn Lhamon tickled the twines for a free throw.

The Wolves kept the defensive pressure on through the fourth quarter, coasting in for the win.

Georges, Coupeville’s sophomore point guard, made a little history in the final frame, swishing a three-ball to officially move into the 100-point club.

With six points Saturday, she sits with 102 points, and is the 101st Wolf girl to hit triple-digits since the CHS girls program began in 1974.

Passing Monica Vidoni (97), Lupine Wutzke (98), and Sue Wyatt (100), Georges is now #100 on the career scoring chart, a small burst away from shooting even higher.

It wasn’t the only history, as sophomore Ryanne Knoblich and 8th grader Lyla Stuurmans both knocked down buckets in the fourth, scoring their first varsity points, joining an exclusive club which now numbers 233 girls.

Stuurmans is in an even-more exclusive club, as she and Savina Wells are the only 8th grade girls to score in a CHS varsity hoops game.

On the day, Shaw led the books with 12 points, including a pair of long-range three-balls.

The always-efficient Izzy Wells (6), Georges (6), Van Velkinburgh (5), Lhamon (3), Stuurmans (2), Knoblich (2), and Savina Wells (2) also scored.

Anya Leavell, making her season debut, and Morgan Stevens both saw solid floor time for the Wolves.

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Chelsea Prescott delivered a big-time performance Thursday, leading Coupeville to a straight-sets win at Darrington. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ryanne Knoblich scrapes a ball off the floor.

Back in a groove.

A match after being roughed-up by two-time defending state champ La Conner, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad was ready to rumble Thursday night.

Invading Darrington, the fired-up Wolves chopped down the Loggers, felling their foes 25-20, 25-14, 25-16.

The straight-sets victory, Coupeville’s second-straight on the road, lifts it to 2-1 on the season heading into a home clash Saturday with Mount Vernon Christian.

With a day of practice in between the La Conner and Darrington tilts, the Wolves were able to refocus, said coach Cory Whitmore.

“Much, much better showing last night against Darrington,” he said. “After a very focused and productive practice on Wednesday, I was very pleased to see our response in the immediate game following, and on the road no less.

“The goal was to keep control of the game’s energy and tempo, and remain focused from warmups through the final point, and this team did just that.”

Coupeville got something of value from everyone on the floor, but senior Chelsea Prescott was the undeniable focal point of the evening.

Combining grace with savage power, she whacked 13 kills, delivered six service aces, went low for 10 digs, and even found time to climb high for an emphatic block.

Chelsea had herself a game,” Whitmore said. “She was as focused as I’ve ever seen her and contributed basically in each statistical category.

“The game seemed to unfold out as exactly as she wanted it to,” he added. “Adding six aces to a double-double is a dominating performance.”

Strong work came from everyone in a CHS uniform, with sophomore setter Maddie Georges kick-starting the offense with nimble passing.

Maddie G. did a great job of getting Chelsea the ball on her fluid hitting routes,” Whitmore said. “But then just as impressive, Chels moved the ball around with her shots.

“Both outside attackers did a great job with Kylie (Chernikoff) also taking a lot of the serve receptions and pulling in a team-high 11 digs,” he added.

“This allowed Maddie G. to find the best available hitter in transition. Maddie Vondrak’s .308 hitting efficiency was important as well, and, as always, she sparked the team with each kill.”

Chernikoff finished with eight kills and a team-high 11 digs, while Vondrak mashed six kills of her own.

Georges doled out a season-high 27 assists to go with four digs, with Lucy Tenore (six service aces, two kills), Jill Prince (two kills), Jaimee Masters (seven digs, three aces), Abby Mulholland (two aces), and Ryanne Knoblich (four digs) all piling up stats.

Coupeville was very-efficient at the service stripe, with 17 aces (including three in a row from Masters), with just six service errors.

“I’m very happy to see that as a team, we remained fairly low-error. But, almost more importantly, we grew in our knowledge of what it meant to be focused and execute a game plan, in addition to keeping the energy high internally,” Whitmore said.

“Our leaders were big tonight in that regard, and then each player to see the court contributed about exactly what we needed from them.

“With a condensed season, it is important to have a group of quick learners, and so we will keep pushing this energy.”

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Hard-hitting Maddie Vondrak prepares to abuse the volleyball. (Brian Vick photos)

Willow Vick is part of a CHS varsity volleyball squad off to a 9-1 start.

Call it a palate cleanser before the main meal.

Having reached the halfway point of the league season a night before, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball squad spent Thursday relaxing.

Sort of.

The Wolves were back on the floor less than 24 hours after beating Sultan, and this time they had to leave behind their home gym and travel across the waters to Port Townsend.

But it was also sort of relaxing, as the high-flying Coupeville spikers rolled to a quick ‘n easy non-conference win over the RedHawks, coming out on top 25-8, 25-4, 25-10.

The victory lifts the Wolves to a sparkling 9-1 on the season, and now they’ll have a couple days off to mentally and physically prepare for the second half of the conference schedule.

CHS, which is 4-1 in North Sound Conference action, a game off of first-place King’s (5-0) in the six-team league, travels twice next week.

The Wolves invade gyms at Cedar Park Christian Tuesday and South Whidbey Thursday.

The trip to Port Townsend gave CHS coach Cory Whitmore a chance to use every available player, with 11 of 12 varsity athletes hitting the floor.

Only Chelsea Prescott, who is recovering from an ankle injury, sat out the contest.

“It was a good outing tonight with a total team effort,” Whitmore said. “Good to follow up Sultan with a commanding win at Port Townsend.”

Coupeville’s stat line in the straight-sets demolition derby:

Kylie Chernikoff — three kills, one ace, one dig
Hannah Davidson
— six kills
Emma Mathusek
— three digs
Lucy Sandahl
— three aces, three digs, one assist
Scout Smith
— two kills, three aces, two digs, 22 assists
Lucy Tenore
— one kill
Maya Toomey-Stout
— eight kills, six aces, three digs, one assist
Zoe Trujillo
— three kills, six aces, one dig
Raven Vick
— five aces
Willow Vick
— one kill, one ace
Maddie Vondrak
— four kills

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   Ashley Menges doled out 12 assists Tuesday as Coupeville stayed unbeaten in league play. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The hunt for back-to-back league titles rolls on.

The Coupeville High School volleyball squad weathered a tough challenge on the road Tuesday, drilling host Klahowya in straight sets to stay undefeated in Olympic League play.

Escaping Silverdale with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 win, the Wolves improved to 5-0 in conference action, 8-2 overall.

That puts them a game-and-half up on the Eagles (4-2) in the league standings, while Port Townsend (1-4) and Chimacum (1-5) are hanging out in the cellar.

Coupeville hasn’t dropped a set in league play this year, cruising to a pristine 15-0 mark, while winning 80% of their sets overall at 24-6.

After finishing 8-1 in league play last season, the Wolves are 13-1 in conference matches since Cory Whitmore became coach.

His winning percentage of .929 in Olympic League rumbles is third-best among CHS varsity coaches, trailing just girls basketball guru David King (27-0) and girls tennis shaman Ken Stange (15-0).

Tuesday night, Whitmore’s spikers fought off the Eagles with a strong hitting attack.

“We took steps forward today, working to improve our hitting percentage, having all our hitters in positive numbers,” Whitmore said. “Very happy to see that.”

Klahowya came closer than it did the first time the two teams met this season, and, with a third match looming in Coupeville Oct. 25, the Wolves don’t want to let down their guard.

“We didn’t particularly adjust defensively to their attacks and they were a much improved Eagle team,” Whitmore said. “We will have to learn from this when watching film.”

High-flying, ball-crunching force of nature Mikayla Elfrank led the Wolf attack, tattooing the ball for a match-high 10 kills.

She received strong support from her teammates, with Katrina McGranahan pounding home seven put-aways and Payton Aparicio and Scout Smith recording five apiece.

Lauren Rose (21 assists) and Ashley Menges (12) spent the night setting up their hard-hitting teammates, while Hope Lodell (14 digs) and Aparicio (13) went low again and again to keep plays alive.

At the service stripe, McGranahan led the way with four aces. Aparicio added three and Maya Toomey-Stout racked up a pair.

Coupeville returns to action Thursday with a home affair against Port Townsend (JV 4:30/varsity 5:45).

That match will be a Dig Pink Night, with the Wolves raising money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

JV romps:

Coupeville’s young guns rolled to a straight-sets victory of their own Tuesday, winning 25-13, 25-20 in a match shortened by the need to catch a ferry.

Now 8-1 overall, 5-0 in Olympic League play, the JV spikers are meshing well under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Smith.

“We were very happy with the play,” he said. “The team demonstrated good ball control, composure and great communication.

“This team continues to develop in their ability to play together, improving their individual skills and cohesiveness as a unit,” Smith added. “It’s a lot of fun to watch!”

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