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Posts Tagged ‘season opener’

CHS players listen to coach Brad Sherman during a timeout. (Michelle Glass photo)

This is its own thing.

The Coupeville High School varsity boys’ basketball team put together a season for the ages last time around.

Winning league and bi-district crowns en route to their first trip to state since 1988, the Wolves were the last unbeaten 2B team in the land, winners of 16 straight to open the 2021-2022 campaign.

That won’t happen this time around.

Instead, a new-look Coupeville squad starts at 0-1, after falling 62-54 Wednesday at South Whidbey.

The non-conference loss, coming against a strong-shooting Falcon squad which features nine seniors on its roster, doesn’t have to be a crippler, however.

The Wolves don’t start league play until January, and the chance to hone their game against schools from larger classifications, such as 1A South Whidbey, could be invaluable.

If nothing else, Coupeville showed nice resilience, overcoming a poor performance at the free-throw line and the occasional growing pains of a roster in flux to rally several times.

Trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half, the Wolves kicked up their defensive effort and cut the deficit down to single digits more than once.

The rise in intensity was highlighted by the work of Cole White and Chase Anderson, who flustered the Falcons by relentlessly fighting for control of every loose ball and challenging South Whidbey’s ability to push the ball up court.

Anderson, a freshman, hit the court late with the knowledge he had five fouls to burn, and burn most of them he did, thoroughly getting under the skin of his rivals.

As the Falcons grew ever more frustrated with his refusal to step back, The Magic Man never flinched, his eyes burning a hole through their fragile psyches, before calmly strolling away, a whisper of a smile at the corner of his mouth.

The late defensive stand made up for some struggles in the beginning.

Coupeville actually outshot South Whidbey from the three-point line, winning the trey battle 7-6 by the end of the night.

But while that’s a cold, hard fact, every single one of the Falcon three-balls seemed to be a gut-punch.

None hurt worse than a miracle shot which splashed home a half of a tick before the halftime buzzer roared, pushing an eight-point South Whidbey lead to 11 as the teams left the court.

Unless it was the very next Falcon three-ball, which dropped through the net mere moments into the third quarter, sparking a 12-5 run which lifted the hosts to a 44-26 advantage.

South Whidbey led from start to finish, pushing out to an 18-11 lead after one quarter of play, and Coupeville failed to score back-to-back buckets until late in the second quarter.

The Wolves had their moments early, whether it was White popping a short jumper off of a William Davidson rebound and dish, or Ryan Blouin nailing a three-ball for his first varsity points.

But CHS couldn’t put together a sustained run for much of the night, and each time it almost did, South Whidbey stuck a quick dagger in to blunt the rally.

Wolf junior gunner Logan Downes came to life in the second half, rampaging through the paint and arcing moon shots, collecting 17 of his team-high 25 points after halftime.

That included a trio of third quarter three-balls, while running mate Alex Murdy flipped the nets on a pair of late treys.

Coupeville got as close as 58-51 late in the fourth, after Jonathan Valenzuela hauled in a pinpoint pass from Downes and slapped home a layup over a forest of Falcon arms.

But it wasn’t to be, as South Whidbey closed out the game at the charity stripe and was ruthlessly efficient.

Downes was the lone Wolf to hit double digits with his 25 points, while White (9), Murdy (8), Nick Guay (5), Valenzuela (4), and Blouin (3) chipped in.

Zane Oldenstadt, Davidson, and Anderson also saw floor time for Coupeville, which hosts 2A Lakewood Saturday.

Tip time for the varsity boys is 7:00 PM.

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Davin Houston (right) and Coupeville Middle School basketball kicked off a new season Thursday at Langley. (Alia Houston photo)

The shoes are squeaking on the hardwood once more.

Basketball is back in action, with the Coupeville Middle School boys’ hoops stars first to take the floor in a competitive game.

Facing off with next-door neighbor South Whidbey down in Langley Thursday, the Wolves held their own, coming within a bucket or two of winning two of three.

While the Cougars ultimately swept all three games, it was a strong start for a CMS program featuring a considerable chunk of players who are fairly new to the sport.

The Wolves put 12 players into the scoring column on opening day.

Coupeville returns home for its next three games, hosting Lakewood (Nov. 22), Sultan (Nov. 29), and King’s (Dec. 1) as the eight-game schedule begins to unfold.

How Thursday went down:

 

Level 1:

The day’s most-competitive rumble, as South Whidbey surged, Coupeville rallied, then the Cougars held off the Wolves at the end for a 35-31 win.

A 12-2 run by the hosts stung CMS, as it fell behind 21-9 at the half.

The second half was a different story, however, with Coupeville going on a 13-4 tear in the third quarter before getting all the way back to knot things up at 27-27 midway through the final frame.

South Whidbey closed the game strongly, getting key buckets down the stretch, but the scrappiness shown by the Wolves bodes well for the future.

Jayden McManus banged home 10 points to lead Coupeville, while Carson Grove sank a pair of three-balls en route to an eight-point performance.

Chayse Van Velkinburgh, the lone 6th grader on the varsity, chipped in with five, while Davin Houston (3), Riley Lawless (3), and Sage Arends (2) also scored.

Coupeville’s first unit also featured appearances by Dylan Robinett, Joshua Stockdale, and Nic Laska.

Chayse Van Velkinburgh fires off a free throw. (Dustin Van Velkinburgh photo)

 

Level 2:

A slow start doomed Coupeville, as an 18-1 deficit after one quarter of play morphed into a 39-5 loss.

CMS clamped down on defense after that, limiting its hosts to just four points in the second quarter.

Liam Lawson and Nathan Niewald paced the Wolves, each dropping in a bucket, while Robinett rippled the nets on a free throw.

Wyatt Fitch-Marron, Charles Hart, Hunter Atteberry, and Brantley Campbell also saw floor time for CMS.

 

Level 3:

Take away the second quarter and Coupeville wins this one.

The Wolves held South Whidbey to just four points in every other quarter, but an 8-0 deficit in frame #2 was the difference in a 20-16 loss.

Down 12-2 at the half, CMS rallied to win the second half to a tune of 14-8, with Cyrus Sparacio going off for all of his team-high eight points in the fourth quarter.

Jacob Barajas and Campbell knocked down four points apiece in support, while Johnathan Jacobsen, Zach Blitch, Jacob Meador, Khanor Jump, Kenneth Jacobsen, and Atteberry rounded out the roster.

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Aidan Wilson pushes the action in Coupeville’s opener. (Morgan White photos)

They’re on the board.

The Coupeville High School boys soccer squad became the final fall sports team to make its season debut, falling 6-1 Tuesday at Mount Vernon Christian.

The Wolf booters had an earlier game cancelled, pushing back their opener.

And while Coupeville lost to a tough Northwest 2B/1B League rival, it acquitted itself well.

“Great game and great play from everyone against a state contender,” said CHS coach Robert Wood.

“Gave them a chance to see the pace of play and skillset/accuracy needed to contend.”

Preston Epp holds off a pesky Hurricane.

Coupeville’s goal came courtesy¬†Aidan Wilson, who smacked home a shot for an unassisted score.

“He wanted the ball more than the keeper,” Wood said.

It was Wilson’s fourth high school goal.

Coupeville has a chance to get a few more practices in, before its home opener Saturday, Sept. 17 against Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood.

Kickoff is at noon at Mickey Clark Field, with the Wolf girls playing Ocosta at 2 PM in the second half of a doubleheader.

Admission is free for both games.

Cole White battles for control of the ball.

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Landon Roberts was one of 12 CHS cross country runners who competed Saturday in Bellingham. (Photo courtesy Sherry Bonacci)

The Wolves pause for a group photo before running. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The trail calls to them.

Dodging the wildfire smoke which blanketed Washington state Saturday, the Coupeville High School cross country squad kicked off a new season.

The Wolves sent 12 runners to the line at the Gear Up Northwest Cross Country Preview in Bellingham, an event which drew 36 schools.

Saturday’s two-mile races were largely divided by grade, with sophomores facing sophomores, seniors vs. seniors, and so on.

Next up for CHS is the 43rd annual Carl Westling Invite, which goes down next Saturday, Sept. 17 at South Whidbey High School.

 

Saturday’s results:

 

GIRLS:

 

Freshmen:

Reagan Callahan (64th) 19:03.35

 

Seniors:

Claire Mayne (56th) 16:36.36

 

BOYS:

 

Freshmen:

George Spear (29th) 12:16.19
Easton Green (91st) 14:34.64

 

Sophomores:

Landon Roberts (83rd) 13:18.94
Carson Field (84th) 13:21.08
Thomas Strelow (92nd) 13:36.66
Preston Howard (104th) 14:07.25

 

Seniors:

Mitchell Hall (53rd) 12:22.33
Tate Wyman (85th) 14:17.31

 

JV:

Nick Wasik (59th) 13:57.75
Ezekiel Allen (98th) 15:10.26

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Grey Peabody helped spark Coupeville to a straight-sets win over Friday Harbor in the season opener. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The streak lives.

Since returning to the Northwest 2B/1B League in 2020, the Coupeville High School varsity volleyball team has lost to only one conference rival — three-time defending state champ La Conner.

Prepping for another run at the Braves, the Wolves opened a new season Thursday by proving once again they will be worthy contenders.

With several players claiming key new positions in the rotation, Coupeville dominated on its home floor, waxing visiting Friday Harbor 25-5, 25-12, 25-12.

The Wolves trailed exactly once in the match, and that was at 1-0 to open the second set.

Other than that, CHS was in control at every moment, something coach Cory Whitmore was pleased to see.

“We had good energy and communication, from the first point of the first set through to the last point of the match,” he said.

Whitmore praised the all-around play of senior leaders Maddie Georges and Alita Blouin, who kept the Wolf offense humming all night.

“I was very excited by our service return; Alita was all over the court,” he said. “That allowed our hitters to get on their routes, and Maddie was squaring up and delivering fastballs to them.”

Coupeville stormed out to a quick 5-0 lead with Georges firing off precision serves, and never looked back in the opening set.

The Wolves spread their kills out all evening, and the opening salvo was a stirring demonstration of what was to come.

Jill Prince, Ryanne Knoblich, Mia Farris, and Grey Peabody all delivered winners at the net, overpowering their opponents, while Lyla Stuurmans bounded high to collect a resounding, crowd-pleasing block.

Everything was working for the Wolves, whether it was Taygin Jump stalking the service line, or Madison McMillan closing the set with her own quietly ferocious aces.

If Friday Harbor saw a brief ray of sunshine up 1-0 in the middle set, that was quickly crushed by Prince unloading a roundhouse winner which made mom Jennie sit up and applaud.

Georges delivered another long run on serve to push CHS way out in front, but it was at the net where the Wolves really earned their cheers.

Regardless of how the lineup shuffled, whatever mix of Coupeville players who ended in the forward position were on their toes, and ready to beat the stuffing out of the ball.

Friday Harbor scrambled and fought, trying to keep rallies going, but the Wolverines had few answers for the laser blasts splashing down to their left and right.

Ending the night with a bang, Coupeville put together a crisp third set that featured more precision serves (Georges and Blouin led the way) and more big hits (Stuurmans and Peabody crunching in tandem).

The final punctuation note came from sophomore Jada Heaton, making her varsity debut and closing the match with an ace which hit hardwood and zipped away from a flailing rival.

Whitmore was able to get floor time for his bench as well as his starters, another huge positive on opening night.

“It was fun to get everyone in where we could, and they all contributed,” he said.

 

Stats:

Alita Blouin — 1 assist, 2 aces
Mia Farris
— 6 kills
Maddie Georges
— 4 assists, 6 aces
Jada Heaton
— 1 kill, 2 aces
Ryanne Knoblich
— 4 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace
Madison McMillan
— 2 aces
Grey Peabody
— 5 kills
Jill Prince
— 4 kills
Lyla Stuurmans
— 5 kills, 1 solo block, 1 ace

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