Posts Tagged ‘state tourney’

Greg (left) and Cole White hit the road to Spokane. (Morgan White photos)

Let the 27-hour trip begin!

Well, OK, the trip from Coupeville to Spokane probably takes a little less time than that – though sitting in a school bus, it’s likely to feel that long.

The CHS boys basketball team is bound for the 2B state tournament, where it will put its 16-1 record on the line against Lake Roosevelt (16-6) Wednesday.

That game tips off at 9 PM and is a loser-out affair.

Win Wednesday, and Coupeville is guaranteed to play at least twice more, and maybe three times, at the Spokane Arena.

This is the first trip to the big dance for the Wolf boys hoops program since 1988.

The photos above and below, which capture the town-wide celebration send-off this morning, come to us courtesy Morgan White.

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Carolyn Lhamon was a powerhouse on both ends of the floor this season. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Tigers were too tough.

Having traveled 241 miles down the highway, the Coupeville High School girls basketball team put up a strong fight Saturday but fell a game short of qualifying for the state tournament.

Ultimately, the Wolves couldn’t stop host Tonasket on its home court, falling 58-24 in what turned out to be the season finale.

Coupeville finishes 9-9 in Megan Smith’s first year as head coach and can return nine of 13 girls who scored in a varsity game this season.

With the win Tonasket gets to 16-7 and advances to the 16-team 2B state championships.

The Tigers, who emerged from a tough district, are a talented, battle-hardened team, and they came out strongly in front of their largely-maskless home fans.

Coupeville trailed 11-0 before it finally got the ball to stop popping out of the basket, and the Wolves had trouble breaking through Tonasket’s stingy defense in the first half.

Wolf senior Izzy Wells finally got her team on the board at the 4:15 mark of the first quarter, snatching a rebound and slapping the ball back home.

But down 20-2 at the first break, Coupeville needed an offensive surge and couldn’t find one, failing to put together back-to-back buckets at any point in the first 16 minutes of play.

Not that the Wolves weren’t in there, scrapping away for every opportunity – because they certainly were.

Lyla Stuurmans, playing on dad Scott’s birthday, banked home a jumper from the top of the key for Coupeville’s best-looking bucket, while Nezi Keiper used and abused the defense down low for a score in the paint.

Lyla Stuurmans is one of four Wolf freshmen to see varsity action this year.

The problem was Tonasket responded almost immediately to each Wolf score, and often with a three-ball.

The Tigers rained down eight treys on the afternoon, with five different players netting at least one shot from distance.

Down 41-10 entering the second half, Coupeville dug deep, playing its hosts virtually even across the game’s final 16 minutes.

The Wolves finally got back-to-back buckets in the third quarter — with Carolyn Lhamon and Izzy Wells teaming up to make the net jump — then closed the game on an 8-3 mini-tear.

That run, which had four different CHS players knock down shots, also featured a tooth-rattling block on defense from a rampaging Ja’Kenya Hoskins.

It was the final high school hoops contest for Hoskins, Abby Mulholland, Izzy Wells, and Audrianna Shaw, plus manager Mckenna Somes, as the five-pack all graduate with the Class of ’22.

Audrianna Shaw clamps down on defense.

While her team won’t get a chance to head to state like the Coupeville boys, Megan Smith came away from her first campaign as Wolf head coach pleased with a lot of what she saw.

“It was a heck of a season and I’m super proud of how far these girls came this year,” she said. “Lots of ups and downs and all around. They battled through it all.

“It was a great group of kids to have for my first season of many as a head coach,” Smith added. “I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of this program.

“We have a bright future ahead of us!”

Izzy Wells made her swan song a memorable one, pacing the Wolves with eight points, which allows her to crack the 200-point club for her career.

Lhamon dropped in four in support, with Stuurmans, Maddie Georges, Savina Wells, Shaw, Mulholland, and Keiper each adding a bucket to the cause.

Hoskins and Gwen Gustafson also saw floor time, with youngsters Katie Marti and Mia Farris and injured junior gunner Alita Blouin rounding out the 2021-2022 squad.


Final season scoring stats:

Maddie Georges – 129
Audrianna Shaw – 119
Izzy Wells – 91
Savina Wells – 74
Carolyn Lhamon – 65
Gwen Gustafson – 38
Lyla Stuurmans – 36
Abby Mulholland – 32
Ja’Kenya Hoskins – 27
Nezi Keiper – 27
Alita Blouin – 11
Katie Marti – 9
Mia Farris – 4

Izzy Wells finishes her CHS varsity hoops career with 204 points.

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Coaches across District 1 and 2 are rejoicing like Coupeville’s Megan Smith. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hope burns eternal.

Two days after the Washington Interscholatic Activities Association yanked half of the state basketball tournament allocations reserved for District 1 and 2, a new path has opened up to potentially restore those berths.

Two months ago, when allocations were originally designated, both teams who reached the final of the District 1/2 tourney were assured spots in the 16-team state championships.

Sunday, without prior notice or any public explanation, the WIAA gave away two of those slots — meaning only the winner of next week’s tourney would advance to the big dance.

The District 1/2 tourney features Coupeville, La Conner, Friday Harbor, and Auburn Adventist.

Tuesday, the District Directors for District 1 (Don Beazizo), District 2 (Pat McCarthy), District 4 (Tim Graham and Tim Trimble) and District 6 (Dave Cullen) devised their own compromise, however.

The winners of the District 1/2 tourney — to be held in Coupeville Feb. 15 and 17 — automatically advance to state.

Under the new plan, the losers of the title game will get a chance to play for a state berth.

The District 1/2 runner-up on the boys side will travel to play the lowest-seeded team advancing from the District 4 tourney Sunday, Feb. 20.

Tipoff will be no later than noon that day.

In girls action, the second-place team will travel to face the lowest-seeded District 6 team either Feb. 19 or 20.

The winners of those new loser-out games earns a state tourney berth.

Having state tourney slots yanked away at such a late date, with no explanation, was a dagger in the back and earned a blistering response from area Athletic Directors.

Tuesday’s news was greeted in a much different manner.

“This is a great testament of what happens when a group works together to make a difficult situation right and when they put kids’ well-being at the forefront of decision making,” said Coupeville AD Willie Smith.

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Madison McMillan and Co. ruled the softball diamond this spring. (Jackie Saia photo)

They got by with a little help from their friends.

Central Whidbey Little League sent two softball teams to the state tournament this spring, with their juniors squad, which finished fourth, a joint effort with North Whidbey Little League.

Both teams benefited immensely from the support of the local community, with numerous Whidbey businesses helping defer costs for players and families to travel off-Island.

“This was an amazing experience for 28 of these Whidbey Island young athletes!,” said juniors coach Fred Farris. “The memories will live with them for years to come.

“Both teams represented CW, NW, and District 11 admirably, both on and off the field, during their respective tournaments, against the best teams in the state, and we couldn’t be prouder of their hard work and excellent sportsmanship.”

Additional support was garnered through car washes and a GoFundMe page.


Businesses which supported the softball teams on their state tourney journey:

A+ Glass
Acorn Dental Clinic
Aqua Gifts
Ashley’s Design
Cascade Custom Homes & Design
Ebey Academy
Enchanted Beedle
Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Front Street Grill
Front Street Realty
Harmony Vet
Island Quality Construction
Iverson Insurance
Kingfisher Books
Land Title & Escrow
Laurie Black
Leisure Yacht Charters
Little Two Cottages
Main Street Collision
My Sister’s Closet
NAPA Auto Parts
OLF Storage
Pacific Indoor Tactical
Party City
PC Red Apple Market
Penn Cove Vet
Pizza Factory
Prada Styles & Cuts
Quilters Workshop
Red’s Construction & Roofing
Salon Blue
Snakelum Point Investments
Sunshine Drip
Terra Firma Wealth Management
Toby’s Tavern
Touch of Dutch
Whidbey Natural Pet
Whidbey/Humphrey Sign
Windermere Property Management
Windermere Realty – Coupeville
Wood Bee Custom Carpentry

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Adyson Morales and her team had a very-successful postseason run. (Jackie Saia photos)

The run is done.

A four-games-in-four-days odyssey at the state tournament in Vancouver reached its end Tuesday night for the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball squad.

Playing without sluggers Savina Wells (illness) and Loto Tupu (injury), the Inferno fell 12-1 to North Kitsap, finishing fourth in an eight-team field.

With the victory, Kitsap advances to face Camas Wednesday night, with the victor squaring off with undefeated Kirkland in the championship round.

Thanks to a 16-0 victory over Camas in the early game Tuesday, Kirkland only needs one more win to claim the state title.

The Kitsap/Camas winner will have to beat Kirkland twice Thursday to come out on top.

Whidbey, which boasts a 14-player roster, with seven girls each from Coupeville and Oak Harbor, went 4-2 after being assembled.

The Inferno swept two games to win the District 11 title, then went 2-2 at state.

After losing a one-run thriller to Camas in its opener Saturday, Whidbey bounced back to eliminate teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo.

And, for a brief moment, it looked like the winning streak might continue.

Inferno hurler Adyson Morales went through Kitsap like a buzz saw in the top of the first inning, setting down their first three hitters in order.

The pride of Oak Harbor did so with a little help from her Coupeville infielders.

The leadoff hitter popped out to Katie Marti at second base, before Madison McMillan made back-to-back strong throws on grounders to third, each rocket landing softly in the waiting glove of Mia Farris.

Mia Farris, an accomplished player with her bat and glove.

Whidbey promptly plopped the game’s first run on the board in the bottom half of the frame, with Haylee Burleigh walking and coming around to score when Kitsap bobbled a hot shot off the bat of Teagan Calkins.

Unfortunately for the Inferno, that was pretty much the moment its offense came to a screeching halt.

The next nine Whidbey hitters went down in order, a cruel streak not broken until McMillan rocketed a one-out single off a Kitsap glove in the bottom of the fourth.

But, before the Inferno could celebrate the moment, Kitsap turned an inning-ending double play, turning a well-hit ball by Morales into a wham-bam twin killing.

Jada Heaton earned much hootin’ and hollerin’ from her teammates when she got drilled by a wayward pitch in the bottom of the fifth, but that was it for Whidbey’s offense.

With just two hits and two walks, life was going to be difficult for the Inferno, and Kitsap kept chip, chip, chippin’ away.

Two runs in the top of the second gave Whidbey’s rivals a lead they wouldn’t lose, then four more tallies in both the third and fourth stretched the lead out.

While Kitsap spent a fair amount of time putting the ball where the Whidbey defenders weren’t, the Inferno did make several strong defensive plays.

McMillan played the hot corner with panache, while catcher Lilly Norman gunned down a would-be base thief, connecting with Burleigh, who slapped on the tag.

While the final result wasn’t another win, Whidbey coach Fred Farris still left the field extremely proud of what his team accomplished.

Drawing players from a much-smaller area than most of their opponents, the Inferno clicked quickly and put together a stirring highlight reel over their run.

“Never been prouder of a group,” Farris said. “Been my honor.”

Most of the Inferno players move on to high school ball after this, with bright futures at the next level.

The team featured Coupeville stars McMillan, Heaton, Mia Farris, Taylor Brotemarkle, Wells, Marti, and Calkins.

Joining them were Oak Harbor diamond queens Tupu, Ramona Ryder, Burleigh, Norman, Morales, Payton Ludemann, and Layla Suto.

One team, one dream.

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