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Posts Tagged ‘SWHS Falcons’

   Having battled back from injury, Maddy Hilkey filled up the stat sheet Saturday as the Wolf JV stormed to another win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And then, at the very end, a ray of sunshine.

On a Saturday night when Coupeville High School basketball in general absorbed a beating, one team refused to go along with the story line.

The Wolf JV girls squad, Amy King’s band of scrappers and ball-hawks, is the lone CHS hoops unit to currently be posting a winning record.

So, it should come as little surprise that, even playing with virtually no bench, they still stormed past host South Whidbey 28-21 to run their record to 3-2.

“I guess we were the game of the night,” said King with a quietly satisfied smile.

Coupeville won despite playing with just over half its roster (six of 11 girls) in uniform.

“100% praise to our JV team – the warriors!,” said CHS varsity coach David King. “They communicated, moved as one on defense and ran their plays very well.

“My hope is varsity watched the effort and will learn from the JV team after tonight.”

With just one player sitting next to her on the bench at any given time, Amy King rubbed her hands together, knew she had the Falcons where she wanted them, and promptly unleashed defensive Hell.

The Wolves forced a shot-clock violation on South Whidbey’s first possession, and the tone was set.

“I was very impressed with our defense,” Amy King said. “The girls really were working as one unit – talking and making their own adjustments together during the game.

“They did this very effectively.”

While the Wolves surged out to a 16-10 lead heading into halftime, it was how her players reacted in the locker room which impressed their coach the most.

“I talked about what I was seeing and what we needed to do, but I also had the players telling me what they were seeing and talking about which plays were working and which were not,” Amy King said. “They were asking if we could make a change here or do something differently there.

“Excitement was in the air and they were owning their game,” she added. “As a coach, I was impressed with their input and conversation as a team.”

Playing with fire on defense, the Wolves got big performances from all six players in uniform.

Maddy Hilkey “was very impressive with playing up top on our defense, getting steals,” while Mollie Bailey was an equal opportunity thief.

When South Whidbey did get to the basket, Kylie Chernikoff “played fantastic defense, ripping rebounds all night and putting shots back up when she could.”

Toss in Avalon Renninger terrorizing everyone foolish enough to get in her way, and a fired-up Julia García Oñoro hitting the boards, and there were few options for the Falcons.

Chelsea Prescott, even after hitting the floor hard enough to be checked for a concussion, continued to be a stellar two-way star. She singed the nets for a game-high 16 points, while yanking down eight rebounds.

With all of her players firing as one, King’s squad controlled the pace of the game, repeatedly broke South Whidbey’s press and was relentless in pursuit of victory.

Renninger collected five points, eight boards and three steals, while Bailey had three points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Chernikoff (nine rebounds, two assists) and Hilkey (four steals, two assists) rounded out the scoring with a bucket apiece.

As she basked in the win, Amy King praised her iron women for a job well done.

“This group played like a team,” she said. “They pushed through their tired legs. They ran their plays, moved and talked on defense and did it all together.

“I could not have asked for a better way to end the day.”

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   Jake Pease (left), seen here in an earlier game, was a beast on the boards Saturday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mason Grove has a love affair with the bottom of the net.

Continuing his hot early-season shooting, the Coupeville High School sophomore went for 19 points, including five three-balls, Saturday in a 52-34 loss at South Whidbey.

That gives him 22 treys through the first four games of the season for a Wolf JV squad which sits at 1-3.

Coupeville’s young guns came out strongly against the host Falcons, jumping to a 13-9 lead after one quarter of play.

The Wolves couldn’t keep it up, however, as South Whidbey used a 32-13 surge over the middle two quarters to take control of the game.

“We played tough and I am very proud of the guys and how we played,” said Coupeville JV coach Chris Smith. “We played hard all game and I just couldn’t outwit some of the adjustments they made to slow down our offense.”

While Grove has been the go-to man for the Wolves, Smith has been working on mixing things up, combining strong inside play with the rainbows from behind the arc.

“I like how we attempted to get our big guys involved in the offense,” he said. “Jake (Pease) and Jean (Lund-Olsen) were rebounding machines on both ends of the court.”

Lund-Olsen dropped in six points to back Grove, while Sage Downes (3), Pease (3), Ulrik Wells (2) and David Prescott (1) also etched their names in the book.

Alex Jimenez and Daniel Olson also saw floor time for the Wolves.

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   Sarah Wright knocked down four points and played strongly on defense Saturday in a Coupeville loss. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

For one minute, maybe a minute-and-a-half, things were as good as they get.

And then everything went haywire in a way not previously seen this season.

The Coupeville High School girls basketball squad has lost several times in the early weeks of the campaign, but those were close defeats which came down to the final few possessions.

What unfolded Saturday in Langley was the exact opposite – a team crumpling in on itself in a blowout loss.

South Whidbey strolled to a 42-22 victory, but the host Falcons did less to earn the win than the Wolves did to lose it.

Now 1-5, a still-jelling CHS squad heads into its Olympic League opener Tuesday against Port Townsend looking for answers.

For a program which has won 15 or more games in each of the past three seasons — all which ended with conference titles — it’s an unexpected place to be.

Saturday, for a brief slice of time, the Wolves, who are still adapting to replacing four starters, looked like a vintage version of themselves.

Coupeville scored three consecutive baskets off of forced turnovers to open the game, preventing the Falcons from even getting a shot off.

Mikayla Elfrank was the Wolf with the quick ‘n deadly hands, and things looked bright and promising.

“After that the wheels fell off,” said CHS coach David King in a bit of an understatement.

The Falcons finally connected on a jumper, and liked it well enough, they rolled off 10 straight points to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Scout Smith stopped the bleeding with a single free throw to close out the first quarter, but Coupeville would hit only five field goals over the final three quarters.

A couple of South Whidbey three-balls slipped through the net, stretching the lead out, and, from there, the Wolves disintegrated for a good chunk of the game.

“Once they took the lead, we started complaining about calls, even had a T called on us for making a remark,” King said. “For some reason we believe we do no wrong and complain.

“This has been a bad habit all year,” he added. “The wasted, negative energy hasn’t gotten us any points, an extra rebound or even a steal or assist.

“At some point we need to figure it out and just play basketball.”

Some positives did arise, as King praised Lindsey Roberts and Ema Smith for their work on defense.

Ema did a great job on their tall post player,” he said. “Over-matched in height, she got a couple of blocks and held her own. Even caused an offensive foul.”

Elfrank finished with eight points to lead the Wolves, while Kalia Littlejohn (5), Sarah Wright (4), Scout Smith (3) and Kyla Briscoe (2) also scored.

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   Wolf sophomore Ulrik Wells made his varsity debut Saturday night in Langley. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There are wins, there are losses and then there are nights you just flip the score-book to another page and say, “Next…”

For a Coupeville High School boys basketball team which has played stellar defense so far this season, Saturday night will not go in the highlight reel.

Unable to stop host South Whidbey in the paint, from behind the arc or from out in the parking lot if the Falcons had chosen to shoot from there, the Wolves fell 73-12.

The non-conference loss drops Coupeville to 1-3 on the season, and undoubtedly stings.

But reality is, Tuesday brings the first Olympic League game, with Port Townsend visiting Cow Town, and having a short memory about Saturday’s debacle will be super important.

What loomed as another exciting chapter in a long and storied rivalry quickly took a dark turn for Coupeville.

South Whidbey came out flying, with Kody Newman hitting a runner in the first tenth of a second of the game.

OK, it might have taken just a wee bit longer than that, but not much.

After that, the Falcons, who finished the night boasting a 5-0 record, put the game away faster than their fans could clap-clap-clap every time their team was on defense.

A 15-0 lead midway through the first quarter turned into a 39-4 edge at the half, and nothing got better for Coupeville from there.

The Falcons were exactly who they were supposed to be.

Lewis Pope was electric, Newman was a slick-passing, dagger-dropping assassin and a gaggle of young but lanky “bigs” dominated on the glass.

Other than a sweet pull-up jumper from Cameron Toomey-Stout, some nice work on the boards from Kyle Rockwell and the varsity debut of sophomore Ulrik Wells, there wasn’t much joy for Wolf fans.

“Not much you can say about that one,” said CHS coach Brad Sherman. “Just not our night, against a very good basketball team.

“Proud of our guys. They kept their heads up and played hard until the end.”

Pope finished with a game-high 31, while Wolf senior Hunter Smith scored every Coupeville point which didn’t come via Toomey-Stout’s jumper.

His 10 on the night lifts his career total to 534.

With that, Smith passes ’90s big man Brad Miller (526) to claim 37th place on the CHS boys career scoring list.

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   After this season, South Whidbey’s athletes will no longer call the 1A/2A Cascade Conference home. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

And it’s gone.

Coupeville’s old stomping grounds, the 1A/2A Cascade Conference, is no more.

The league, fractured by defections and forfeits, will cease to be at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

In its place, the league’s (soon to be) five 1A schools are striking out on their own and forming the North Sound Conference, which begins play in fall 2018.

South Whidbey, King’s, Cedar Park Christian, Sultan and Granite Falls, which is dropping from 2A back to 1A next year, will form the new league.

Cedarcrest and Archbishop Thomas Murphy, which were the only remaining 2A schools in the Cascade Conference after Lakewood bailed, are now free agents seeking new homes.

Four years ago, the Cascade Conference was an eight-team league.

After Coupeville left to join the newly-formed 1A Olympic League, Cedar Park Christian took its slot.

Things began to fracture shortly after, though, with every league team except King’s refusing to face ATM on the football field, which generated national media attention.

When a “super” league, which would have combined the Cascade Conference, Wesco South and the Northwest Conference for football only, fell through, Lakewood took all of its programs and bounced to the 1A/2A/3A NWC.

This past season, league schools returned to playing ATM in football, with the exception of South Whidbey.

Trying to rebuild their gridiron program, the Falcons asked for permission to play a non-conference schedule against smaller schools.

After losing to fellow 1A schools Coupeville and Chimacum to open the 2017 football season, South Whidbey won seven straight games against B schools and a Canadian program new to football.

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