Posts Tagged ‘SWISH’

The bright future of Coupeville basketball. (Photos courtesy Jon Roberts)

   After sweeping three games Saturday, Coupeville’s 4th/5th grade SWISH boys hoops squad brought the big trophy home.

“We are the champions … of the world!”

They went, they saw, they conquered.

Coupeville’s 4th/5th grade SWISH boys basketball squad swept three games Saturday en route to bringing home some nice hardware.

The Wolves entered the day seeded third in a six-team tourney, yet left Skagit County bearing the championship trophy after winning the 2018 D-Glacier Division Tournament.

To get to the podium, Coupeville knocked off the Sedro-Woolley Hoosiers 30-10 in the opening round, then upended two teams which had first-round byes.

After blasting Granite Falls 26-17 in the semifinals, the Wolves shocked top-seeded Sedro-Woolley Blue 23-21 to take the title.

“Our boys played till there was nothing left,” said Coupeville coach Jon Roberts. “Defense that shut down the top scorers from the other team and unselfish passing to create opportunities that helped us rise to the top.

“Hard work all year has paid off!,” he added. “So proud of these boys. What a great season.”

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   Former Wolf three-sport star Alex Evans, seen here with lil’ sis Maddie Georges, is the new CMS 7th grade girls basketball coach. (Suzan Georges photo)

   He’ll be joined by veteran coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh, who will run the 8th grade squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A little old school, a little new school. OK, well not that old school.

“Grizzled” vet Dustin Van Velkinburgh, who’s actually still pretty young, and relative newcomer Alex Evans will take the reigns of the Coupeville Middle School girls hoops program.

The duo, whose hires won’t be 100% official until the school board gives its approval, replace Megan Smith and Ryan King, who both stepped down after last season.

Van Velkinburgh, a 2002 Coupeville grad, has plenty of prior coaching experience, having previously led the CHS boys JV basketball squad for multiple years.

He also has first-hand knowledge of the 8th grade girls he’ll be coaching, since he’s been their SWISH coach in recent seasons.

Under his direction, those players capped their most-recent season in mid-Dec. with a postseason title, sweeping Swinomish, Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor.

Evans, who graduated from CHS in 2008, has worked with SWISH teams, as well.

During his days as a Wolf, he was a football, basketball and baseball star.

On the court, Evans was one of the deadliest three-ball droppin’ gunners to ever wear a Wolf uniform.

The CMS girls kick off practice for their season Jan. 29, with their first game Feb. 15.

The schedule:

Thur-Feb. 15 Chimacum
Thu-Feb. 22 @Stevens
Mon-Feb. 26 @Sequim
Thur-Mar. 1 Forks
Mon-Mar. 5 Blue Heron
Mon-Mar. 12 @Chimacum
Thur-Mar. 15 Stevens
Mon-Mar. 19 Sequim
Thur-Mar. 22 @Forks
Mon-Mar. 26 @Blue Heron

**All home games start at 3:15, with 7th grade playing first, then 8th, and are held in the CMS gym.

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   Ja’Kenya Hoskins will straight up murder you on the boards. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

   A quick snack and it was on to the championship game. (Stephanie Streitler photo)

Da champs. (Joshua Leavell photo)

Their swan song was a sweet one.

Rolling to three wins in as many games Saturday, the Coupeville 8th grade SWISH girls basketball team won its postseason tourney.

Now it’s on to the middle school season, where practice starts in late Jan.

Saturday, the Wolves opened by blasting the Swinomish Thunder 33-6.

After that came gut-check wins, as Coupeville nipped big city rivals Mount Vernon 22-20 and Oak Harbor 21-18.

The semifinals victory was one which brought a special smile to coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh’s face.

“I tell you what, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more intense, well-played eighth grade basketball game in my life,” he said. “We had some adversity, we have some girls get hurt and we got major contributions from everybody that played.

“In years past, in that game we would have lost by 10 or 12,” Van Velkinburgh added. “This year we stayed the course, hit free throws and did all the right things to win.

“It was a lot of fun to watch!”

Coupeville’s roster included Izzy Wells, Kylie Van Velkinburgh, Abby Mulholland, Ella Colwell, Anya Leavell, Ja’Kenya Hoskins, Samantha Streitler and Audrianna Shaw.

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   Anya Leavell (#12) scored a career-high 16 Saturday as Coupeville thrashed Oak Harbor in SWISH basketball play. (Photo courtesy Joshua Leavell)

She was a one-woman wrecking crew.

Dropping buckets from every angle Saturday, Coupeville 8th grader Anya Leavell torched Oak Harbor for 16 points, leading the Wolves SWISH squad to a 33-16 romp.

“The ladies defended The Rock!,” said Coupeville coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh. “Everyone played well.”

Leavell had “a career day offensively,” but she wasn’t the only weapon for the Wolves.

Izzy Wells added five points, including a sweet shot from beyond the three-point arc, while Audrianna Wells hit a pair of layups and Kylie Van Velkinburgh got three the hard way.

The coach’s daughter went strong to the hoop for a bucket, absorbed the foul and drained the ensuing free throw to cap the play.

Coupeville also got buckets off of jump shots from Ella Colwell and Abby Mulholland.

It was especially sweet for Colwell, as it was her first basket of the season.

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   Coach Lark Gustafson (center) heads up a SWISH hoops squad featuring Coupeville players in grades 5-7. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   One step away from high school ball, the Wolves playing for Dustin Van Velkinburgh are in 8th grade.

The little sisters are here, to lay claim to the court.

Coupeville’s girls SWISH basketball teams have been ultra-successful in recent seasons, and there seems little reason to think it won’t continue.

The young Wolves, many of whom have now been playing together for several seasons, are working their way towards the high school team, all with an eye on continuing the success those older squads have also enjoyed.

This year’s 8th grade SWISH team has already beaten Orcas Island and Friday Harbor, while losing thrillers to big-city foes from Anacortes, Blaine and Mount Vernon.

The Wolves, playing without several injured players, had late leads on two of those three teams.

“We are playing really well; just missing shots,” said coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh. “Should be a good group to watch throughout high school.”

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