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Coupeville’s high-flying SWISH basketball squad knocked off a major foe Saturday. (Photo courtesy Jon Roberts)

It’s been a long time coming.

Jump back somewhere around 15 months ago — “whatever the day was the world was shut down” — and Coupeville’s SWISH boys basketball team was ready to put its #1 seed on the line in a championship game rumble with big, bad Stanwood.

Enter the pandemic, exit any chance of playing the game.

Now jump forward to May 15, 2021, and the Wolves hardwood squad — comprised of 7th and 8th graders — finally got their showdown.

And it went perfectly.

“Today was a great day,” said Coupeville coach Jon Roberts. “We didn’t get a chance to prove we were #1. Until today.

“Revenge is sweet!”

Playing scrappy, defensive-minded ball, the Wolves chopped the tall Spartans down, pulling away for a 26-21 win to run their record to a crisp 4-1 on the new season.

Having split with always-tough Orcas Island, and taken wins against two squads from Mount Vernon, the Wolves entered play Saturday with a confident spring to their steps.

Even down a man, with Camden Glover out for a game, Coupeville struck quickly and never let up.

Landon Roberts, playing like his grandpa Sandy did back in the day, opened the game with a quick bucket, then the Wolves spread the offensive love around.

Chase Anderson, the Magic Man, led Coupeville with nine points, including draining a pair of game-clinching free throws in the final seconds.

Aiden O’Neill and Hunter Bronec were hot on his heels with six points apiece, with Jack Porter (2), Roberts (2), and Hurley Bronec (1) also scoring.

While the rim was unforgiving to Johnny Porter on this day, the tall baller made a sizable impact, “collecting numerous rebounds with elbow waving arms, ruling the paint.”

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Aiden O’Neill (5) and Landon Roberts (across from him) crash the boards. (Sherry Roberts photo)

The nets are back open for business.

High school hoops are still a few weeks away, but Coupeville’s 7th/8th grade SWISH boys basketball squad hit the hardwood Saturday in Burlington, bouncing Orcas Island 32-23.

The season-opening victory kicks off what should be a seven-game schedule — if the pandemic doesn’t mess with things.

What began as a bit of a defensive struggle, with Coupeville clinging to a 10-9 halftime advantage, soon broke heavily in favor of the Wolves.

Chase Anderson led the way, dropping in 10 of his team-high 13 points in the second half.

He banked in a pair of three-balls during his torrid run, while teammate Johnny Porter dominated in the paint.

Six of Coupeville’s eight players scratched their name in the scorebook Saturday, with Johnny Porter and Aiden O’Neill collecting six points apiece in support of Anderson’s 13.

Also rattling the rim were Jack Porter, who knocked down three points, and Camden Glover and Hunter Bronec, who added a bucket apiece.

Defensive dynamos Landon Roberts and Hurley Bronec also saw extensive playing time for a Coupeville squad which returns to action next Saturday, May 1.

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The Coupeville Middle School girls basketball season is fast approaching for players like Jada Heaton. (Photo by Corinn Parker)

Get in the gym early.

Practices for the upcoming Coupeville Middle School girls basketball season kick off later this month, but there are three opportunities for prospective players to hit the floor before then.

The Wolf SWISH hoops team is opening their final three practices to any interested CMS girls, starting Monday, Jan. 6.

The other sessions are Jan. 13 and 15, with all practices running from 6-8 PM in the middle school gym.

“We’ll be working on fundamentals and doing some fun competitive drills,” said SWISH coach Fred Farris. “It would be a great opportunity for those still deciding if they want to play this season.”

Practice for the middle school season begins Jan. 21, and the 10-game season starts Feb. 6, with a home contest against Northshore Christian Academy.

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Having played a major role in Coupeville winning a SWISH basketball championship, Lauren Marrs enjoys the moment. (Emili Marrs photo)

Savina Wells slices ‘n dices the defense. (Corinn Parker photo)

The champs. (Photo courtesy Corinn Parker’s dad)

Katie Marti is ready to wreck you. (Corinn Parker photos)

Lyla Stuurmans (3) brings the heat. “Oh, son. They are gonna need that first aid kit so bad when I get done carvin’ up that defense!!”

This is a Cinderella story.

A tale of 12 hardwood hustlers from Cow Town who went to the big city, beat the Vegas odds, and stunned the hoops world as they exited the gym, hoisting an improbable, but very-deserved championship trophy.

Go back to the start of the Skagit County Parks and Rec SWISH basketball season, back when Coupeville’s 7th/8th grade girls team was 0-4.

Now jump forward to Saturday, when the Wolves entered the postseason tourney as the #4 seed in a five-team draw.

Capping a wild ride, Coupeville won three games in one afternoon, KO’d the tourney’s top two teams, and emerged as the Silver Division champions.

Plus, they got to eat a bunch of pizza in between games, so score another win.

With the Saturday sweep, the Wolves finished their season on a five-game winning streak, having avenged several of those early-season losses.

And those tourney wins?

Not a close score to be found, as Coupeville drilled #5 seed Friday Harbor 23-8, whacked #1 seed Monroe 33-21, then walloped #2 seed Mt. Bakery 33-24 in the championship game.

“This team just keeps amazing me with their heart and winning spirit,” said Wolf coach Fred Farris. “They really made this old ball coach super proud!!”

How the day played out:

 

Friday Harbor:

Having routed their opening rival during the regular season, the Wolves used the game to give their less-experienced players plenty of floor time, while also making sure everyone on the roster scored this season.

It worked out beautifully as both Reese Wilkinson and Jada Heaton knocked down their first buckets, with Savina Wells setting up the duo with precise passes.

Wells paced Coupeville with a game-high 13 points, with Lauren Marrs, Madison McMillan, and Brionna Blouin chipping in with two points apiece.

 

Monroe:

Taking the role of David in a David vs. Goliath showdown, the Wolves stunned the tourney’s top seed, avenging an early-season loss to a dangerous team.

“After the opening round game the girls were focused on playing “championship” basketball,” Fred Farris said. “Their tenacity was at an all-time high.

“They battled for every loose ball and lifted their teammates up when they got knocked to the floor by a physical Monroe squad.”

Trailing by four at the half, Coupeville rallied by “breaking their full-court press and turning it into instant offense.”

Scrappy Wolf guard Lyla Stuurmans, playing like mom Sarah did back in the day, went nuclear, ripping off back-to-back coast-to-coast runs for game-breaking buckets.

Staggered, Monroe had no answer, and the game turned into a romp as Marrs and Blouin stuck the dagger in by launching three-balls which hit nothing but the bottom of the net.

Wells was top scorer with 11, while Stuurmans netted a season-high 10, and Marrs banged away for five. Blouin (3), McMillan (2), and Mia Farris (2) also scored.

 

Mt. Bakery: 

A bit sluggish after a long, pizza-filled break, the Wolves got things going thanks to their own full-court zone press, which they recently started working on in practice.

It was an immediate winner, helping Coupeville bolt out to a 16-8 lead at the half.

Lauren, Taylor (Brotemarkle), Mia, and Lyla forced many ball-hawking traps with Savina and Madison stealing all the long passes, creating some easy looks for us at the rim,” Fred Farris said.

“The girls never looked back! Lauren, Lyla, and Savina really were impressive leaders throughout the day.”

Putting a bow on a season in which she averaged 13 points a game, Wells tossed in a game-high 20, with Blouin (6), Marrs (5), and Mia Farris (2) also making the nets dance a happy dance.

 

Final season scoring stats:

Savina Wells – 143
Lauren Marrs – 52
Brionna Blouin – 23
Madison McMillan – 17
Lyla Stuurmans – 16
Mia Farris – 7
Skylar Parker – 6
Katie Marti – 4
Chloe Marzocca – 4
Taylor Brotemarkle – 2
Jada Heaton – 2
Reese Wilkinson – 2

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Skylar Parker netted her first points of the season Saturday, as Coupeville’s SWISH squad swept a doubleheader. (Corinn Parker photos)

The Wolves prepare for an in-bounds play.

Savina Wells (with ball) went off for a season-high 29 points in Coupeville’s upset of Mount Baker.

They’re on the prowl.

Sweeping a doubleheader Saturday, the Coupeville SWISH girls basketball team is riding a hot streak heading into the postseason tourney.

After scorching Friday Harbor 29-20, then earning some sweet payback by toppling Mount Baker 40-37, the Wolves have won three of their last four games.

The postseason tourney, a one-day, double-elimination affair pitting five teams against each other, goes down next Saturday, Dec. 14.

Coupeville opens against Friday Harbor.

The Wolves have to be feeling pretty good about that match-up after romping to a win Saturday while conserving their most-experienced players, limiting them to just a single quarter of play.

Those girls — Brionna Blouin, Savina Wells, Lauren Marrs, and Lyla Stuurmans — took on the role of distributors, setting their still-developing teammates up for buckets.

Skylar Parker stood tall for Coupeville, knocking down three long-range jumpers.

She, Taylor Brotemarkle, and Mia Farris, who also had six steals, all recorded their first field goals of the season during the win.

“I am so proud of their selfless effort and they did an awesome job getting good shots for their less-experienced teammates,” Coupeville coach Fred Farris said of his veterans.

He also praised the play of Madison McMillan, who “really rebounded well and was a force on defense.”

Wells (7), Parker (6), and Marrs (4) led the balanced scoring attack, with McMillan, Blouin, Katie Marti, Mia Farris, Chloe Marzocca, and Brotemarkle chipping in with a bucket apiece.

Jada Heaton and Reese Wilkinson rounded out the Wolf roster, playing inspired defense.

Returning for the nightcap, the Wolves found themselves staring down a highly-ranked team they had lost to by a single point the first time out.

How to proceed? Simple.

“We played our best game of the year,” Fred Farris said.

Wells was at the heart of things, throwing down a season-high 29 points while corralling 16 rebounds.

Zinging out to a 9-0 lead, the Wolves led by as many as 14 before a “scrappy and well-coached” Baker team rallied in the late going to narrow things.

As he savored the victory, Fred Farris found special joy in seeing all of his players contribute.

Savina really dominated the stat sheet and had her best game of the year, but everyone had a hand in this hard-fought victory,” he said. “Bri had her best day on the court today, making some key defensive steals and great passes in both games.

“Today we made big strides. It really is pretty cool to have a front-row seat to see these girls develop as basketball players and teammates,” Farris added. “We head into next week’s tournament with some momentum and some well-earned confidence.”

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