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CMS 8th grader Logan Downes pumped in 20 points at Granite Falls Monday, and is averaging 16.3 a game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

With five of their first seven games on the road, Wolf hoops stars get to see a lot of different gyms. (Michelle Glass photo)

A five-man coaching staff led by Greg White (kneeling) is teaching a promising pack of players. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Kicking off a three-game road trip Monday, the Coupeville Middle School boys basketball teams ran into a buzz-saw at Granite Falls, escaping with a tie in their best showing.

A tie???

Yes, in the continuing soccer-fication of the world, middle school hoops teams don’t play overtime.

Cause heaven forbid fans stay for five more minutes on a night when they’ve already put in four hours plus camped in the stands…

Anyways.

The trip to Granite is part of a rough early-season schedule for the Wolves, who play five of their first seven games off the Island.

After this, Coupeville travels to Sultan and Lakewood, finally returning to their own gym Dec. 4, when they welcome King’s to town.

The lopsided schedule does mean the Wolves get to play their final three games at home, however.

How Monday played out:

 

Level 1:

Logan Downes went off for his second-straight big-time scoring performance, but CMS fell 52-26.

The loss drops Coupeville’s top squad to 1-2 on the still-young season.

Downes, who suffered what seemed like a pretty-horrifying ankle injury in the opener, has continued to play through the pain and swelling, dropping 25 and now 20 points in back-to-back games.

The Wolf 8th grader pumped in half of his points Monday in the fourth quarter, as Coupeville finished strongly.

Unfortunately, a 14-4 deficit in the first quarter and a 17-6 margin in the third killed any chances of a comeback for the Wolves.

William Davidson and Ryan Blouin added buckets for CMS, with Cole White and Zane Oldenstadt each slipping a free throw through the net to round out the scoring.

Also seeing floor time for the Wolves were Landon Roberts, Nick Guay, Timothy Nitta, and Hunter Bronec.

 

Level 2:

The best, or most unsatisfying, result of the afternoon, depending on your own personal feelings about ties.

Down seven at the half, Coupeville rallied to tie the game in the third, then the two teams coasted in with a 15-15 finish.

The tie leaves the Wolves at 2-0-1 on the season.

Granite jumped out to an early lead in a defensive-minded game, taking a 6-2 advantage into the first break, then stretching it out to 8-5 at the half.

With Mikey Robinett throwing down four points in the third, Coupeville reclaimed the advantage, outscoring the Tigers 7-0 to pull back into a 12-12 tie.

And that’s where it stayed, as neither team could claim the lead for good in a tense, and low-scoring fourth quarter.

Robinett led the Wolves with six points, while Nitta (2), Johnny Porter (2), Nathan Ginnings (2), Jack Porter (2), and Hunter Bronec (1) also broke into the scoring column.

Hurlee Bronec and Quinten Simpson-Pilgrim rounded out the active roster, chipping in with defense and hustle.

 

Level 3:

A slow first quarter and a cold fourth quarter ultimately doomed the Wolves in a 26-11 loss.

The Coupeville young guns, who returned to action after sitting out the last game when Northshore Christian Academy didn’t have a third team, fell to 0-2.

Granite claimed a 9-2 advantage after the first seven minutes of play, before the teams fought to 4-4 and 5-5 ties across the next two quarters.

An 8-0 Tigers run in the fourth padded the final margin out.

Carson Fields scored his first points of the season for Coupeville, raining down a team-high six, with Harlan Mouw adding three and Justin Jansen knocking down a third-quarter bucket.

Jordan Bradford, Jesus Madrigal, Alex Clark, and Chris Villarreal also saw floor time for the Wolves.

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Natalie Hollrigel and the CHS defense stepped up impressively in the second half Saturday, keying a Wolf comeback against a highly-touted rival. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Vegas odds-makers are not happy.

But Kyle Nelson is.

Blowing up pregame predictions, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team stormed back from two goals down Saturday, against a team which hadn’t been scored on in four straight games, and forced a 2-2 draw.

The tie, coming against a Mount Vernon Christian team which arrived on Whidbey boasting a 5-1 record, and having outscored foes 27-2 across the last five games, felt like a win as the Wolves exited the pitch.

Seeing his team dominate play, especially in the second half, reinforced Nelson’s belief his squad shouldn’t solely be judged on its 0-5-2 record.

With one or two exceptions, Coupeville has been highly-competitive in all of its games, while playing without its top scorer and starting goaltender for much of the season.

With Genna Wright likely gone for the season (she injured her knee in the season opener) and Mollie Bailey returning to the net Saturday — but just for a half — it’s required everyone on the roster to step up.

And the growth Nelson was hoping to see in a relatively young team is arriving.

“We’re finally getting to where we want to be,” he said.

“Our play in the middle third of the field has been solid, and now, after getting in some more practices, and working on our play in the final third, we’re seeing definite progress.”

Mount Vernon Christian hadn’t been touched since a season-opening loss to Cedar Park Christian, and the Hurricanes came out looking like a team intent on winning its sixth-straight game.

Two goals midway through the first half, the second off of a penalty kick which caught a gust of wind and shot over Bailey’s shoulder, staked MVC to a 2-0 lead.

Without Wright as the tip of its spear, Coupeville has struggled to score at times this season, amassing just five goals through its first six games.

But this time the Wolves broke through, as sophomore Eryn Wood beat a pair of defenders, then popped a shot into the right side of the net with three minutes to play in the opening half.

Her first high school goal, it gave the Wolves a genuine spark heading into the locker room, and it showed when CHS returned to the pitch.

Coupeville owned every second of the game’s second 40-minute stretch, peppering the Hurricane goalie with shot after shot, while Bailey’s backup, Samantha Streitler, only had to turn away a shot every 20 minutes or so.

But as many shots as the Wolves were firing, Mount Vernon was doing a nice dance of “dodge the tie,” with its goaltender deflecting shots on both sides of the net.

Her luck finally ran out thanks to her teammates love of physical defense.

Or maybe extra-physical, as the Hurricanes twice wiped out Wolf sophomore Sophia Martin as she careened towards the goal, ball on her foot.

The first time, the ref shrugged his shoulders and walked away with nary a whistle, but the second time the bodies hit the floor, a yellow card came out and Coupeville was awarded a penalty kick.

Taking the in-close shot was the ever-stone cold Avalon Renninger, who slightly arched one eyebrow, let the smallest of smiles slip to just the corner of her mouth, then drilled the snot out of the ball.

It curved past the flailing MVC goalie, found the back of the net, tied the game up, and made a little history.

It was Renninger’s team-leading third goal of the season, and the ninth of her four-year career.

That breaks a tie with big sis Sage, and moves the younger sister into sole possession of fifth-place on the CHS girls soccer career scoring list.

Not content for just a two-goal comeback and a tie against a strong non-conference foe, the Wolves kept their collective foot jammed on the gas pedal, driving it through the floorboards.

But, despite two sizzlin’ Renninger shots, packaged around a booming ball off the foot of Audrianna Shaw, it wasn’t to be.

With the game in stoppage time, the most-irritating of all time in a soccer game since only the ref knows how long he’ll let the “last two minutes” go on, MVC made its first sustained run in nearly 38 minutes.

A ball took a bad hop (for Coupeville) and a Hurricane shooter got away just long enough to fire off one final shot in a bid to drive a stake through the heart of Wolf Nation.

Streitler was in place to make the nab, but she never had to, as the ball sailed harmlessly past on the right side, and the final whistle mercifully tweeted.

Since it was a non-conference game (and soccer…), players exchanged handshakes instead of taking things to overtime and/or penalty kicks.

But, from the way they walked off the field, it was hard not to feel like the Wolves were the better team on this day, regardless of record, and the true winners.

It keeps alive a remarkably successful run against Mount Vernon Christian, as Coupeville girls soccer has gone 5-1-2 against the Hurricanes across the last decade.

Something to keep in mind, because if CHS drops back from 1A to 2B next school year, as expected, they would rejoin their old stomping grounds, the Northwest League.

The current first-place team in that league? MVC.

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Eryn Wood got the assist on a late goal Saturday, propelling Coupeville to a 1-1 tie at home against 2A Kingston. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The home cooking paid off.

Back playing on their own pitch after a three-game road trip, the Coupeville High School girls soccer team pulled off a late rally Saturday, earning a tie which felt more like a win.

Despite missing four key starters — Avalon Renninger, Genna Wright, Mollie Bailey, and Mallory Kortuem — the 1A Wolves played 2A Kingston to a 1-1 draw.

The tie, coming in a non-conference game, lifts Coupeville to 0-4-1 on the season.

The two teams battled through a scoreless first half, before the Buccaneers broke the stalemate early in the second half on a goal which barely slipped past the Wolf defense.

Coupeville, coming off a 1-0 loss in its last game, didn’t buckle, however, charging back to get the answering goal with a hair over 15 minutes left in the match.

Eryn Wood set the play up, dropping a pass for Sophia Martin, who banged home her team-leading second goal of the season.

It was sweet payback for Martin, who had an earlier goal waved off when Coupeville was called for being off-sides.

With the game knotted at one, the Wolf defense clamped down and preserved the tie, kicking off a four-game home-stand for Coupeville.

The Wolves welcome Cedar Park Christian to town Tuesday, Sept. 24 for a North Sound Conference game, then return to action Sept. 28 against non-league foe Mount Vernon Christian.

 

JV gets its turn in the spotlight:

Coupeville’s second squad made its home debut, playing a fast-paced 7-on-7 version of soccer, and the young team hung tough in a 4-0 loss.

The Wolf JV sits at 0-2 on the season.

Most important was simply getting a chance to get on the pitch and do work.

“Nice to have JV out there getting playing time in,” said Coupeville coach Kyle Nelson. “Every player got a full game worth of playing time today.”

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   Axel Partida flies the friendly (and super-windy) skies Saturday as Coupeville fights to a 3-3 stalemate with previously-perfect Forks. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“You want to take our photo??!?! Well, OK, but only if you insist.”

   “This blanket is NOT helping!!!! I can feel every wind gust cutting right to my very soul, man!!!!!”

   Buffeted by some killer wind, Wolf captain William Nelson ponders the meaning of life, and why he can’t feel his arms or legs…

   “If they’re playing, we’re staying!” The most die-hard of pitch fans have found their perch.

   Derek Leyva, on the rampage and headed for his team-best 15th goal of the season.

Perfect no more.

While the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad couldn’t hang on for the knockout Saturday, the Wolves overcame vicious winds and a stellar defense to put the first ding in Forks’ armor.

Facing a team which had given up just one goal in six previous games, CHS rifled home enough scores to walk away with a hard-earned 3-3 tie on its home pitch.

Since the game was a non-conference affair, the two teams did not go to overtime or a shootout, cause … soccer.

Now 4-3-2 on the season, Coupeville drops Forks to 6-0-1.

The Spartans entered play Saturday having outscored its foes 32-1, but that was likely because they hadn’t met the free-wheeling Leyva boys yet.

The sophomore cousins each notched another goal, with Derek Leyva hitting on his 15th score and Aram Leyva netting his seventh.

While he’s not part of the family, at least by blood, senior captain Ethan Spark can score just like the cousins, and he punched home his second goal in the last three games to round out the scoring.

The Coupeville booters are wading through their toughest stretch of the schedule, and get right back at it Tuesday when they travel to Port Angeles to face a 6-2-1 squad.

JV wins:

With a little help from an outsider, the Wolf young guns erupted for a hail of goals late in the game to secure a 4-1 win.

The game was played 7-on-7 instead of the usual 11-on-11, and Forks loaned out one of their guys to give Coupeville a “full” roster.

That Spartan ended up knocking in a goal for the Wolves, who also got two scores from Chris Cernick and one from Jonathan Partida.

The game was scoreless at the break, then Forks broke the stalemate midway through the second half.

“We kept fighting,” Cernick said, and when the Wolves finally broke through, they liked it so much they didn’t stop, scoring all four of their goals during a furious final 15 minutes.

Photos abound:

While the Wolves battled Mother Nature and Forks, photo bug John Fisken snapped away and captured the pics seen above, and a whole lot more.

To take a gander at everything he shot, pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Soccer/2018-04-07-Boys-vs-Forks/

And, when you do, remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS students/athletes.

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Lindsey Roberts scored a goal and assisted on another in Thursday night's soccer opener. (John Fisken photo)

   Lindsey Roberts scored a goal and assisted on another in Thursday night’s soccer opener. (John Fisken photo)

It was a tale of two halves, at least scoring wise.

Sparked by the booming leg of sophomore defender Lindsey Roberts, the Coupeville High School girls’ soccer team jumped to a commanding lead Thursday against arch-rival South Whidbey.

But the pesky Falcons hung tough, scored two late goals (one aided by a questionable ref call) and somehow managed to force a 2-2 tie in the regular season opener.

With the game being a non-conference affair, the teams didn’t take their battle to overtime, instead accepting a draw.

Up until South Whidbey slipped in the tying goal with a little under five minutes left on the clock, the game seemed fairly lopsided in favor of the host Wolves.

Coupeville out-shot their visitors by a ton, but the scoring touch it showed in the first half slipped away a bit after the halftime break.

The Wolves continued to rain down shots, and had a golden opportunity to reclaim the lead, and probably a win, in the final seconds of injury time.

With the clock frozen and the game in the hands of the ref and his own personal watch, Lauren Bayne picked up a ball deep in Falcon territory and ripped a screaming shot.

Unfortunately, it was a little too hot, caught an updraft and flew through the football uprights for what would have been a beautiful field goal, letting South Whidbey off the hook.

The Falcons tied the game off of a free kick with 4:42 left in the game.

Or, actually, two free kicks.

The first one sailed wide left of the goal, but the ref called the ball back and allowed South Whidbey to set back up and try again.

No one was quite sure why, but the ultimate consensus was it had something to do with whether a whistle was blown, or not blown, or maybe the ref was just in a really forgiving mood.

Whatever the rationale, the Falcons took advantage and banged home the free kick, sending it into the upper left corner of the net, just a fraction too high for Wolf goalie Lauren Grove to snag.

Grove was solid all game, making several key saves, including one in which she speared the ball while leaping to touch the top of the net.

And, early on, the Wolves repaid her, hitting the back of the net twice in the first half.

Roberts, who has replaced the graduated Jenn Spark as having the most fearsome leg on the CHS roster, notched the year’s first goal 10 minutes in when she lashed a free kick from the far left side of the field.

Her shot curved nicely and hit pay dirt with the sound of a gun going off.

Then, at the 28 minute mark of the first half, Roberts once again earned screams of “Louuuuuuu” from her faithful fans when she whipped a shot into the middle, setting up Mia Littlejohn for a score.

The pass was a perfect set-up and the finish even better, as the junior caught the ball on her toe and perfectly angled the ball past the flailing goalie.

While the Wolves ultimately didn’t hold on to the lead, CHS coach Troy Cowan came away pleased with a lot of what he saw develop on the pitch.

“Overall, I was really happy,” he said. “For a first match, with several freshmen playing in key spots, I thought we played well.

“We’ll go back and make some adjustments and work on spacing in practice, but we out-shot them, by a lot, and we came away healthy, which you always like to see after the first match.”

Cowan hailed Roberts for her two-way play (she continually cleared the ball with passion in the backfield and hustled back to save Grove late in the game with a key deflection when the goalie got trapped outside the box).

He also lauded his freshmen.

All five ninth graders on the roster — Mallory Kortuem, Tia Wurzrainer, Avalon Renninger, Megan Thorn and Anna Dion — saw crucial field time.

Mallory and Tia are new defenders and they started in their first match in a new system and really handled themselves well,” Cowan said. “That was very nice to see.”

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