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Posts Tagged ‘winning streak’

Cody Roberts tossed 2+ innings of scoreless ball Wednesday in Sultan as Coupeville rolled to a third-straight win. (Photo by Karen Carlson)

What a difference a week makes.

Through the first 12 games of the season, the Coupeville High School baseball squad eked out just 13 runs, making life rough on its pitching staff.

And then the bats came alive. And how.

After drilling host Sultan 14-7 Wednesday, while pounding out 12 hits, the Wolves have rung up 31 runs on the scoreboard across their last three games.

Not surprisingly, that’s resulted in three straight wins.

It started with a major upset of high-flying South Whidbey, and now, after back-to-back wins over cellar dweller Sultan, Coupeville has risen to 3-8 in North Sound Conference play, 3-12 overall.

The Wolves, who wrap their series with the Turks Friday at home, have come off life support and now control the race for the fourth, and final, playoff berth from the NSC.

Wednesday, Coupeville jumped on Sultan early, running out to a 6-0 lead.

While the Turks eventually clawed back to within two runs twice, at 7-5 and 9-7, the Wolf hitters responded with a late surge, freshman reliever Cody Roberts tossed 2.1 innings of shutout ball, and the bus ride home was a happy one.

The Wolves opened the game by putting their first five hitters aboard, with four coming around to score.

Singles from Matt Hilborn, Hawthorne Wolfe and Gavin Knoblich, paired with a walk to Jake Pease and an error on a ball smashed to center by Dane Lucero proved to be a potent mix.

Lucero came back around in the second inning to pop a big double, pushing CHS out to its 6-0 lead, then, after a scoreless third, Coupeville tacked on a run in the fourth when Wolfe singled and scampered around the bases.

While the Wolves scored in six of seven innings, Sultan lumped its runs together, getting two in the third, three in the fourth, and a final two in the fifth.

But every time the pesky Turks surged, Coupeville beat them back.

With the lead trimmed to 7-5, the Wolves used singles from Knoblich, starting pitcher Daniel Olson, and Sage Sharp to increase the margin back to four runs.

Sultan scraped together two runs in the bottom of the fifth, once again cutting their deficit back to two runs, this time at 9-7, but Roberts, Coupeville’s third pitcher on the day, slammed the door shut.

Coming on in relief of Jonny Carlson, the Wolf frosh got his team out of a jam by inducing a ground-out to Hilborn at short.

Once in control of his own destiny, Roberts played dangerously, loading the bases in both the sixth and seventh innings, but never broke, twice escaping with big pitches.

He whiffed a Turk with the bags juiced to end the sixth, then punched out Sultan one final time in the seventh.

The Wolf hitters gave him a progressively bigger lead to work with, dropping in a single run in the top of the sixth, then using three singles and three walks to plate four more runs in their final at-bats.

Knoblich paced the torrid offense with three singles, while Pease walked three times.

Hilborn, Wolfe, and Olson had two base-knocks apiece, and Lucero, Sharp, and Ulrik Wells rounded out the attack with singles.

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Gavin Knoblich comes flying in to score Monday during a 13-2 Coupeville win. (Karen Carlson photo)

The playoff chase comes through Coupeville.

Putting together their best offensive game of the season Monday, the Wolf baseball squad pasted visiting Sultan 13-2, and now we’re talking about winning streaks and postseason possibilities.

Having won back-to-back games, Coupeville rises to 2-8 in North Sound Conference play, 2-12 overall.

That puts them a half-game up on Granite Falls (1-8, 3-11) and Sultan (1-8, 1-13) as the trio chase the fourth, and final, NSC playoff berth.

The Wolves play two more against the Turks this week, Wednesday in Sultan, and Friday at home, then closes the regular season with three against Granite.

While CHS can’t catch Cedar Park Christian (12-0, 15-1) or South Whidbey (10-2, 14-2), and has only an outside chance of pulling even with King’s (5-5, 6-9), the Wolves control their own destiny in the chase for the #4 seed.

Monday, that meant coming out and puttin’ a hurtin’ on Turk pitching.

In a season in which their single-game scoring high was four runs — in Friday’s epic upset of South Whidbey — the Wolves unlocked the full potential of their bats on this day.

The game was actually close through two-and-a-half innings, knotted up at 2-2 after the Turks scraped together a pair of runs in the first and Coupeville responded with one each in the first and second.

After a momentary jam in the first frame, Wolf hurler Dane Lucero was lights-out the rest of the way, giving up just a lone hit across the final four innings while whiffing eight Turks.

Both of Coupeville’s early runs came thanks to two-out, no-one-on-base rallies.

In the first, Jake Pease whacked a single, stole second, then came round to score after consecutive walks to Lucero, Gavin Knoblich, and Daniel Olson.

An inning later, it was Matt Hilborn who punched a two-out single. A stolen base put him into scoring position, and Hawthorne Wolfe obliged with another base-knock.

But, if the game was a tight affair until the bottom of the third, it became a blowout once Coupeville came to bat in that frame.

The Wolves sent 14 batters to the plate, with 11 of them coming around to tap home, and the bonanza was set up by a mix of walks, Sultan errors and good old fashioned CHS base hits.

Pease delivered the biggest blow, crunching a double, while Olson came around to hit twice in the inning and smacked singles both times.

Toss in base-knocks for Lucero, Knoblich, and Cody Roberts, and seven of Coupeville’s nine starters collected a hit in the game.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone netted her fourth-straight double-double Friday as Whitman College won by 41 points. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re not playing around.

The Whitman College women’s basketball team faced a dangerous foe Friday night, a Pacific Lutheran University team which came to Walla Walla boasting an 11-3 record.

Well, now it’s 11-4 after the Blues put a 41-point whuppin’ on the Lutes.

Paced by Coupeville grad Makana Stone, who went for her fourth-straight double-double, Whitman cruised to a 91-50 victory, maintaining a perfect record in league play.

With the win, their seventh-straight and eleventh in their last 12 games, the Blues are 7-0 in Northwest Conference play, 13-3 overall.

Whitman sits a game up on defending league champ George Fox (6-1) and two ahead of Puget Sound (5-2), which arrives Saturday in Walla Walla.

UPS will find a Blues team that is as hot as any in the land, and one which cracked the NCAA D-III Top 25 rankings this week.

With Stone throwing down 11 points, including hitting her first collegiate three-ball, Whitman controlled Friday’s game from start to finish.

A 26-11 lead after one turned into a 49-29 bulge at the half, then things got nasty during a 24-9 Blues run in the third frame.

That was the quarter Stone elevated and splatted her first trey in a Whitman uniform.

The former Wolf also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action, helping Whitman crush PLU 46-29 on the boards.

She has eight double-doubles and counting during her junior season.

As Whitman heads into play Saturday, Stone sits with 256 points, 148 rebounds, 25 assists, 20 steals, and 17 blocks on the season.

She’s shooting 106-206 from the floor and 43-55 from the free-throw line.

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Alana Mihill banked home five points Friday, her first at the high school level, as Coupeville’s JV thumped host Concrete. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Things started with a jolt, and ended in a sea of smiles.

Playing second Friday night, the Coupeville High School JV girls basketball team found itself down a coach, but never blinked.

With JV guru Amy King at the Concrete hospital, riding shotgun on injured Wolf varsity player Chelsea Prescott, her husband, David, got to pull double duty.

Coupeville’s varsity coach promptly made it 2-for-2 on the night, guiding the Wolf young guns to a 46-20 win.

The JV’s third-straight victory, it evens their record at 3-3.

Just don’t try and add the W to David King’s career record.

Amy gets the win; I get an assist,” he said with a laugh. “Coach King girl does such a great job with the JV team that it made my job easy tonight.

“Thank goodness she had everything already prepared well in advance.”

Coupeville’s second unit came out just like its first unit, runnin’, gunnin’ and shredding Concrete’s defense.

Sparked by the surprise use of a 1-2-2 press added to the mix by David King, the Wolves forced the Lions into constant mistakes, then took advantage of said turnovers.

“I think I surprised the JV’ers when I drew it up for them to run,” David King said. “They worked at it and at times got some good things out of it.

Kiara (Contreras) was a master at harassing their ball handlers all game.”

Mollie Bailey, normally the queen of the set-up game while running the point, decided to taste the joy of being a binge scorer Friday.

Playing on mom Donna’s birthday, the youngest of the “Bailey Bombardiers” dropped shots from every angle, scoring six points in the first quarter, another eight in the second and finishing with a game-high 16.

A 13-2 Wolf lead at the first break morphed into a 24-11 margin at the half and then a 31-16 bulge after three.

That set up the fourth quarter, when Coupeville melted the net with a game-closing 15-4 run fueled by hard-working role players who got a chance to shine on the offensive end of the floor.

Kylie Van Velkinburgh, a defensive hustler, knocked in four points, but it was Alana Mihill and Morgan Stevens who earned the biggest cheers.

Both scored their first high school points, with Stevens drilling a jumper from 10 feet out on the left wing.

Mihill broke through with free throws, swishing three of them, before stepping inside the key and draining a sweet lil’ jumper for her first high school field goal.

“The players on the bench, the high school players, and our fans erupted when both players scored,” David King said. “It was fun to watch both Alana and Morgan get big grins when they scored and due to the cheering.

“Their defense got a little more aggressive, as did their offensive game.”

Bailey’s 16 points paced the Wolves, with Audrianna Shaw and Izzy Wells each adding eight to the cause.

Mihill (5), Van Velkinburgh (4), Contreras (3), and Stevens (2) rounded out the scoring, with Ja’Kenya Hoskins and Abby Mulholland helping control the boards.

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Gavin Knoblich recovered a fumble and laid down some licks as Coupeville’s defense dominated Friday in a 13-0 win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nothing broke through Coupeville’s defense Friday night, not the rain, and certainly not Vashon Island.

Well, maybe the deer, but we’ll talk about them later in the story. First to the highlights.

Laying a lickin’ on the visiting Pirates, with big plays from stars and support crew alike, the Wolf football team stuffed Vashon 13-0 in a driving rain storm.

The win, coming in both the first home game for new coach Marcus Carr, and the first varsity gridiron contest played in front of the school’s snazzy new covered grandstand, lifts CHS to 2-0 on the season.

The Wolves got there by essentially punching Vashon in the face, then kneeing the Pirates in the groin once they crashed to the wet turf.

Metaphorically.

Now, I’m not saying Coupeville played unfairly or dirty. Cause it didn’t.

The Wolves picked up just a handful of penalties, and the worst call, for “spearing” on a play where the ref lost his seeing-eye dog in the drizzle, was flat-out bogus.

I’m just saying, on this night, Coupeville honored the spirit of every Wolf who bit his mouth guard in half and went out and whacked someone.

This was for ’90s icon Nick Sellgren. For modern-day beast Wiley Hesselgrave. For Robert “Fat” Engle and the guys who played wearing leather helmets with no face guards in the 1920’s.

Every Wolf lined someone up, hit ’em and let the spit fly where it would on this night.

You knew Sean “The Torpedo” Toomey-Stout would go airborne at some point, launching and obliterating everyone in his path.

That’s a given.

And you knew Alex Turner would rise up, rip a dude’s head off his neck (metaphorically), then dance away into the night.

That’s also a given.

But did you expect Ben Smith to bring down a receiver by knocking him backward, then spinning out his foot, “Karate Kid“-style, to complete the take-down tackle … an act completed as Smith himself landed on his back?

Or, for freshman Miles “Turducken” Davidson to come flying in through an open hole, pop the QB just as he released the ball, and force a wobbly pass that was promptly picked off by Andrew Martin?

After releasing the battered Vashon QB from his grasp, and possibly whispering “aspirin, you’re going to need a lot of it tomorrow, buddy,” Davidson flapped off the field, doing his best turkey dance.

The nickname?

It starts with a tight uniform, then a coach with a sense of humor, who responds to a request for a replacement jersey with “Why? I like it. We’ll call you Turducken … three layers of boy stuffed into one jersey.”

Now, Davidson has embraced the nickname, earning his feathers on a play which caused papa Michael to rattle the bleachers with a proud bellow loud enough to trigger a tsunami warning 50 miles down the coast.

Coupeville’s defense was overpowering, from Ryan Labrador and Dane Lucero blowing up runners behind the line, to freshman cornerback Xavier Murdy breaking up anything thrown his way.

Tack on picks from Toomey-Stout and Martin and fumble recoveries by Gavin Knoblich and Turner, and Vashon likely finished the game with less than 100 yards of offense.

Like a lot, lot less.

Which was great, because Coupeville’s offense, while much more effective at picking up chunks of yardage, had some issues getting the ball in the end zone.

On the opening drive of the game, the Wolves came out and immediately moved down the field with authority, momentarily raising the idea that they would pile up points all night.

But it wasn’t to be.

After a nice kick-off return from Toomey-Stout, Coupeville QB Dawson Houston hooked up with Shane Losey on a picture-perfect 30-yard bomb down the sideline.

Toss in another pass, which was snagged and flipped back on a pitch to “The Torpedo,” and CHS was knocking on the door.

But a pass over the middle on fourth and goal from the seven-yard line narrowly missed its target, and Coupeville’s best scoring opportunity until late in the third quarter evaporated.

The Wolves had the ball five more times in the first half, but couldn’t fully get into gear.

Toomey-Stout brought the fans to their feet when he lobbed a pass that bounced off of Losey’s back and right into the waiting hands of Knoblich on the final play of the half, but, while it provided oohs and ahs, no points came along for the ride.

Coupeville looked like it had broken through on its first possession in the third quarter, only to have a Toomey-Stout touchdown run called back on a holding penalty.

Enter Chris Battaglia, a rugged senior who missed week one and immediately made up for it with hard-nosed running in week two.

Dragging Vashon tacklers behind him, he battered through the defense, crashing into the end zone on a five-yard smash-mouth run up the gut with four-and-a-half minutes to play in the quarter.

While the Wolves were unable to pull off a two-point conversion run, the 6-0 lead would be enough.

Not that they didn’t try and add to it.

A fumble at the one-yard line on the next possession kept the game close, but Coupeville’s defense got nastier as the rain turned fiercer.

The Wolves forced three of their four turnovers in the fourth quarter, a stretch where the Pirates picked up positive yardage on just ONE play in 12 minutes.

Holding the ball on their own 44-yard line with 1:04 to play, and still just up 6-0, the Wolves looked to the sodden heavens for a sign.

It came from the bushes instead, as three deer, a mom and two babies, suddenly ambled across the field, stopping play.

A moment later, a fourth saucy invader appeared and sauntered across the wet grass, stopping for a nibble or three, not giving a dang at all about Friday Night Lights.

The deer had barely vanished into the mist, with Knoblich in hot pursuit, when Toomey-Stout turned out the lights.

Taking a hand-off from Houston, the speed demon junior tore down the right sideline, running over several Vashon defenders, shedding several others, than hitting open air and flipping on the jets in his shoes.

Toomey-Stout’s 56-yard run to touchdown heaven, his third scoring jaunt in two games, seemed likely to be the exclamation point on the night.

Except, Murdy, making his high school debut, promptly mashed the crud out of the ball on the PAT kick, launching it through the rain to splash down somewhere up around Oak Harbor.

Not only did it perfectly split the uprights, but the sonic boom it caused as it went by almost blew over those same uprights.

Cue the oohs and ahs, and a few strains of “Good God, Almighty!!!” from the normally seen-it-all group of coaches and former Wolf stars camped in the new press box.

The X-Man arriveth, and he brings with him Turducken and the boys, an undefeated squad who made Vashon’s tears flow like the rain.

The legend grows.

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