Boys basketball: Bear Creak opens tournament by downing Wildcats

Hot-shooting Bear Creak streaked to a 20-5 first-quarter lead on its way to a 64-51 win over the Oak Harbor boys basketball team in the opening round of the 40th annual Bellevue Community College Holiday Tournament Tuesday, Dec. 28.

Oak Harbor (2-6) plays South Kitsap (3-4) at 1:45 Wednesday, Dec. 29, in round two. The Wolves fell 64-40 to Sammamish (7-1) last night.

It was the shooting of Bear Creak and not turnovers that produced the big first quarter for the Grizzlies. Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington Sr. called the private Redmond school "the best shooting team we faced all year."

He added, "It seemed like every time they got a look, they knocked it down."

For the game, the Grizzlies hit 53 percent (26-for-49).

The Wildcats shot 37.7 percent (20-for-53) and launched 31 three-pointers (hitting 10) against the tough Bear Creak zone.

Oak Harbor trimmed the 15-point lead to five in the second quarter, then the Grizzlies starting connecting again and went into the half up 38-25.

Oak Harbor was hampered by the bug, as two of its best players, Mike Washington Jr. and Stevie Bratt, played while sick. Each was limited to about half of his normal playing time, and Washington Jr., who entered the game with an 18-point average, finished with only six points.

Drew Washington, Mike's younger brother, helped pick up some of the scoring slack. The freshman, playing in just his second varsity game, hit five three-pointers in route to a game-high 17 points.

Jay Stout added nine points, Corey Houck (in his varsity debut) had six, Bratt four, Trace Paul four, Denzel Massey two and Connor Paul two. Trace Paul had five rebounds.

Bear Creak held a 29-28 edge in rebounding and committed just nine turnovers to Oak Harbor's 12.

The game featured only 11 fouls and nine free throws, just two by Oak Harbor.

Bear Creak, a 2B school that was ranked No. 1 most of last season, upped its record to 6-1.

The Grizzlies were led by sturdy 6-6 Ryan Strandin, who finished with 13 points; seven players scored at least six points.

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