Girls basketball: Oak Harbor falters in 4th quarter

The Oak Harbor girls basketball team weathered one storm but sank in the second as it fell to Eatonville 58-49 in the first round of the local Santa Slam Tournament Wednesday, Dec. 29.

The Cruisers’ press picked up the tempo with the score tied 13-13 early in the second period and a rash of Oak Harbor turnovers and rushed shots resulted in a 14-2 run by Eatonville.

Fueled by 13 points from Clarissa Abadesco, the Wildcats righted the ship and trimmed the lead to 28-25 at the half. From there, Oak Harbor pushed to a small lead in the third quarter before the two teams went into the final period tied at 40.

Again the Eatonville press took its toll and the Cruisers started the fourth quarter with nine straight points; Oak Harbor never recovered.

Emilie Renninger’s three-ball stopped the Cruiser run and cut the margin to six, 49-43, with 5:01 left, but Oak Harbor would get no closer.

Eatonville hit four free throws in the final minute to put the game away.

Abadesco finished with 19 points. Coach Trisha Clayville said the senior is “getting into a rhythm” after missing the first five games.

Clayville also praised the play of Adrianna Royal and Dominique Jackson who helped Oak Harbor hold its own on the boards.

She sees improvements in her team which is still searching for its first win after nine games: “We are starting to mature a little bit and getting experience at the varsity level. We are no longer playing scared. We are getting more and more of the little things right.”

Renninger scored 13 points and hit a trio of three-pointers. Janelle Yoshimoto added 10 points, Royal four, Jackson two and Annie Leete one.

Oak Harbor meets North Thurston, losers to Anacortes in round one, Thursday, Dec. 30, at 5:40 p.m. Anacortes and Eatonville face off at 7 for the Santa Slam title.

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