Sports

Boys basketball: Wildcats close BCC Tournament with 54-50 loss

The Bellevue Community College Tournament wasn’t a holiday treat for the Oak Harbor boys basketball team as it dropped all three games, the final one a 54-50 loss to Eastside Catholic Thursday, Dec. 30.

The trio of losses sets the Wildcats’ season record at 2-8 (1-3 in Wesco). The remainder of the season includes all conference games, the first at Meadowdale (3-1, 5-5) Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Oak Harbor can’t blame the loss to Eastside Catholic (3-6) on a slow start. After being outscored in the first quarter 20-5 and 21-5 in the first two games of the tournament, Wildcat coach Mike Washington Sr. juggled his starting lineup and got immediate results.

Oak Harbor scooted to a 19-9 lead in the first period. From there the Crusaders, behind Joey Schreiber, slowly worked their way back into the game.

Schreiber finished the game with 32 points on 14-for-20 shooting. His 13 third-quarter points helped Eastside Catholic outscore Oak Harbor 19-10 in the period. The Crusaders took their first lead when they scored on a Wildcat turnover on the final play of the third quarter.

Up 41-39 going into the fourth period, the Crusaders quickly extended the lead to six and the cushion remained the same for most of the remainder of the game.

Eastside Catholic heated up in the second half. After both teams shot an identical 39 percent (9-for-23) the first half, the Crusaders shot 58 percent (14-for-24) after the break. Although the Wildcats also shot better (44 percent, 8-for-18) they couldn’t keep pace.

Washington Sr. said the Wildcats tried everything to slow down Schreiber – man-to-man, box-and-one, trap – but “nothing worked.” The 6-5 wing player hurt Oak Harbor all over the court, scoring both inside and from long range (4-for-7 on threes).

Not all was bad for the Wildcats. Stevie Bratt, slowed by illness the first two games, finished with a team-high 15 points and four rebounds. Washington Sr. said, “I was very happy with his play.”

Washington Sr. also liked the effort of Trace Paul, Connor Paul and Drew Washington.

Trace Paul scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes of action, and Conner Paul tied Kevawn Brooks for the rebounding lead with six while playing 14 minutes.

Drew Washington scored nine points off three threes, snared four rebounds and collected two steals. Washington Sr. said he promoted Drew to the varsity last week to give the Wildcats a shooting threat from beyond the arc, and the freshman delivered by hitting nine threes in the tournament.

Other Wildcat scoring against Eastside Catholic came from Mike Washington Jr., eight points; Denzel Massey, four; Jay Stout, two; and Brooks, two.

Oak Harbor dominated the boards, out rebounding Eastside Catholic 36-17, but the Wildcats negated that advantage by committing 16 turnovers, 10 more than the Crusaders.

Washington Sr. said the miscues came from “trying to force the action.” He added, “We tried to make passes that were not there at the time.”

The Wildcat coach said, “This tourney was great for experience. To play teams from the Seattle area, my players now realize they have to play harder and try and do the right things every time to win. We will get back in the gym on Saturday after a day off and start to zero-in on things we need to do to get better. We have a tough stretch of games coming up.”

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