Boys basketball: Wildcats fall to 1st-place Grizzlies

The Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team played its fifth straight solid game but, again, came up short in a 55-44 loss to visiting Glacier Peak Wednesday, Jan. 12.

On paper the Grizzly-Wildcat game didn't look like an even match. Glacier Peak (7-0, 13-2) sits atop the Wesco 3A standings while Oak Harbor (1-6, 2-11) resides at the bottom. Oak Harbor, however, hung with GP through most of the game.

The teams were tied at 23 with 2:39 left in the half. Then Glacier Peak went on a 12-2 run that bridged the second and third quarters to move in front 35-25.

An Oak Harbor spurt narrowed the gab to four, 35-31, with 3:35 left in the third quarter.

Glacier Peak rebounded to mount its biggest lead 45-33 going into the final quarter.

The Grizzlies turned cold, hitting just one field goal in the fourth quarter, and had just those two with nearly seven minutes into the period. fourth-quarter points with 1:09 to go, then Oak Harbor began fouling to stop the clock. From there the Grizzlies hit seven of 11 free throws to hold off the Wildcats.

The Wildcats entered the game primed to stop Glacier Peak's 7-foot center and leading scorer, Payton Pervier.

Pervier, hampered by a balky back, sat out the fourth quarter and finished the game with just four points.

It was the shortest starter, 5-9 Dylan Vargas, that hurt Oak Harbor early. He nailed four three-pointers and finished with 15 points. Jack Bonner hurt Oak Harbor late, sinking seven of 10 shots and recording 17 points.

Mike Washington Jr. collected 19 points for Oak Harbor, and Denzel Massey had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Jay Stout added eight points, Stevie Bratt four, Drew Washington three and Trace Paul two.

The two teams played a clean game and combined for just 15 turnovers (Oak Harbor nine, Glacier Peak six) and only nine fouls until Oak Harbor fouled purposely at the end.

The Wildcats had one of their best shooting nights of the season from the field, 40.4 percent (21-of-52). After shooting 54 percent the first half, Glacier Peak cooled to 42 percent (18-of-43) for the game.

Oak Harbor shot only four free throws, making zero; the Grizzlies hit 13 of 21.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 11, but was postponed because of the threat of snow.

Oak Harbor begins Wesco second round play Friday and still has a shot at making the playoffs. The top six teams advance, and the Wildcats are currently in seventh, a half-game up on Lynnwood (1-7, 2-11). Oak Harbor plays the Royals here Friday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

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