Boys basketball: Bratt's buzzer-beater helps 'Cats to important win

In what its coach called one of Oak Harbor's biggest wins in years, the Wildcat boys basketball team, behind Stevie Bratt's three-pointer at the buzzer, nipped host Shorewood 48-45 Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Coach Mike Washington Sr. labeled the win "huge" because it lifted the Wildcats into the playoff picture.

The victory helped Oak Harbor (3-6, 4-11) move into a fifth-place tie with Shorewood (3-6, 6-9) in the Wesco 3A standings. The top six teams move on to the district tournament.

The Wildcats play Everett (2-7, 4-11) tonight, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in another game with big playoff implications. The Seagulls are just one game behind Oak Harbor and defeated the Wildcats earlier this season. Should they win again over the 'Cats, they would hold the tie-breaker.

Shorewood muscled its way to a 65-53 win in Oak Harbor Dec. 14. Oak Harbor had trouble with the Thunderbirds' size, and post Gabe Carroll led the way with 15 points.

The Wildcats limited Carroll to three points Tuesday. Offensively, Oak Harbor struck from long range. Bratt and Jay Stout were particularly effective, combining to hit eight of 12 from beyond the arc.

Bratt finished with nine points, five rebounds and no turnovers.

Washington Sr. said, "Stevie was the Player of the Game; actually, everyone played well. We are peaking at the right time, we are playing as a team."

Oak Harbor received a "huge game" out of Stout, who played with a foot injury, according to Washington Sr. Stout scored 14 points and dished out three assists although he was at only "70 percent," Washington Sr. said.

Mike Washington Jr. added 14 points and six rebounds, Trace Paul had six points, Denzel Massey three and Kevawn Brooks two.

The Wildcats committed only six turnovers.

Oak Harbor led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter but was down 27-22 at halftime. The Wildcats finished the third quarter on an 11-3 run to tie it at 38 going into the final period.

Oak Harbor went on top by four midway through the fourth period, and then the Thunderbirds tied it up late.

The 'Cats had the last possession with 20 seconds left and with the score even at 45. The designated play broke down, but Washington Jr. found Bratt in the corner for the game-winning shot.

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