Girls basketball: Leete's buzzer-beater lifts Wildcats to win

Annie Leete swished a three-point shot as the final horn sounded to lift the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team to a 46-43 win over visiting Mountlake Terrace Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The win helped Oak Harbor escape what would have been a devastating loss. The Wildcats, searching for their first win in 11 Wesco 3A games, saw a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead evaporate.

Oak Harbor coach Trisha Clayville said she had a "good feeling about this one" before the game started. That gut feeling was supported by the Wildcats as they cruised to a 13-4 first-quarter lead behind seven points by Leete.

Mountlake Terrace committed five first-quarter turnovers to Oak Harbor's one and didn't make a field goal until 45 seconds were left in the period.

A late rush in the second quarter by Terrace trimmed the gap to 22-17 at the half.

The Hawks moved to within two, 24-22, with 4:15 left in the third quarter, then the Wildcats finished the period on a 7-0 run to go up 31-22 heading into the fourth quarter.

Oak Harbor led 34-24 with 4:47 left in the game and the Wildcats appeared to be heading to their first conference win.

Terrace had other ideas and worked itself back into the game. It's press produced several Oak Harbor turnovers and Mindy James drained three three-pointers and suddenly the Hawks led 41-40 with just 39 seconds left.

An Adrianna Royal free throw tied the game with 34 seconds remaining, but Terrace regained the lead on Cristine Lotz's bucket with 14 seconds left.

After an Oak Harbor time out, Clarissa Abadesco weaved through the Mountlake Terrace defense to knot the game at 43 with six seconds left.

A Terrace turnover gave Oak Harbor the ball at mid-court with 1.1 seconds on the clock.

Clayville called timeout, and the play she designed worked perfectly to give Leete her game-winning shot.

Starting in the corner, Leete received a screen as she moved to the top of the key. There she caught the inbounds pass and, in one motion, turned and fired the winner.

Clayville said Leete, a freshman, "has no fear." She added, "Annie played, by far, her best game of the year."

Clayville said she "didn't know if we had it in us" to come back after blowing the fourth-quarter lead. "Two weeks ago I don't know if we would have."

The first-year Wildcat coach said her players are "still working hard this late in the season" and they all "want to get better every day."

Leete finished with a career-best 20 points. Abadesco had eight, Royal seven, Ciera Wiser four, Janelle Yoshimoto three, Tatiana Cumming two, Jalanie Bobo one and Emilie Renninger one.

Oak Harbor (1-10, 2-15) goes to Meadowdale (6-4, 8-7) Friday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. and Shorecrest (9-2, 10-7) Monday, Jan. 31.

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