Sports

Oak Harbor picks up important win | Boys basketball

Elias Whitefoot, left, and Matt Burgoyne rough up Meadowdale
Elias Whitefoot, left, and Matt Burgoyne rough up Meadowdale's Matt Hirsch.
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times
Strong shooting and a steady defense carried the Oak Harbor boys basketball team to a 52-46 win over visiting Meadowdale Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The victory was big for Oak Harbor. Mountlake Terrace and the Shoreline schools appear to be the top dogs a third of the way through the Western Conference season, and the other six schools are lumped together fighting for the final three playoff spots.
If the Wildcats (3-2, 3-3) want to advance to their second-straight district tournament, they will need to rack up wins, especially at home, against squads in the six-team bunch.
Oak Harbor lost a handful of games the past several seasons when it dominated the stat sheet in most columns except shooting percent. Tuesday’s win was a reversal.
The Wildcats shot a fine 51.4 percent (19-for-37) while limiting the Mavericks to 30 percent (18-for-60).
Oak Harbor won the rebounding war 36-28, but lost the offense board battle 14-7. The Wildcats also committed 20 turnovers, nine more than Meadowdale.
That resulted in the Mavs getting 23 more shots than Oak Harbor, but they made one less.
Oak Harbor sat in a 2-3 zone and let Meadowdale live or die by the three-ball. The Mavericks died by hitting only seven of 30 (23.3 percent).
Oak Harbor also shot well at the line, hitting eight of 11, after a miserable outing from the stripe its pervious game.
One of the keys to the win was the play of Matt Burgoyne, who has quietly put together a string of solid all- round games. The 6-3 senior scored 11 points on five-of-seven shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out two assists.
He, along with Dayne Herron (six rebounds, two points, two steals), Cameron Faulkner (four rebounds), Elias Whitefoot, Chris Hailer (four points) and Paul Johannsen helped in the paint and took up the slack for Kevawn Brooks, who missed the game with a wrist injury.
Mike Washington Jr. collected 19 points, five rebounds and two assists; and brother Drew Washington added 10. Both hit several threes during critical stretches of the game to thwart Meadowdale rallies.
Jamacio Webster chipped in with six points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and steady defensive pressure.
Coach Mike Washington Sr. said, “I think the defense played a key in this game. For the most part we didn’t give their jump shooters too many looks.”
He said, “Matt played an excellent game, Drew hit some big shots and JoJo (Webster) was solid.”
Washington Sr. added that junior varsity call-ups “Dayne and Chris did a good job” filling the void left by Brooks’ injury.
Oak Harbor held a slight lead throughout the night, leading 14-10, 24-22 and 38-35 at the quarters.
Its biggest bulge was midway through the third quarter when it when up 32-27 on a three by Drew Washington and a three-point play and three ball by Mike Washington Jr. All three scores came off assists – the first by Washington Jr., followed by Webster and Faulkner.
Meadowdale (3-2, 4-5) scored first in the fourth quarter to trim it to 38-37, but the Wildcats answered the challenge and pushed the lead to 49-43 with 1:56 left.  The Mavericks were within three with 35 seconds left, but three free throws by Washington Jr. iced the game.
Oak Harbor goes to undefeated Mountlake Terrace (6-0, 7-0) Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7:15 p.m.

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