Wildcats stun Shorewood at district | Boys basketball

Didn't see this one coming.

The Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team shocked host Shorewood 57-52 Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the opening round of the district tournament.

In other tournament action, sixth-seeded Glacier Peak nipped third-seeded Mount Vernon 60-58, fourth-seeded Shorecrest edged fifth-seeded Ferndale 47-46 and first seeded Mountlake Terrace thumped eighth-seeded Everett 54-34.

Oak Harbor (8-13) now goes to Glacier Peak (15-6) for a semifinal match Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.  If the Wildcats win, they will face the winner of Mountlake Terrace (20-1) and Shorecrest (15-6) for the district title at Terrace Friday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m.

If Oak Harbor loses, it will play the winner of Ferndale (15-7)-Everett (6-15) Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. and needs to win three consecutive loser-out games to earn one of the two regional berths. The game will be played at the home of the higher seed.

The Wildcats' win over Shorewood was a stunner.

Shorewood was coming off a win over previously unbeaten and second-ranked Mountlake Terrace that vaulted the Thunderbirds to ninth in the state's 3A rankings. Shorewood won 16 games compared to Oak Harbor's seven and easily defeated the Wildcats twice during the regular season. The Shorewood starters range from 6-foot-3 to 6-9; Oak Harbor's tallest player is 6-3. The Thunderbirds were playing at home, and Oak Harbor hadn't won in the first round of district since 1996.

And, after Shorewood raced to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter, Oak Harbor had every reason to fold. But it didn't; not then and not when it trailed by 10 heading into the final quarter.

After the T-birds' quick start, the Wildcats worked their way back into the game, trailing 13-11 at the quarter and 28-25 at the half.

Shorewood spurted to a 42-31 lead in the third quarter and led 47-37 going into the fourth.

Coach Mike Washington Sr. prophetically told his players if they could stay close, Shorewood would "tighten up" late in the game, not wanting to suffer an embarrassing loss to it a team it handled with ease earlier this season.

Oak Harbor started to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter and, just as Washington had predicted, Shorewood's collar started to tighten.

The Wildcat guards began pressuring the T-birds and Shorewood's shooting fell off.

Oak Harbor went on a 15-5 run that tied the game at 52 with two minutes left.

JoJo Webster made only one basket all game, but it was a big one. The quick guard came up with a steal and raced to the hoop for the go-ahead bucket.

After a stop, Oak Harbor regained possession and ran the game clock down to 16 seconds, nine on the shot clock, and called timeout.

After inbounding, Oak Harbor ran into trouble and had to call timeout with two seconds left on the shot clock.

Next came a basket as improbable as the win.

The inbounds play was designed to go to Mike Washington Jr., but when the T-birds denied that, the ball was inbounded to Drew Washington who fired from 30 feet away under heavy pressure and nailed the three-pointer to ice the upset.

The Washington brothers dominated the offense. Sophomore Drew scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the first half; he sank five three-pointers.

Senior Mike Jr. finished with 22 points, 15 coming during the second-half comeback.

They accounted for all but 11 of Oak Harbor's points. Matt Burgoyne scored five; and Webster, Zach Gibbs and Kevawn Brooks two each.

Brooks snared eight rebounds and Washington Jr. five as Oak Harbor broke even (25-25) with the taller T-birds on the boards.

The Wildcats shot 55 percent (22-for-40), including hitting eight of 20 from long range (40 percent). Shorewood shot 41.7 percent (20-for-48) and hit only seven of 25 threes (28 percent).

Oak Harbor had 11 turnovers, Shorewood eight.

Washington Sr. praised the defensive efforts of Burgoyne, Brooks and Webster and the play off the bench of Gibbs.

He added, "All of the kids played really hard."

Now, is there enough magic left in the wand to upset Glacier Peak? The Grizzlies defeated Oak Harbor 66-48 and 61-48 during the regular season.

The Wildcats will have to slow 6-6 Zach Pederson who leads the league in scoring (21.3 points per game) and scored 25 points in each of the previous match-ups.



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