Sports

Oak Harbor drops thriller

Oak Harbor played a smart game of basketball in Tuesday’s WesCo North home matchup against Snohomish.

Pitted against the league leading, undefeated Panthers, who are also ranked 10th in the latest Washington state Class 4A coaches’ poll, the Wildcats knew they weren’t going to be able to run the court or rebound effectively against a team with seven players on the roster standing 6-feet, 4-inches tall or better.

As a result, coach Mike Washington’s chargers slowed the game down, worked their plays, turned the ball over only six times and nearly pulled off the upset of the season.

Oak Harbor hung right with Snohomish the entire game and it took a pair of free throws by Zach Wilde with 24 seconds left on the clock to enable the Panthers to slip away with a 51-49 victory.

“We definitely had a good game plan tonight,” Washington said. “We knew we really couldn’t run with them or play too much of a man-to-man defense. We had to slow it down and be deliberate with the basketball.”

A pair of three-point baskets by Eric McCardle and another by Jay Stout gave Oak Harbor an 11-10 lead after the first quarter of play.

The Wildcats’ zone defense did a good job of stopping the Panthers in the first eight minutes of action and if not for Snohomish’s superior height, Oak Harbor would have held an even greater lead.

Keeping with the slow-down tactics, much to the displeasure of the Snohomish fans, Oak Harbor held the Panthers to 12 points in the second period. However, the Wildcats managed to put just nine points on the board and trailed 22-20 at halftime.

In the third period, the Wildcats continued their deliberate style of play, but the Panthers outscored Oak Harbor 13-11 to up the lead to 35-31 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.

“We figured if we could keep it a low-scoring game, we had an opportunity to win it,” Washington said.

Things got exciting in the fourth quarter bringing the loyal contingent of Oak Harbor fans and the school’s band to their feet on nearly every play.

Trailing 49-46 in the final minute, Washington called a time out and put his shooters on the court.

His tactic worked and with 27 seconds left, Stout, only a freshman, knocked down a three-pointer from the right side of the key to tie the score, 49-49.

Zach Wilde, Snohomish’s leading scorer, drew a foul three seconds later and hit two pressure shots from the charity stripe to put the Panthers back in front.

The Wildcats had possession of the ball with 11 seconds remaining in the game, but were unable to get a shot off.

“Overall, we did pretty well and we only had six turnovers in the game,” Washington said. “I told the kids we had to play solid if we were going to have a chance. For us to make only six turnovers, that’s solid.”

Rodrick Rumble scored 20 points for the Wildcats and McCardle had 13, three of them coming on 3-point shots.

“If we could have knocked down a couple of free throws, we might have been able to pull it off. I’m not disappointed, the team played a good game,” Rumble said.

Wilde hit for a game-high 24 points.

Panthers nip Wildcats 47-42

The Oak Harbor girls basketball team held a 12-9 lead after the first quarter of play in Wednesday’s WesCo North game at Snohomish, but a big second quarter allowed the Panthers to mount a rally and defeat the Wildcats 47-42.

The Panthers outscored Oak Harbor 16-7 in the second period and that proved to be the difference in the game.

The loss keeps Oak Harbor in third place in the league at 8-3 and 11-4 overall.

Snohomish is in second place in the WesCo North at 10-1 and 13-3 overall.

Mietra Smollack scored 11 points for Oak Harbor and Clair Thiel had nine points.

Marjorie Heard scored a game-high 17 points for the Panthers.

Snohomish 51, Oak Harbor 47

Snohomish 10 12 13 16 — 51

Oak Harbor 11 9 11 18 — 49

Snohomish (51) — Zach Wilde 10 3-4 24, Reed Pecha 3 0-1 6, Brad Jeffeies 2 2-2 6, Clayton Johnson 2 0-0 4, Nick Klop 2 0-0 4, Drew Cummins 0 0-0 0, Jonathan McGee 1 1-2 3. Totals 21 8-11 51.

Oak Harbor (49) — Rodrick Rumble 8 3-8 20, Eric McCardle 4 2-2 13, Jake Rouser 1 0-0 2, Jay Stout 2 0-0 6, Rashaad Smith 2 0-0 4, Darren Zadel 0 1-2 1, Robert Brooks 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 7-14 49.

Three-point goals — Snohomish 1 (Wilde), Oak Harbor 6 (McCardle 3, Stout 2, Rumble). Turnovers — Snohomish 8, Oak Harbor 6. Total fouls — Snohomish 12, Oak Harbor 15. Fouled out — none.

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