The Stanwood boys basketball team starts a front line that stands 6-10, 6-7, 6-5; Oak Harbor's tallest player is 6-4. But it was the littlest Spartans that caused the Wildcats the biggest problems in Stanwood's 66-43 win at Oak Harbor in the Western Conference opener Friday, Dec. 7.
True, 6-7 Drew Stang scored 23 points and 6-5 Cannen Roberson 15, but they can thank four 5-9 teammates, Mason Garcea, Josh Thayer, Bray Garcea and Ian Zipp, for getting them the scoring opportunities.
The Stanwood guards harassed Oak Harbor's ball handlers all night, limited the Wildcats' scoring chances and setting up their taller teammates for points at the offense end.
Oak Harbor scored only three points in the first quarter and trailed 9-3, but got off to a quick start in the second period. Two JoJo Webster baskets sandwiched around hoops by Drew Washington and Cortez Ridley, helped Oak Harbor go on a 9-0 run and lead 12-9.
The Spartans then scored 11 straight points to regain control.
Oak Harbor was still in the game at the half, down 23-16, then the Spartans (1-0, 3-2) erupted for 29 third-quarter points, 11 by Roberson, to take a 52-29 margin into the final period.
"Intensity killed us," said Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington, referring to the lack of it by his team and the abundance of it by the Spartans, especially their guards.
Washington said the Spartans' press caused problems: "We need to go to our spots. Kids deviated from what they were supposed to do. We looked like we were confused."
Webster scored 17 points for the Wildcats. Drew Washington added nine, Chris Hailer six, Gabe Groeing four, Ridley three, Anthony Stewart three and Donavan Sellgren one. Hailer had seven rebounds and Webster three assists.
The Spartans out rebounded Oak Harbor 44-33, had 12 turnovers to Oak Harbor's 19 and shot 41.7 percent (25-for-60) to Oak Harbor's 33.3 percent (17-for 51).
Oak Harbor (0-1, 1-2) travels to Everett (0-0, 2-3) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.