It was a roller coaster ride, and the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team enjoyed the trip more than Squalicum in a 50-43 non-conference win over the visiting Storm Saturday, Dec. 8.
The Wildcats trailed by 10, went up by eight, saw the lead shrink to two, went up by 11 then saw that gap dwindle to four before pulling out the wild win.
The Wildcats' Annie Leete overcame foul trouble and scored 20 points while playing only 17 of the game's 32 minutes.
The back-and-forth trend started early. Oak Harbor went out on top 5-0, trailed 8-6, then led at the end of the first quarter 10-9.
Leete sat the second part of the first period with two fouls, then picked up number three less than two minutes into the second and returned to the bench. From there, Squalicum went on an 11-0 run to go ahead 22-12 and led 24-16 at the half.
The well-rested Leete started the second half with three hoops, including two three pointers, and Oak Harbor was off on a 17-1 run and finished the third quarter ahead 33-25.
Spurred by six more points by Leete, and the Wildcats led 45-34 with 2:17 left in the game. The Storm, however, were't finished.
Squalicum (0-4) sliced the lead to 45-41 with 47 seconds left as Leete fouled out.
Natalie Fiallos then took over, draining five of six foul shots to wrap up the win.
Oak Harbor coach Trisha Wieber had high praise for Fiallos, who picked up the ball-handling slack and directed the team with Leete sitting in foul trouble.
Wieber said, "Natalie really stepped up, and the kids didn't panic at the end of the game."
Oak Harbor also received a big game from Ciera Wiser who finished with 12 rebounds, six points, four assists and three steals. Kelsey Rankin came off the bench to get eight points and 11 rebounds.
Jalani Bobo had eight points, Fiallos six and Jinai Guzman two.
Oak Harbor out rebounded Squalicum 46-29. The Storm had 30 turnovers, Oak Harbor 23.
Leete wasn't the only player with foul problems. The teams combined for 52 fouls and four players, two from each school, had five each.
Oak Harbor sank 18 of 34 free throws (53 percent); the Storm hit 12 of 22 (55 percent).
The Wildcats (0-1, 2-2) return to league play at home with Everett at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.