Oak Harbor High School boys basketball coach Mike Washington said at the beginning of the season if his team could get through its tough early schedule without losing confidence, it would be in good shape.
With a 60-56 road win over Ferndale Friday, Dec. 21, things definitely are looking good.
The nonleague win pushed the Wildcats’ win streak to four games and lifted their record to 5-2, the best start by a Washington team since he took over as head coach in 2006-7.
Washington was concerned about the early games against highly-touted Anacortes, Snohomish and Stanwood. Oak Harbor dumped Snohomish but lost to Anacortes and Stanwood. Anacortes is 6-1 with its only loss to No. 1-ranked 2A Lynden. Stanwood is 6-2 and leads the Wesco North with a 4-0 record.
The psyche of Oak Harbor is fine as it handled the pressure of a close game in the win over Ferndale. The game was tight, but, as Washington said, it seemed like his club was behind by two points all night.
The two teams were tied 9-9 at the end of the first quarter, Oak Harbor led 23-21 at the break and they were tied again 42-42 heading into the fourth period. The teams were tied 11 times in the game and there were 12 lead changes.
In the final frame, Oak Harbor steamed to a 57-48 lead and held on for the win.
The statistics were as close as the game in all but two columns, rebounding and free-throw shooting. Oak Harbor led on the boards 44-34 and shot 27 free throws (making 16) to the Golden Eagles’ 14 (they made eight).
Washington was pleased with his team’s effort, especially having to play back-to-back nights on the road.
Once again the Wildcats had a balanced attack. Dayne Herron scored 14 points, Drew Washington 13, JoJo Webster 13, Chris Hailer nine, Dyllan Harris nine and Gabe Groeing two.
Hailer just missed his third consecutive double-double, snaring 11 rebounds. Drew Washington, however, got his first by grabbing 10 rebounds.
Coach Washington said Harris came off the bench to “give us a lift.”
Oak Harbor begins the three-game Bellevue College Holiday Tournament at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, with Kentwood.