A dominating performance on the offensive boards helped the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team defeat host Sedro-Woolley 46-40 in a nonleague game Wednesday, Jan. 2.
It took the Wildcats a few minutes to get going, then they scooted to a 12-2 lead. Sedro-Woolley (3-8) continually made runs to get back into the game, cutting the lead to six several times, but could not over come its own slow start.
The Wildcats received strong play from its young bench during crunch time. Ciera Wiser left the game with an injury in the third quarter and Kelsey Rankin fouled out in the fourth. Coach Trisha Wieber said Deja Bunch and AnnaBelle Whitefoot "stayed level-headed as freshman" during the frantic fourth quarter. The Wildcats also benefited from veteran Annie Leete's efforts. Wieber said, "Annie, in particular, played very smart at the end of the game to hold onto the lead."
Oak Harbor began the game by missing its first six field goal attempts and four free throws. During that stretch, the Cubs had only two shots, both misses; Oak Harbor earned the extra opportunities because of six offensive rebounds.
The shots started to drop for the Wildcats and the offensive boards continued. In all, Oak Harbor collected 24 offensive rebounds to 11 for the Cubs.
The offensive boards provided Oak Harbor with 15 more shots in the game than Sedro-Woolley. The Wildcats shot 28 percent for the game (15-for-54) while the Cubs shot 33 percent (13-for-39).
Oak Harbor also had an advantage at the foul line, shooting 33 (making 15, 45 percent), 15 more than the Cubs, who hit 10, 56 percent. Many of the Oak Harbor opportunities came late as the Cubs fouled trying to get back into the game.
Leete scored six of the Wildcats' 12 points in the initial run and Jinai Guzman added six points in the quarter as the Wildcats led 16-9 after one period.
Wieber said Leete and Guzman "ran the floor well to capitalize off of steals in the first quarter."
Five different Wildcats scored in the second quarter and Oak Harbor built its biggest lead, 25-12, before ending the half on top 25-13.
In the third quarter, Sedro-Woolley narrowed the gap to 27-21 before Oak Harbor went ahead 33-21 going into the final quarter.
The lead reached 13, 34-21, then the Cubs got within six three times. Oak Harbor made only three of eight free throws down the stretch until Bunch hit a pair in the final seconds.
Leete had another strong all-around game, leading Oak Harbor with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Jalani Bobo had six points and three steals, Guzman six points, Ciera Wiser five points, Natalie Fiallos five points and three steals, Bunch five points, Kelsey Rankin four points and four assists and Liz Lym two points. Leete, Wiser and Rankin each had four offensive rebounds.
Oak Harbor (1-3, 4-7) begins four straight crossover games with the Wesco 3A South at home with Mountlake Terrace (0-4, 2-8) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4.