Buzzer-beater takes down Wildcats | Boys basketball

After coughing up a 16-point lead, the Shorewood High School boys basketball team had to come back at the end of regulation and overtime to avoid an upset in Oak Harbor, beating the Wildcats 69-68 Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The Thunderbirds' Josh Hawkinson scored 35 points, and the final two were the biggest. The 6-9 Washington State University recruit swished a jumper from the foul line as time expired in overtime to win it. The hoop enabled the 10-3 (5-1 in league) Thunderbirds to escape being upset by the Wildcats (3-3, 7-6).

Wildcat coach Mike Washington said, "We came back and competed toe-to-toe with a tough team. This is a tough one to swallow; we had it."

Oak Harbor showed its mettle by fighting back from a 16-point deficit in the second half and will need that mental toughness to recover and refocus on Friday's 7:15 p.m. home game with less formidable Meadowdale (1-5, 3-10).

Hawkinson dominated the game early, scoring Shorewood's first nine points and 19 of its first 24. Oak Harbor then went to a 2-3 zone that slowed Hawkinson with double teams.

Shorewood led 11-10 after the first quarter, then outscored Oak Harbor 22-12 in the second to lead 33-22 after two.

The Thunderbirds began the second half on a 7-2 run to establish their largest lead, 40-24. Behind eight points from Chris Hailer and two threes by Drew Washington, one from 30 feet as the quarter ended, Oak Harbor was within two, 45-43, heading into the final period.

Oak Harbor led 61-57 when Dayne Herron scored with 38 seconds left.

Hawkinson dropped in two free throws with 26 seconds left, then after Washington missed a free throw with 16 seconds left, Ben Andrews drove to the hoop for a tying lay-up with four seconds remaining.

In overtime, the two teams traded similar four-point plays. First, Herron stole a Thunderbird pass in back court and was fouled while scoring. He missed the free throw, but Gabe Groenig rebounded and scored on a put back.

Shorewood tied it when Hawkinson scored, missed his free throw and Andrews scored after the offensive rebound.

Herron put Oak Harbor up 67-65 with 51 seconds left. Twenty seconds later, Hawkinson scored.

Oak Harbor's JoJo Webster was fouled on a drive and awarded two free throws with 9.5 seconds left. He hit the first, but like at the end of regulation, a missed free throw would haunt the Wildcats. After Webster's second shot was off mark, Shorewood rebounded and found Hawkinson for the game-winning shot.

Free-throw shooting proved to be the difference. Oak Harbor made only seven of 13, 54 percent. The T-birds hit 13 of 17, 76.5 percent.

All of the other stats were as close as the game: rebounds, Shorewood 38, Oak Harbor 36; offensive rebounds, Shorewood 13, Oak Harbor 15; turnovers, Shorewood 16, Oak Harbor 15; shooting, Shorewood 45.6 percent, Oak Harbor 44.4 percent.

Hailer finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Herron had 18 points and three steals. Washington collected 14 points, including four threes, six rebounds and three steals.

Groenig had eight points and eight boards, and Webster ended up with seven points and five assists. Dyllan Harris hit a three-pointer.

Andrews finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Shorewood.

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