Sixth-ranked Mountlake Terrace, considered by most as the best boys basketball team in Wesco 3A, raced by Oak Harbor 64-32 in a district semifinal game at Everett's Jackson High School Saturday, Feb. 9.
The loss dropped the Wildcats (12-10) into the consolation bracket, and they now host Shorecrest (11-11) in a loser out game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Coach Mike Washington said the energy of the Wildcat fans helped Oak Harbor in its home upset of Shorewood in the opening round of the tournament and hopes for a packed house for the battle with Shorecrest.
Oak Harbor defeated the Scots 51-44 during the regular season.
The winner of the Oak Harbor/Shorecrest game meets the winner of Shorewood (15-7)/Glacier Peak (17-5) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Jackson for the third and final berth in the regional tournament.
That game will precede the 8 p.m. championship game between Mountlake Terrace (20-2) and Stanwood (17-5).
Talented Mountlake Terrace made Oak Harbor look like it was stuck in second gear in the Hawks' easy win.
Terrace sprinted to a 26-7 first-quarter lead and upped the margin to 46-11 at half. Three Hawks scored in double figures in the first half; no Wildcat reached double digits for the game.
The Hawks blitzed Oak Harbor with a lightning fast break and were relentless on the offensive boards. Defensively, Mountlake Terrace's man-to-man defense rarely gave up open looks and second shots.
The Hawks had only three fewer turnovers (13 to 16) than Oak Harbor but outscored the Wildcats 29-8 off those mistakes with a lethal transition offense. If the Hawks didn't get to the rim on the break, then dished for open jumpers.
Mountlake Terrace also excelled in its half-court sets, slicing the Oak Harbor zone with crisp passing and sharp shooting.
The Hawks also scooped up 20 offensive boards and outscored Oak Harbor 18-2 in second-chance points. In all, Terrace out rebounded the 'Cats 45-22, 20-7 on offense.
Greg Bowman, a 6-7 post, did most of the damage, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Oak Harbor outscored the Hawks 21-18 in the second half as Terrace took its foot off the pedal and substituted liberally.
With one minute left in the third quarter, the Hawks had their biggest lead, 54-15, and were one point from a 40-point lead that, by mercy rule, would have forced a running clock the remainder of the game.
Chris Hailer had nine points and six rebounds and Dayne Herron nine points and five rebounds to pace Oak Harbor. JoJo Webster finished with six points and four steals, Drew Washington had four points, Gabe Groenig two and Dyllan Harris two.
Coach Washington said, "Mountlake Terrace is a heck of a team. They do everything well; they expose your flaws and exploit them."