Oak Harbor boys lose OT thriller to Kamiak

"It was a tale of two halves for the Oak Harbor boys basketball team last Friday in their 55-48 loss to Kamiak.Despite leading by 13 at half time, the Wildcats failed to hold off a determined comeback by Kamiak and eventually lost in overtime.Oak Harbor — which ran its offense with precision in the first half — struggled to get open looks in the second half as the Knights cranked up the defensive pressure. The Wildcats scored only 7 points in the third and fourth quarters, after pouring in 36 points in the first half.“In the second half Kamiak’s pressure made it difficult to bring the ball up the court,” Oak Harbor guard Jay Hartman said.The Wildcats started strong behind Brett Waller, who scored 5 of his team’s first 9 points. Oak Harbor also converted from the free throw line in the first quarter, as Chad Riepma turned two Kamiak technicals into 4 points.Oak Harbor’s success continued in the second quarter as the Wildcats held off several Kamiak runs with their efficient half-court offense. Eric Collins ended the half with a steal and a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game, 36-23.The second half was all Kamiak, however, as the Knights pounced on the Wildcats early, causing numerous turnovers with their high-pressure defense. Led by guards Mike Boyle and Jeff Knudson, Kamiak went on an 11-0 run that cut the Oak Harbor lead to two points.Oak Harbor didn’t get a point until Waller hit a free throw seven minutes into the quarter. By the end of the third quarter, the lead the Wildcats established in the first half had been cut to 37-34.Oak Harbor managed to regain its poise in the fourth quarters as the two teams traded baskets. With 2:30 left in the game Oak Harbor was clinging to a one point lead.Kamiak’s comeback stalled with under two minutes left as the Knights missed three free throws that would have tied the game. But then Oak Harbor suffered a blow when team captain Garrett Stone injured his leg with less than a minute to play and was forced to sit out.With 25 seconds left Collins was unable to convert on the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw, and Kamiak got the ball back with a chance to win it.With the clock running down, Knudson missed a shot from the baseline, but Kamiak’s Scott Szalay grabbed the offensive rebound, put up a shot and was fouled with six-tenths of a second left. Szalay badly missed the first free throw, but calmly drained the second to send the game into overtime.Kamiak opened up the overtime period with another pubtack by Szalay to take the lead. Oak Harbor answered with a Duse Dronen 3-pointer from the corner that put the Wildcats back up by one. It would be the last lead of the game for Oak Harbor.Kamiak forced several turnovers and the Knights converted all eight of their free throws in overtime to seal the game.KAMIAK 55, OAK HARBOR 48Kamiak: Boyle 6, Decker 17, Knudson 12, Szalay 14, Loney 2, Baines 2, Lowery 2. Oak Harbor: Stone 12, Marshall 4, Dronen 4, Hartman 2, Waller 12, Riepma 6, Collins 5, Morgan 2. 3-pointers: Marshall, Dronen, Knudson 2, Decker 1.Kamiak 12 11 11 9 12 — 55Oak Harbor 19 17 1 6 5 — 48Stone back soonFans at Friday’s Oak Harbor-Kamiak basketball game got a scare when leading Wildcat scorer Garrett Stone left the game with what appeared to be a severely twisted ankle. Fortunately, the injury is not a severe as first feared — Oak Harbor coach Frank Hunter said Stone should be back for next Tuesday’s home game against Marysville-Pilchuck."

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