Cats choke on bricks

"As the Cats and the Scots battled for control of the ball under the basket during the final seconds of the game, Josh Brown of Oak Harbor emerged with the ball and was fouled with one second left on the clock. But the Cats' lack of poise at the line that plagued them for the fourth quarter did not stop, as Brown missed the first free throw and and then missed the second intentionally. The Oak Harbor boys basketball team only managed to hit 4-of-14 from the line during the fourth quarter and handed Shorecrest the game on a silver platter Friday, 59-57. We just need to put this one behind us and have all the seniors step it up, said Josh Denton, who had nine points for the Cats. We can't look back. The pain of watching the team shoot free throws must have been too much for head coach Frank Hunter as he left Oak Harbor High School in an ambulance. It's called super vascular techardia and my heart rate was up over 125, said Hunter about the doctor's diagnosis.Although the coach spent the night in the hospital for observation, Hunter was back in the classroom Monday morning. The coach was under doctor's orders to skip last night's game against Edmonds-Woodway (results of last night's contest were not available at press time), but he is expected to be back on the bench for the teams next game, Dec. 28 against Stanwood. Oak Harbor's problems at the line did not stem from the first half as the team went 10-16 from the line and took a five point lead into the half.Free throws are tough, you can shoot 100 at practice and miss 'em all during the game, said Oak Harbor's senior captain Chad Riepma. Sometimes we will shoot 80 percent and other times we will hit 30 percent.We just need more concentration and to settle down, said Denton.Both teams suffered from a tightly called game as officials whistled 45 fouls and there were 52 free throws shot during the game. Oak Harbor was led by Brown on offense, who had 17 points but got into foul trouble during the second half, which kept him off the court.The Cats ended the second quarter with a 14-6 run and looked poised to crush the Scots during the second half. But Oak Habor was buried during the third, 22-13. In the fourth the Cats had an opportunity to put the Scots away when Garrett Flowers, Shorecrest's leading scorer, fouled out of the game. But Oak Harbor could not take advantage.I really felt it was a good opening for us to take over, said Oak Harbor sophomore point guard Gooding. (Flowers) was playing really well, but what can I say, they just wanted it more than us. One bright sport for the Wildcats was the play of Gooding, who only played half the game but had 11 points for the Cats. Gooding knocked down two three-pointers and was sprinting up and down the court the entire time he was in the game. The thing I like about him is that he has some natural point guard skills about him, said Hunter. He sees the court well. Gooding was one of the players that saw time in the absence of senior guard Tony Hall, who sat out sick, according to Hunter. The Cats looked a bit frazzled when they set up for their offense after gaining turnovers, and Hunter attributes some of that to the absence of Hall.He creates a lot more in transition for Chad (Riepma) and the other players, said the coach. Riepma struggled on the offensive end of the court as he only had four points. With 6-foot-4 forward Brown on the bench during the fourth quarter, Riepma made up for his offensive woes a bit on the defensive end. Riepma managed to get into the key for big rebounds to keep the Cats in the game.Any time you have your best player out your thinking, 'Just keep it close,' said Hunter.Josh (Brown) is our main scorer and he knows that and he needs to stay out of foul trouble, said Denton.The two-point loss comes on the heels of another close game, the team's overtime defeat at the hands of Mariner Dec. 13. We can beat these teams, we just need to stop turning the ball over, said Riepma. Shorecrest 59, Oak Harbor 57.Shorecrest 16 12 22 9 - 59Oak Harbor 16 17 13 11 - 57Shorecrest-Wong 2, Davis 6, Caldwell 10, Nadon 2, Block 10, B. Robinson 3, Ray 3, Lacasse 10, Flowers 11, Christon 2. Oak Harbor-Gooding 11, Denton 9, Chaytor 2, Bull 8, Fulgham 6, Brown 17, Riepma 4. 3-point goals-Davis 2, Block 2, Ray 1, Gooding 2, Denton 1, Brown 1. JV-Shorecrest def. Oak Harbor. Records-Shorecrest 1-2 in league, 1-5 overall. Oak Harbor 0-3, 1-6. "

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