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Cats weather the storm
"Mothers and doctors always say that the best cure for the flu is medicine and rest. And as everybody knows, the best thing that people can wish for during a drought is a Storm. The Oak Harbor boys bounced back from an 88-42 loss to Stanwood and snapped their five game losing streak as they dismantled the Squalicum Storm during the fourth quarter for the team's second win of the season, 60-48, Friday. We changed up our defense during the fourth, head coach Frank Hunter. We did an excellent job of rebounding and it was a good game for us.The Wildcats entered the fourth quarter with the slimmest of leads, 33-32, and needing someone to step up. During three of the teams previous four games the Cats entered the fourth with either a lead or trailing by less then five but could never get over the hump. That would all change when guard Tony Hall dropped in 10 of his game-high 16 during the fourth. Six of his points would come from the line as the Storm repeatedly fouled the 5-foot-11 inch senior.I just play the game, said Hall. If I see an open man I hit him and if I have an open shot I take it.During the fourth the Storm looked desperate, shooting three pointer after three pointer. Jordan Beede, who led all scorers for the game with 26, missed six threes during the final period. Down the stretch when it was crunch time we took care of the ball, said Hunter. We just wanted to play good defense, not turn the ball over, guard the perimeter and make sure they couldn't get back into the game, said Hall. As a team, the Cats improved dramatically from the line during the fourth as they went 15-for-21 from the charity stripe. During the fourth we forced them to foul us and then did a nice job on the free throws, said Hunter. The shooting was a far cry from the team's previous games where the Wildcats struggled to get their shooting percentage up over 50 percent. One key for the Cats was ball distribution. Along with Hall's points, senior Chad Riepma scored 11 and senior Josh Brown had a solid nine points. Austin Fulgham and Grant Bull also managed to get into the scoring act as they both chipped in seven for the Wildcats. We have depth through the bench and everyone works hard, said Riepma. The last couple of games we've played good through a couple of quarters, and one quarter we'll just lose it. Tonight we played pretty well throughout the whole thing. Although Brown's points were considerably beneath his average of 16 points per game, the 6-foot-4 forward was dominant on the boards along with Riepma. As a team Oak Harbor only had 24 rebounds for the game, but they made them count on the defensive end as they didn't let Squalicum get second-chance shots.As long as we win I don't care how much I score, said Brown. I got a lot of rebounds this game and I think that really helped the team tonight. Josh Brown is such a fine athlete that he is able to score outside of our offensive sets, said Hunter. But tonight he was much more active on the boards and that helped us.Riepma must have thought that he was back on the football field. Along with banging on the boards for rebounds, the senior also threw two hail-mary passes during the game. With Squalicum playing a full-court press and no one to inbound the ball to, Riepma found someone open at the other end of the court as he threw bombs to Josh Denton for easy scores. The game didn't begin as well as it ended for the Cats. The Storm jumped on Oak Harbor for a quick six points to start the game and neither team could score during a futile second quarter. The period was so bad that the teams combined for 12 points. In contrast, Oak Harbor scored 27 during the final frame.We had a little miscommunication during the first half, but we picked it up during the second half, said Hall. This brings a lot of momentum, said Riepma. It carries over during the games. The Wildcats will now move on to play at Kamiak on Friday. Oak Harbor played Shorewood last night but the results were not available at press time. Oak Harbor 60, Squalicum 48Squalicum 12 4 16 16 - 48Oak Harbor 10 8 15 27 - 60Squalicum: Beede 26, Follis 8, Lee 6, Baker 2, Chan 2, Cedergreen 2, Visser 2. Oak Harbor: Hall 16, Riepma 11, Brown 9, Bull 7, Fulgham 7, Jenkins 6, Dewton 4. 3-point goals: Beede 1, Bull 1, Fulgham 1. JV score-Squalicum defeted Oak Harbor. Records-Squalicum 5-3 overall. Oak Harbor 2-8.Stanwood 88, Oak Harbor 42Stanwood's Ryan Appleby scored a game-high 17 points, dished out seven assists and had five steals to lead the Spartans in a non-conference game.Oak Harbor 13 10 9 10 - 42Stanwood 24 21 21 22 - 88Oak Harbor-Denton 3, Unpingco 1, Jenkins 5, Chaytor 4, Bull 2, Fulgham 12, Brown 4, Thayer 2, Riempa 9. Stanwood-Reed 2, Toshener2, Parks 6, Thompson 4, Appleby 17, Ali 9, Steele 16, Whitney 12, Messerli 2, Ellingson 12, Smith 6. 3-point goals-Appleby 2, Ali 3, Parks 2, Fulgham 3. JV score-Stanwood defeated Oak Harbor. Records-Stanwood 7-0 overall. Oak Harbor 1-8. "