Wildcats fast-break to easy win

It was over barely after it began.

The Oak Harbor girls basketball team exploded to a 22-7 first quarter lead and were able to dominate an undermanned Arlington Eagles squad, cruising to a 60-23 victory Friday night.

“Our starting five had their way with Arlington,” said head coach Dwight Lundstrom after the game. “They could pretty much do anything they wanted to. It went well, all the kids got to play and the second five got to play a lot.”

With the win the Wildcats remained unbeaten, improving to 3-0 in league and 5-0 overall. The team has already won more games this year than the four it won all of last season.

According to Lundstrom, the Cats were able to run their fast-break offense so effectively, they didn’t have many opportunities to get into their half-court set.

“We pretty much could run our fast-break at will,” he said. “We really didn’t have to set up our offense that often.”

Besides being able to give all 10 of his players quality minutes, Lundstrom had his team worked on certain aspects of the game.

“We were able to work on some stuff like our man-to-man defense,” he said.

Freshman post player Heidi McNeill was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 14 points.

“Heidi was our leading scorer on pure hustle,” said Lundstrom. “She was out in front on the fast break. She gave Valerie (Hartman) and Shirley (Spears) someone to pass to.”

Lundstrom was happy that senior shooting guard Marcy Manibusan was able to get her shot on track as well. Manibusan totaled nine points off of three three-pointers.

“Marcy shot the ball well,” he said. “She had a couple from NBA range. She didn’t play all that much, but when she did she played great.”

Lundstrom praised his subs as well, all of whom saw significant minutes against the Eagles.

“Danielle Bratt’s post play and help on defense was outstanding, and when Gretyl Pruss was on the floor we really enjoyed her passing abilities,” he said.

This is looking to be a big week for the Wildcats. Oak Harbor is one of three remaining undefeated teams in WesCo North Division play and it hosts both of the other undefeated teams before the holiday break.

The Cats entertain Monroe (3-0, 4-3) tonight and Lundstrom is optimistic about his teams chances.

“Monroe’s young and physical, they play man-to-man and do a little pressing,” he said. “Size-wise it’s a close match-up but we might have the advantage with Heidi. I think that our quickness will be the key.”

If the Wildcats can get past the Bearcats, that could set up a meeting between the top two WesCo North squads on Friday night when the Snohomish Panthers (2-0, 4-0) come to town.

The Panthers matched the Wildcats’ rout of Arlington with one of their own, easily getting past Mount Vernon 77-28 the same night.

The preseason favorites in the WesCoNorth, Snohomish captured the league title last season going 23-6 and making it to the 4A state tournament. Friday nights contest will be a good opportunity for Oak Harbor to see where they stand before the break.

Oak Harbor Wildcats 60, Arlington Eagles 23

At Arlington H.S.

Oak Harbor – 22 10 18 10 – 60

Arlington – 7 5 4 7 – 23

Oak Harbor: McNeill 14, White 4, Hartman 10, Brundidge 2, Manibusan 9, Kingma 4, D. Bratt 2, Spears 2, S. Bratt 2. Arlington: Penix 6, McCormack 7, Tomsin 1, Kenoyer 4, Murdock 3, Cort 2. 3-point goals-Manibussen 3. JV score-Oak Harbor 42, Arlington 38. Records-Oak Harbor 3-0 in league, 5-0 overall. Arlington 0-3, 2-3

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