Wildcats on a run

Six-foot-six center Jon Jansen lays-in two of his six points against Cascade. He was also a defensive presence, blocking multiple shots.     - Jim Woolbright
Six-foot-six center Jon Jansen lays-in two of his six points against Cascade. He was also a defensive presence, blocking multiple shots.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright

Coming into his second year as the Oak Harbor boys basketball head coach, Bryan Schulle had never won by a double-digit margin.

That may explain why Schulle wanted his team to hold on to the ball so badly in the final minutes of Friday night’s 46-36 victory over Cascade.

It’s my first double-digit win here, so that’s fun,” Schulle said.

After taking a commanding 42-19 advantage after three quarters, the Wildcats’ lead began to dwindle away late in the fourth quarter. Cold shooting by the Cats and a hot streak by Cascade, allowed the Bruins to inch closer but never really pose a serious threat.

In fact after taking a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, Cascade never held another lead.

The Wildcats quickly turned up the heat after falling behind early, applying pressure to the Bruins every trip down the court. Junior Jeremy Brown was a major recipient of the team’s pressure defense. Brown said afterwards the plan was to “run em” and that’s exactly what he did, receiving four steals in the process. He made the best of his thefts, receiving three fast break lay-ups and a spectacular alley-oop assist to senior Austin Fulgham. Fulgham finished the pass by laying it up over 6-foot-4 center Andrew Pettersen.

Oak Harbor’s defense worked so well due in large part to both teams being allowed to play aggressively.

“I don’t know if a year ago we would have recognized that,” Schulle said. “This year we knew we had to play through it and not complain about it and use it to our advantage.”

With the large lead the Wildcat bench also received several minutes of playing time.

“They’re good kids and I’m glad they got the minutes,” Schulle said. “They’ve never quit on us, they’ve been positive and that’s what our program is all about.”

Brown finished the night the team’s leading scorer with 12 points. Senior Jake White followed with nine points, all of which came from three-pointers. Three other Cats, senior Jon Jansen, senior Mike Lacey and Fulgham all had six points apiece.

With the win the Wildcats have won three in a row, moving to 3-3 in league and 3-7 overall.

Schulle attributes the team’s recent success to a hard work ethic and positive attitude.

“They could have thrown it in the toilet when we started 0-7, and they haven’t to their credit,” Schulle said. “We’ve showed up to play and stayed positive through the tough times.”

“They have executed the offense better, rebounded better, just played better basketball.”

Up next for the Cats is a road contest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17 against Monroe. Oak Harbor will be looking for redemption after losing to the Bearcats twice last season.

“They’re just like us,” Schulle said. “Last year we struggled with them.We lost to them twice and the second time they handled us pretty good.”

Results from last night’s game against Mount Vernon will be in the Saturday edition of the News-Times.

Oak Harbor—9 16 17 4—46

Cascade— 8 4 7 17—36

Scoring—OH: Brown 12, White 9, Jansen 6, Lacey 6, Fulgham 6, Raimundi 5, Johnson 2.

C: Rose 16, Matson 6, Benson 6, VanHorn 4, Bailey 3, Pettersen 1.

Records: Oak Harbor 3-3 in league, 3-7 overall; Cascade 0-5 in league, 0-9 overall.

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