Mistakes prove costly

Oak Harbor coach Bryan Schulle would like to erase the final four minutes of Friday’s WesCo North-opener from his memory.

The inability to get a three-point attempt off when they needed it most and two technical fouls, cost the Cats a 63-55 loss to Stanwood.

“I don’t know what we were doing there in the end,” Schulle said.

Down 58-55 with 1:18 to go, Oak Harbor had no timeouts and was in desperate need of quick points. Working the ball around, the Cats were only able to get a rushed two-point attempt off that clanged off the back iron.

“We were facing their 1-2-2 ( defense) and we needed a three and I had nothing,” a frustrated Schulle said afterwards. “I didn’t have them prepared for that, it was pretty unfair to the kids.”

Not able to get a three to go, the Cats were forced to foul to stop the clock, and Stanwood made them pay. The Spartans went 5-for-8 from the line, sealing the game in the final minute.

Two technical fouls also haunted Oak Harbor.

The first miscue came with roughly 4:00 left in the fourth quarter. On a dead ball, the Spartans’ Todd Hinderman elbowed Oak Harbor senior Nate Metcalf, drawing a technical foul. Trailing 55-49, the Cats should have received two technical foul shots and possession. Instead Oak Harbor junior Marcus Ferguson received a technical for taunting Hinderman with excessive applause. The referees ruled both technicals cancelled each other out and Stanwood took the ball back, opposed to Oak Harbor receiving two foul shots and possession of the ball.

Oak Harbor’s second mistake came with 3:08 left in the game after a hard breakaway drive to the basket by senior Jeremy Brown. Trailing 55-51, Brown was flagrantly fouled by the Spartans’ Chris Boser, as he went up for the layup. Immediately after taking a blow to the head, Brown bounced back up off the floor into the face of Boser. Trying to calm the situation, the referees granted both players technical fouls. Unfortunately for Brown, he already had four personals and the technical resulted as his fifth and final foul.

In his sixth year of coaching high school basketball, Schulle was surprised at what he witnessed from his players.

“I’ve never seen that before,” he said. “I’ve only had three kids get T’s before and that was for just kind of barking at the ref.”

Making the loss that much more difficult, the Wildcats held a lead for nearly three quarters of the game.

Oak Harbor took their first advantage, 11-8, at the 2:35 mark of the first quarter, when Ferguson completed a three-point play. Competing in his first ever varsity game, freshman Dallas Heidt tacked on the final four points of the quarter, including a buzzer-beating baseline jumper that gave the Cats a 17-10 lead.

“Dallas played wonderful,” Schulle said. “He played so well. He was nervous but he didn’t show it.”

The Wildcats held their lead all the way up until the waning seconds of the third quarter when Stanwood’s Chris Crayford completed a three-point play with 15 seconds to go for a 42-39 lead. Chris Boser then stole the ball and dunked it on a break away right before the buzzer sounded, completing a 12-0 run to close the quarter.

Stanwood outscored Oak Harbor 19-16 in the fourth quarter, to hang on for the victory.

Metcalf energized Oak Harbor in the second half with a team-high 18 points.

“He’s done that in all three games for us,” Schulle said.

Ferguson had 17 points for the Cats, while senior Chris Raimundi, Heidt and Brown had six points apiece.

Oak Harbor, now 0-1 in league and 1-2 overall played league powerhouse Snohomish (1-0, 1-2) last night and travel to Arlington at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19.

They play their second road game in as many days at 7 p.m., Dec. 20 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Stanwood 63, Oak Harbor 55

Stanwood 10 21 13 19—63

Oak Harbor 17 14 8 16—55

OH: Metcalf 18, Ferguson 17, Brown 6, Raimundi 6, Heidt 6, Lobbestael 2.

SW: Kaufman 19, Boser 13, Crayford 10, Abrams 8, Hinderman 8, Boehme 2, Welk 1.

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