Cats can't right ship against Vikings

The Oak Harbor boys basketball team just can’t seem to get a break of late.

Despite putting forth one of their best team efforts this season, the Wildcats dropped their fourth straight contest, 64-58, to Lake Stevens Thursday night.

“Sometimes it feels like we’re snake bit,” head coach Bryan Schulle said.

Playing without leading scorer Jeremy Brown, who was absent with the flu, Oak Harbor managed to hang tight with the division-leading Vikings (4-0, 7-1) from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

“The effort was awesome,” Schulle said. “The kids tried really hard, that’s for sure—everyone across the board.”

Down by their largest deficit of the contest, 58-49, with 2:18 to go in the fourth quarter, the Cats continued to display a resilient effort they had the entire night. Behind key defensive stops, Oak Harbor rattled off six straight points, capped off by an aggressive offensive rebound and put-back by senior Nate Metcalf. Metcalf’s bucket pulled Oak Harbor to within one possession, 58-55, with 1:20 to go in the game.

The Cats got within three one more time, 61-58, after another offensive rebound and score by senior Chris Raimundi with 32 seconds to go. The Vikings, however, buried any hopes OHHS had. After taking a foul to stop the clock, Lake Stevens’ senior Greg Hendrickson hit his first free throw. His second shot was off the mark, but teammate Tyler Long was there for the rebound and the score, sealing the win for the Vikings.

“Our kids certainly played hard,” Schulle said. “Lake Stevens is a fine basketball team.”

The Wildcats carried a 34-31 lead to the locker room at halftime, after freshman Dallas Heidt drained a long two-point attempt as the buzzer sounded.

Unfortunately for Oak Harbor, they were unable to restart their offense at the start of the second half. The Cats didn’t score their first point of the third quarter until senior Nate Metcalf hit a free throw at the 3:31 mark.

“We couldn’t get the ball in the bucket,” Schulle said. “I guess it’s irrelevant, but we had some really nice looks and I’m not talking 18-foot looks.”

Senior guard Kyle Saar kept Oak Harbor close as they headed to the fourth quarter, hitting a three-pointer from the right sideline as the clock expired. Saar’s second three-pointer of the night, pulled Oak Harbor to within one, 44-43.

Raimundi led the Cats in scoring with 14 points and six rebounds. Metcalf followed with nine points and six rebounds.

Sophomore point guard Chris Hughes also played valuable minutes for Oak Harbor in his first ever varsity experience. Hughes scored seven points for the Cats and ran the offense impressively at crucial moments in the game.

“He came in and played really well,” Schulle said.

Schulle also noted the solid play of senior Shane McClure, who put in five points and had four rebounds for Oak Harbor.

“He’s playing very well moving his feet, defending the basket and getting some points around the bucket,” he said.

Thursday’s game was a make up for a contest that was supposed to take place on Tuesday, but was cancelled due to snow. Oak Harbor, 1-4 in league and 2-7 overall, faced Cascade on the road last night and will play their next game, Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Mount Vernon.

Lake Stevens 64, Oak Harbor 58

Lake Stevens 16 15 13 20—64

Oak Harbor 14 20 9 15—58

Scoring—OH: Raimundi 14, Metcalf 9, Saar 8, Hughes 7, Ferguson 6, Heidt 6, McClure 5, Lobbestael 3.

LS: Long 20, Strong 12, Hendrickson 8, Stevens 8, Stoen 8, Berethy 5, Tennant 2.

Records: Oak Harbor 1-4 league, 2-7 overall. Lake Stevens 4-0, 7-1.

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