Oak Harbor wins first home game

A gigantic weight was lifted from the shoulders of the Oak Harbor boys basketball team on Friday night.

For the first time in seven tries, the Wildcats picked up a win on their home floor, defeating Arlington 67-52.

“It was a lot of pressure (to get the first home win),” senior Jeremy Brown said. “It’s pretty fun though—you just go out and have fun every night.”

Oak Harbor earned its first home victory behind a near-flawless fourth quarter. During the first seven minutes of the final frame, the Cats hit 10-of-11 shot attempts, while going 5-of-6 from the free throw line. With the exception of one three-point shot from Brown, all the OHHS buckets came from five feet in or closer.

“There’s a reason we run our gold spread offense and we were rewarded for doing things right,” Wildcat head coach Bryan Schulle said.

Up only 41-37 after three quarters, Oak Harbor jumped out of the gate in the fourth, out-scoring Arlington 8-0 in the first two minutes. Brown, who ended the night with 25 points, 10 steals and seven rebounds, had six of those key points.

“Brown has put together a phenomenal streak of games,” Schulle said. “In the last four or five games, he’s looking like a college ball player more and more.”

The Eagles pulled within nine, 49-40, with 5:40 to go, but they didn’t get any closer, as OHHS rebuilt and maintained a double-digit lead until the final buzzer.

Although the score was close through three quarters, Arlington only maintained the lead once, when they held a 12-9 advantage in the first quarter.

Key to the Wildcat success came from good ball movement. Junior Marc Ferguson earned a heavy amount of praise from his ability to pass the ball.

“Marc had an incredible second half,” Schulle said. “I’ve never seen him pass the ball like that before.”

Ferguson ended the night with eight assists to go along with 12 points.

Oak Harbor’s interior defense also did a nice job shutting down the Eagle big men, in particular 6-foot-5 Caleb Lowber. Last time Lowber faced the Cats, he busted loose for 22 points. This time the defensive effort of senior John Lobbestael, held Lowber to only 12.

“Johnny Lobbestael played their big kid very well,” Schulle said.

More importantly than the Wildcats winning their first home game is that they remain in the playoff hunt.

“I think our league is so competitive that any win in WesCo is a big win,” Schulle said.

Oak Harbor hosted Marysville-Pilchuck last night in a significant league match up. Prior to Tuesday night’s game, the Tomahawks (5-6, 5-10) were only one game ahead of the Wildcats (4-7, 5-10) for the fifth place position in the WesCo North. The fifth place team earns a chance to get into the district tournament by playing a pig tail game against the WesCo South number four.

The Cats play their next game at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6 at Lake Stevens.

Arlington 14 8 15 15—52

Oak Harbor 20 4 17 26—67

Scoring—OH: Brown 25, Ferguson 12, Lobbestael 12, Metcalf 8, Raimundi 6, McClure 2, Saar 2.

A: Lowber 12, Gunter 10, Devery 9, Cooper 7, Camp 6, Carpenter 3, Thompson 3, Hampton 2.

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