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Cats cant complete comeback
EDMONDSAll of the elements were in place for a thrilling second-half comeback.
Unfortunately for the Oak Harbor girls basketball team, the pieces didnt come together, as they lost 72-64, to Edmonds-Woodway in the first round of the 4A district tournament Wednesday night.
We were never out of this game, Wildcat senior Jenny White said. They had a 13 point advantage, but we knew we were still in it.
Trailing 44-31 at halftime, Whites determination was a major factor in getting Oak Harbor back into the contest. The 5-foot-6 guard erupted for 11 of her 19 points in the third quarter, scoring almost all of her points on layups via fast-break buckets.
She leaked out really well, Oak Harbor coach Brett McLeod said. I thought she was running the court and we did a good job finding her.
Two free throws by White with 1:23 left in the third completed an 21-8 run and pulled the Cats within one, 52-51.
Oak Harbor then missed two opportunities to take the lead for the first time since the opening 10 seconds of the game and the Warriors Jessica Takara made them pay.
The sophomore sharp-shooter drained a three-pointer off of an inbound play from the left baseline just before the third quarter clock expired, putting E-W up four. Takara, who ended with a game-high 28 points, nailed another three off an identical play to start the fourth quarter for a 58-51 advantage.
That really hurt us, McLeod said. We had it down to one and then she hits the three at the end of the third and one at the start of the fourth.
Edmonds managed to maintain its buffer until the end of the contest, only allowing Oak Harbor to pull within five once.
If it wasnt for first-half rebounding difficulties, the Wildcats may have not had such a large deficit to overcome. Edmonds out-rebounded the Cats an astounding 22-4 in the first half, pulling down 11 offensive boards.
We just got worked on the rebounds, Oak Harbor coach Brett McLeod said. Im not really sure why. They were just really aggressive and the officials let them play on some of their rebounds.
The Warriors used their second, third and sometimes fourth-chances to build a 25-18 lead after the first quarter. They continued their assault on the boards in the second quarter behind junior Katie Trew, who had 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half. The star forward went down with an ankle injury just before halftime and was unable to continue the remainder of the contest.
Joining White as the high scorer for Oak Harbor was junior Heidi McNeill, who also had 19 points. Senior Sarah Bratt and junior Amanda Watts added nine points apiece for the Cats.
With the loss Oak Harbor moves into the loser bracket of the district tournament, which continues through March 6 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
The Wildcats face Everett at 2 p.m. today, Feb. 28 in a loser-out game at MPHS.
As far as being worried about his team being able to rebound from a rough first-round defeat, McLeod isnt concerned.
I think we play best when our backs are against the wall and we know its a big game, he said.
Saturdays victor will move on to face the loser of the Lake Stevens/Kamiak game in yet another loser-out contest at 8 p.m., on Wednesday, March 3. Two more wins will be required if Oak Harbor wants to slip in as the second and final seed from WesCo.
Oak Harbor 18 13 20 1364
Edmonds 25 19 10 1772
ScoringOH: McNeill 19, White 19, Bratt 9, Watts 9, Hill 5, Smollack 3.
EW: Takara 28, Harter 11, Trew 10, Bordeaux 8, Wells 6, Park 3, Murphy 2.