Panthers coast past Wildcats

Limiting mistakes is always a desired goal on a team’s pre-game chalkboard.

When facing one of the top 4A girls basketball teams in the state, however, committing minimal errors is not only desired, it’s a must.

So, when the Oak Harbor girls basketball team put up a season-high 31 turnovers at home Wednesday night against seventh-ranked Snohomish, it’s hard to envision many good things hapenning for the Wildcats.

And they didn’t.

Behind a plethora of unforced errors and cold shooting, Oak Harbor fell 70-26 to the Panthers, picking up its worst loss in over four years.

“Snohomish is so good,” OHHS head coach Brett McLeod said. “They can put five good players out there all the time, it doesn’t matter which five.”

The Wildcats, on the other hand, struggled from the get-go. They turned the ball over 12 times in the first quarter, while going only 1-for-6 from the floor.

By the end of the first quarter the score was 20-5. It reached 40-13 by halftime.

“You can’t win many games when you get 23 turnovers and only 13 shots in a half,” McLeod said.

When Snohomish wasn’t scoring on a fast break via a steal, the Panthers were draining shots from all over the floor. They went 8-for-22 from three-point range, while Oak Harbor was 0-for-9 from behind the line.

Three Snohomish players scored in double figures, including Daesha Henderson with a game-high 18, Tara Angell with 15 and Amanda Best with 13.

Oak Harbor’s Heidi McNeill managed a team-high 13 points for Oak Harbor. The Wildcats struggled all night from the field, however, hitting 6-of-37 (16 percent) of their shots.

Although it was a difficult loss, the Wildcats still have a goal of grabbing a district playoff berth.

“We’ll keep working and we’ll keep improving,” McLeod said. “This week we said we couldn’t really pay attention to the scoreboard, we’ve just got to work on getting better.”

The Wildcats hosted fifth-ranked Monroe (6-0) last night. They travel to Lake Stevens, Wednesday, Dec. 22 for their next game.

Snohomish 20 20 9 21 — 70

Oak Harbor 5 8 7 6 — 26

Scoring—Oak Harbor: McNeill 13, Rousselle 4, M. Smollack 3, Brundidge 2, Jenkins 2, K. Smollack 2. Snohomish: Henderson 18, Angell 15, Best 13, Cassidy 9, Moore 5, Benson 4, Rathke 4, Nicholson 2.

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