Sports

Oak Harbor routs Cascade

Brett McLeod has waited a long time to see a game like the one his team played Wednesday.

“I didn’t know if we’d have one (like that) even,” the Oak Harbor girls basketball coach said, grinning ear to ear after the Wildcats’ 57-29 blowout of Cascade.

In a 2-9 season where all but two of 11 games came down to the final quarter, those two being blowout losses, McLeod finally got to breathe a sigh of relief.

“That felt nice in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We could have Heidi (McNeill) sit a little bit and let some other players play.”

The Wildcats were able to relax late because of the hard work exuded early in the contest.

Freshman Mietra Smollack and senior Heidi McNeill jump-started Oak Harbor in the first half, scoring the teams’ first 18 points with aggressive play around the basket.

Smollack earned half of her 12 first-half points by getting to the foul line. She hit 6-of-7 free throws, helping an OHHS team that has struggled from the free throw line this season.

An ability to hit free throws is always something Smollack’s prided herself on, ever since her younger days of going to state competitions.

“I got started in the second grade and up until fifth grade and I always practice,” she said.

The University of Washington-bound McNeill scored a game-high 20 points and was able to do so by effectively driving to the hoop.

“When she saw one-on-one, she was taking the shot and then a couple of times they tried to double her and I thought she did a good job of finding the open person,” McLeod said.

Oak Harbor built a 34-13 halftime lead, nailing four consecutive shots to end the second quarter. Junior Krystal Rousselle hit two jump shots from the free throw line and senior Maureen Erickson and junior Jessica Brundidge both hit long jumpers just inside the three-point line.

The Wildcats faltered a bit in the third quarter, hitting just 2-for-13 of their shot attempts, but fended off Cascade with solid defense. The closest the Bruins got to the Wildcats the rest of the game was 18 points with 42 seconds left in the third period.

“I think in the second half we do good and then something usually happens, we always lose by just a little,” Smollack said. “We were just really motivated tonight I guess.”

The victory moved the Wildcats to 2-8 in league and 3-9 overall with eight games remaining. In order to get the fourth and final district tournament seed it will take quite a run at the end of the season, but McLeod thinks it’s possible with a one-game-at-a-time approach.

“I don’t think it’s over yet,” he said. “I keep telling the girls keep your heads up, keep your spirits high, don’t get frustrated and we’ll see if we can do this thing.

I keep telling them it would be a great story if we did it.”

A time to shine

Despite having a lead the entire game, the crowd remained fairly silent until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter when senior Megan Ruefa took to the floor.

“That was the biggest cheer of the year,” McLeod said.

Ruefa, who stands at 5-foot-2-inches tall, has seen very limited time this season.

“I’ve gotten to play, but not as much and I didn’t get to do anything — I didn’t even get a foul,” she said.

That changed on Wednesday night.

In her two minutes Ruefa made her presence known. She picked up two fouls, including a blocking foul with four seconds left that could have gone either way.

“That girl bulldozed me,” she said, holding an ice pack to the back of her head. “I was planted.”

Ruefa also got a chance to put her name in the scorebook, but went 0-for-3 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds.

“I guess I was a little intimidated by the crowd, but I didn’t think it was that loud,” Ruefa said.

For all the hard work she puts in at practice, McLeod was just glad to get her in the game.

“She’s a real popular kid and it was neat to be able to get her in there,” he said.

Cascade 6 7 10 6 — 29

Oak Harbor 13 21 7 16 — 57

Scoring — Oak Harbor: McNeill 20, M. Smollack 12, Rousselle 12, Erickson 7, Brundidge 2, Jenkins 2, Russell 2. Cascade: Morris 9, Naylor 7, Power 5, Hooks 3, Owens 3, Gross 2.

By KEVIN ENDEJAN

Sports editor

Brett McLeod has waited a long time to see a game like the one his team played Wednesday.

“I didn’t know if we’d have one (like that) even,” the Oak Harbor girls basketball coach said, grinning ear to ear after the Wildcats’ 57-29 blowout of Cascade.

In a 2-9 season where all but two of 11 games came down to the final quarter, those two being blowout losses, McLeod finally got to breathe a sigh of relief.

“That felt nice in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We could have Heidi (McNeill) sit a little bit and let some other players play.”

The Wildcats were able to relax late because of the hard work exuded early in the contest.

Freshman Mietra Smollack and senior Heidi McNeill jump-started Oak Harbor in the first half, scoring the teams’ first 18 points with aggressive play around the basket.

Smollack earned half of her 12 first-half points by getting to the foul line. She hit 6-of-7 free throws, helping an OHHS team that has struggled from the free throw line this season.

An ability to hit free throws is always something Smollack’s prided herself on, ever since her younger days of going to state competitions.

“I got started in the second grade and up until fifth grade and I always practice,” she said.

The University of Washington-bound McNeill scored a game-high 20 points and was able to do so by effectively driving to the hoop.

“When she saw one-on-one, she was taking the shot and then a couple of times they tried to double her and I thought she did a good job of finding the open person,” McLeod said.

Oak Harbor built a 34-13 halftime lead, nailing four consecutive shots to end the second quarter. Junior Krystal Rousselle hit two jump shots from the free throw line and senior Maureen Erickson and junior Jessica Brundidge both hit long jumpers just inside the three-point line.

The Wildcats faltered a bit in the third quarter, hitting just 2-for-13 of their shot attempts, but fended off Cascade with solid defense. The closest the Bruins got to the Wildcats the rest of the game was 18 points with 42 seconds left in the third period.

“I think in the second half we do good and then something usually happens, we always lose by just a little,” Smollack said. “We were just really motivated tonight I guess.”

The victory moved the Wildcats to 2-8 in league and 3-9 overall with eight games remaining. In order to get the fourth and final district tournament seed it will take quite a run at the end of the season, but McLeod thinks it’s possible with a one-game-at-a-time approach.

“I don’t think it’s over yet,” he said. “I keep telling the girls keep your heads up, keep your spirits high, don’t get frustrated and we’ll see if we can do this thing.

I keep telling them it would be a great story if we did it.”

A time to shine

Despite having a lead the entire game, the crowd remained fairly silent until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter when senior Megan Ruefa took to the floor.

“That was the biggest cheer of the year,” McLeod said.

Ruefa, who stands at 5-foot-2-inches tall, has seen very limited time this season.

“I’ve gotten to play, but not as much and I didn’t get to do anything — I didn’t even get a foul,” she said.

That changed on Wednesday night.

In her two minutes Ruefa made her presence known. She picked up two fouls, including a blocking foul with four seconds left that could have gone either way.

“That girl bulldozed me,” she said, holding an ice pack to the back of her head. “I was planted.”

Ruefa also got a chance to put her name in the scorebook, but went 0-for-3 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds.

“I guess I was a little intimidated by the crowd, but I didn’t think it was that loud,” Ruefa said.

For all the hard work she puts in at practice, McLeod was just glad to get her in the game.

“She’s a real popular kid and it was neat to be able to get her in there,” he said.

Cascade 6 7 10 6 — 29

Oak Harbor 13 21 7 16 — 57

Scoring — Oak Harbor: McNeill 20, M. Smollack 12, Rousselle 12, Erickson 7, Brundidge 2, Jenkins 2, Russell 2. Cascade: Morris 9, Naylor 7, Power 5, Hooks 3, Owens 3, Gross 2.

“I didn’t know if we’d have one (like that) even,” the Oak Harbor girls basketball coach said, grinning ear to ear after the Wildcats’ 57-29 blowout of Cascade.

In a 2-9 season where all but two of 11 games came down to the final quarter, those two being blowout losses, McLeod finally got to breathe a sigh of relief.

“That felt nice in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We could have Heidi (McNeill) sit a little bit and let some other players play.”

The Wildcats were able to relax late because of the hard work exuded early in the contest.

Freshman Mietra Smollack and senior Heidi McNeill jump-started Oak Harbor in the first half, scoring the teams’ first 18 points with aggressive play around the basket.

Smollack earned half of her 12 first-half points by getting to the foul line. She hit 6-of-7 free throws, helping an OHHS team that has struggled from the free throw line this season.

An ability to hit free throws is always something Smollack’s prided herself on, ever since her younger days of going to state competitions.

“I got started in the second grade and up until fifth grade and I always practice,” she said.

The University of Washington-bound McNeill scored a game-high 20 points and was able to do so by effectively driving to the hoop.

“When she saw one-on-one, she was taking the shot and then a couple of times they tried to double her and I thought she did a good job of finding the open person,” McLeod said.

Oak Harbor built a 34-13 halftime lead, nailing four consecutive shots to end the second quarter. Junior Krystal Rousselle hit two jump shots from the free throw line and senior Maureen Erickson and junior Jessica Brundidge both hit long jumpers just inside the three-point line.

The Wildcats faltered a bit in the third quarter, hitting just 2-for-13 of their shot attempts, but fended off Cascade with solid defense. The closest the Bruins got to the Wildcats the rest of the game was 18 points with 42 seconds left in the third period.

“I think in the second half we do good and then something usually happens, we always lose by just a little,” Smollack said. “We were just really motivated tonight I guess.”

The victory moved the Wildcats to 2-8 in league and 3-9 overall with eight games remaining. In order to get the fourth and final district tournament seed it will take quite a run at the end of the season, but McLeod thinks it’s possible with a one-game-at-a-time approach.

“I don’t think it’s over yet,” he said. “I keep telling the girls keep your heads up, keep your spirits high, don’t get frustrated and we’ll see if we can do this thing.

I keep telling them it would be a great story if we did it.”

A time to shine

Despite having a lead the entire game, the crowd remained fairly silent until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter when senior Megan Ruefa took to the floor.

“That was the biggest cheer of the year,” McLeod said.

Ruefa, who stands at 5-foot-2-inches tall, has seen very limited time this season.

“I’ve gotten to play, but not as much and I didn’t get to do anything — I didn’t even get a foul,” she said.

That changed on Wednesday night.

In her two minutes Ruefa made her presence known. She picked up two fouls, including a blocking foul with four seconds left that could have gone either way.

“That girl bulldozed me,” she said, holding an ice pack to the back of her head. “I was planted.”

Ruefa also got a chance to put her name in the scorebook, but went 0-for-3 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds.

“I guess I was a little intimidated by the crowd, but I didn’t think it was that loud,” Ruefa said.

For all the hard work she puts in at practice, McLeod was just glad to get her in the game.

“She’s a real popular kid and it was neat to be able to get her in there,” he said.

Cascade 6 7 10 6 — 29

Oak Harbor 13 21 7 16 — 57

Scoring — Oak Harbor: McNeill 20, M. Smollack 12, Rousselle 12, Erickson 7, Brundidge 2, Jenkins 2, Russell 2. Cascade: Morris 9, Naylor 7, Power 5, Hooks 3, Owens 3, Gross 2.

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