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Mountaineers top Wildcats | Girls basketball
The Mount Baker High School girls basketball team hurt Oak Harbor with the long ball in the first half and then from the block in the second to defeat the host Wildcats 65-51 Friday, Dec. 6.
Oak Harbor scooted to a 9-2 lead, then the Mountaineers (2-0) went on a 21-6 run to lead 23-15. At one point during the surge, Mount Baker hit four consecutive three balls.
Midway through the second quarter, Mount Baker led 33-25, then Oak Harbor rallied behind five points from Annie Leete and a three by Jinai Guzman to trim the gap to one, 33-32, at the break.
In the first half, five different Mountaineers hit threes as they went 6-for-13 from the arc.
Emily Yost had two of the threes and finished the half with 10 points. Yost did her damage from the inside in the second half. The 5-10 junior, coming off a school record 38 points earlier in the week, settled in the post and dominated the paint with 16 points after the break.
She also had a game-high 13 rebounds, six on the offensive glass.
Guzman scored on a fast break on a nice feed from Natalie Fiallos to open the second half, and Oak Harbor led for the final time, 34-33.
Mount Baker led 40-39 with 5:32 left in the third quarter and then started to pull away behind 10 points from Yost. By the end of the period, it was 54-47.
Oak Harbor scored only four points in the fourth quarter and never threatened.
After Leete scored 14 first-half points, the Mountaineers shifted to a box-and-one defense on the senior guard and held her to four points the rest of the way.
Leete's teammates weren't able to pick up the slack as the Wildcats went cold in the second half. They shot 41 percent over the first two periods but only 25 percent in the third and fourth quarters.
Oak Harbor coach Jon Atkins said, "We played better on offense in the first half."
He added that his team needs to "develop some posts" to help the offensive production.
Leete finished with 18 points and Guzman, who hit four threes, had 14. Fiallos added seven, Liz Lym six, Hayley Lundstrom four and Brook Peplinski two.
Leete led Oak Harbor with eight rebounds, and she and Fiallos collected four assists.
Emily Brandland backed up Yost with 17 points.
Oak Harbor outshot Mount Baker 33 percent to 32 percent, but the Mountaineers put up 17 more shots thanks to a 12-6 edge in offensive rebounds and a 20-23 edge in turnovers.
Overall, Mount Baker outrebounded Oak Harbor 44-33.
Oak Harbor coach Jon Atkins played 13 kids in the game and said, "I thought our younger players stepped up."
In addition to giving young players some varsity experience, he said he was looking for the right combination: "We want to know who is going to be intense during games and who is going to click together."
Oak Harbor (0-2) begins conference play a home with Stanwood (1-1) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13.