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Wildcats suffer painful loss | Girls basketball
Some losses hurt more than others.
Such was the case when the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team fell 56-48 in overtime to visiting Sedro-Woolley in a nonleague game Monday, Jan. 6.
The Wildcats also lost 47-28 in a Wesco game Friday, Jan. 3, at Marysville-Pilchuck.
The pains of the Sedro-Woolley loss were many.
First, and foremost, the Wildcats let an opportunity to snare their first win of the season slip away.
Second, Oak Harbor appeared to take control with a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter but went into a shooting slump, scoring only two points in an eight-minute span.
Third, the loss wiped out a first-half comeback by Oak Harbor.
And fourth, the game was poorly officiated, upsetting both teams, their coaches and their fans and turning what should have been an exciting experience into an act of frustration and agony.
The officials called 52 fouls (30 on Oak Harbor, which had three players disqualified). The teams combined to shoot 53 three free throws with the Cubs getting the lion's share, connecting on 19 of 37. The Wildcats hit six of 16.
The overtime, normally a tense and thrilling situation, turned into a parade to the foul line. The teams combined to shoot 27 free throws in the extra period when nearly every possession ended with a foul call.
The Cubs capitalized on the chances, nailing nine of 14 while Oak Harbor hit only four of 13.
Oak Harbor's Annie Leete scored seven points in the first quarter, but Sedro-Woolley surged to a 14-9 lead.
The Wildcats bounced back in the second quarter behind five points from Janai Guzman and four from Deja Bunch to lead 24-20 at the break.
Oak Harbor, with the help of six points from Leete, held a slight lead throughout the third quarter and led 35-29 heading into the final frame.
The Wildcats led 39-30 with 6:35 left in the game, then their offense went silent.
The Cubs tied the game at 39-39 with 1:54 left.
Julie Jansen scored off an offense rebound to give Oak Harbor the lead with 1:37 remaining. Sedro-Woolley tied it seconds later and neither team scored again over the final 1:30 of regulation as each committed two turnovers.
The Cubs scored the first six points of overtime to secure the win.
The longest gap between foul calls in the four-minute OT was 31 seconds. Six were called (three on each team) in the final 38 seconds.
Oak Harbor coach Jon Atkins saw several positives in the loss.
"We are really starting to grasp the offense," he said.
He also liked the play of Jansen. The freshman was promoted from the junior varsity and "provided a spark," Akins said. "She has a great future."
Leete scored a game-high 21 points. Guzman and Bunch had seven each, Jansen four, Natalie Fiallos three, Kenna Prosch two, AnnaBelle Whitefoot two and Hayley Lundstrom two.
Three Cubs scored in double figures, with Mikayela Nutting getting 15, eight from the line.
The win was the Cubs' third straight after starting the year with six losses.
Marysville-Pilchuck (2-0, 5-4), with Jordan Bengen scoring 14 points in the first half, pulled away from Oak Harbor early. The Tomahawks led 15-5 after the first quarter and 30-15 at halftime.
Leete finished with 10 points, Fiallos six, Guzman five, Whitefoot three and Lundstrom two.
Oak Harbor (0-3, 0-8) goes to Marysville Getchell (0-3, 3-7) at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8.