Wildcats, M-P meet tonight with playoff berth on line | Boys basketball

Dylan Harris drives by Ferndale
Dylan Harris drives by Ferndale's John Weg Saturday. Harris scored 24 points in the Wildcats loss.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team can clinch a playoff spot with a win over visiting Marysville-Pilchuck tonight (Monday, Feb. 3) at 7:15. A loss, however…well, let's just say the postseason picture gets fuzzy.

The Wildcats come into tonight's clash on a two-game losing streak, falling 79-54 at Shorecrest Friday, Jan. 31, and 81-74 to visiting Ferndale Saturday, Feb. 1, in a nonleague game.

Marysville-Pilchuck and Oak Harbor are tied with 4-7 Wesco 3A North records; each has one more conference game after tonight.

With a win, Oak Harbor can finish no lower than third in the division, locking up a district berth, and could move up to second with another win Wednesday.

Everett (5-6) is one game up on the Wildcats and Tomahawks.

Everett plays unbeaten Stanwood (11-0) tonight and Marysville-Pilchuck Wednesday.

Oak Harbor closes out Wesco play at Marysville Getchell (0-11, 1-17) Wednesday.

The fourth-place team could get knocked out of the playoffs by Ferndale, which will receive the berth if it has a better league record in Northwest Conference play. The Golden Eagles are 5-5 with two tough games left.

If Oak Harbor loses tonight, it still could reach the playoffs, but multiple scenarios come into play.

Turnovers aren't a tasty treat in basketball as Oak Harbor found out in the losses over the weekend.

Shorecrest outscored the Wildcats 28-3 and Ferndale 25-6 off mistakes.

Oak Harbor committed 19 turnovers against the Scots, who had nine; and 15 against Ferndale, which had eight.

Shorecrest's press and run-and-jump defense harassed Oak Harbor all night, as the Scots led 26-10, 50-22 and 60-43 at the quarters.

Shorecrest shot 56 percent in the first half (and 49 percent for the game) to roll to the win.

Drew Washington led Oak Harbor with 21 points, hitting seven three-pointers. Elijah Smith had eight points, Shane Huttula six, Dyllan Harris five, Zach Gibbs four, Jordan Davenport four, Gabe Groenig three and Zach Jones three.

Alex Hofstrand scored 14 points for the Scots, who had four players in double figures.

Against Ferndale, the Wildcats, behind four three-pointers by Harris, led 22-21 at the end of the first quarter and 43-37 at the break.

Oak Harbor led by 12, 39-27, at one point in the second period.

The lead was still seven in the third quarter when Ferndale started to chip away and the Oak Harbor turnovers began to pile up.

The Golden Eagles used a 14-5 run to go up 57-56 at the end of the third quarter.

Two hoops by Harris sandwiched around one by Huttula gave Oak Harbor its final lead, 63-61, with 5:36 left.

The Golden Eagles scored nine points in the next two minutes to go up 70-63.

Two buckets by Washington cut the gap to three, but Oak Harbor couldn't get closer.

Ferndale sank six of eight free throws over the final 57 seconds.

Both teams had four players reach double figures in the high-scoring game.

Harris finished with 24 points, Washington 21, Smith 10, Groenig 10, Gibbs seven and Huttula two.

Washington added 10 rebounds and three assists, Gibbs had 10 rebounds and Groenig collected eight boards and four assists.

Austin Honeycutt scored 24 and Brady Shearer 22 for Ferndale (8-10).

"I liked that we played with some energy considering we played last night," coach Mike Washington said. Ferndale had Friday off.

"I liked how we got others involved in our offense," he added. "However, we did not box-out, we lunged on defense and didn't close-out on shooters."

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