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Wildcats lose, look to brighter future | Girls basketball
The game, and the season for that matter, wasn't over 15 minutes when Jinai Guzman, a sophomore guard on the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team, asked coach Jon Atkins if she could come in after school the next day to shoot.
Guzman, instead of wanting to go lick her wounds after the Wildcats finished their 20-game season winless, wished to get back out on the court.
Her comments came right on cue as Atkins was discussing the future of his program.
Marysville Getchell had just defeated host Oak Harbor 55-40 Thursday, Feb. 6, in the season finale, and Atkins wanted to look at the positive future rather than the negative past.
Atkins likes the core of young players coming up in the program. He noted that earlier that evening, the Oak Harbor C and JV teams both recorded comeback wins. In the varsity game, with all underclassmen on the court, his club closed out the game with a 16-7 run against Getchell's starting five.
Next year eight players with varsity experience will return, as opposed to two this season, he added.
"We are trying to make a culture change," Atkins said. "We have younger players who want to play basketball."
The Marysville Getchell game was, for the most part, decided in the final four minutes of the first half. What wasn't determined then came in the third quarter.
With the score tied at 15, the Chargers closed out the half on an 18-5 run that included hitting five consecutive three-pointers.
That gave Getchell a 33-20 lead at halftime.
Oak Harbor scored only four points in the third quarter and trailed 46-24 going into the last period.
Those four points came from Joanna Leete and were the only points in the game for Oak Harbor's leading scorer. The Chargers ran a stifling box-and-one defense that bottled up the senior sharp shooter.
Guzman led the Wildcats (0-13, 0-20) with eight points; freshman Bryn Langrock had seven, senior Natalie Fiallos five, freshman Julie Jansen five, senior Liz Lym four, junior Hayley Lundstrom three and sophomore AnnaBelle Whitefoot two.
Freshman Gabby Grandbois scored 17 for the Chargers (2-11, 5-15), including sinking four three-pointers.
Before the game Oak Harbor honored its seniors: Leete, Fiallos, Lym, Courtney Triplett and Jamie Estrella.