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Sedro-Woolley wins Santa Slam
Inclement weather forced officials at Oak Harbor High School to make the boys half of Santa Slam tournament an abbreviated one.
Four teams had signed up to play in the event but icy roads forced forced Ferndale to withdraw, leaving Sedro-Woolley, Coupeville and the host Wildcats remaining.
As a result, the Cubs from Sedro-Woolley played Coupeville Friday evening, Dec. 26, and then came back on Saturday to face Oak Harbor.
Despite having to shuffle the schedule, the tournament was an exciting one for players and fans alike.
Friday’s game went into overtime and Sedro-Woolley’s Jake Howland knocked down a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give the Cubs a 73-70 win over the Wolves.
On Saturday, Sedro-Woolly scored 20 points in the second quarter to cruise to a 53-41 victory over Oak Harbor to take home the championship trophy.
Sedro-Woolley 53, Oak Harbor 41
Oak Harbor hung tough in the opening quarter against the Cubs and at one point held an 11-7 lead.
The Wildcats spread the ball around and four of the five starting players put at least two points on the board, and the score was tied 12-12 after the first eight minutes of play.
In the second quarter, Oak Harbor went cold from the field and a basket by Taylor Pedroza at the 4:50 mark gave Sedro-Woolley an 18-16 lead they would never surrender.
The Cubs outscored the Wildcats 20-10 in the second period to hold a 32-22 halftime advantage.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington said. “With a young team like we have, if you can’t put the ball in the basket, we get down on ourselves.”
Six free throws and a 3-point basket by Denzel Hardin cut Sedro-Woolley’s lead to 36-33 with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter, but the Cubs went on a 7-0 run to end the period and take a 43-33 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.
The Cubs began the fourth quarter by spreading the floor and running time off the clock, and the Wildcats were unable to answer.
Oak Harbor scored just eight points in the final period, a basket and three free throws by Mike Washington Jr., and a 3-point bomb by Stevie Bratt.
“Sedro-Woolley played very well against us tonight. They were very aggressive,” coach Washington said. “We’ve got to come up with some answers here.”
Washington Jr. was the only player in double figures for Oak Harbor scoring 13 points.
Hardin scored five points for the Wildcats and Jay Stout, Beaux Haley and Zac Cole had four points each.
Neko Redlick scored a game-high 20 points for the Cubs and Pedroza had 14.
Sedro-Woolley 73, Coupeville 70
Friday’s opening game of the tournament went right down to the wire in the first overtime period.
“It was a lot of fun until that last shot,” Coupeville coach Randy King said. “I think we learned a little bit again tonight and a lot about ourselves, too.”
Jason Bagby scored eight of his 16 points in the first quarter and Cody Peters added seven of his game-high 23, as Coupeville took a 20-15 lead after the first eight minutes.
Sedro-Woolley rallied in the second period hitting seven shots from the free throw line to trim the margin to 33-32 at halftime.
The Cubs were dead on from the charity stripe the entire game, hitting 20-of-23 shots.
“We put them on the line a lot and they hit a lot of shots,” King said.
Coupeville inched ahead by three points, 51-46, at the end of three quarters of play, but the Cubs rallied in the fourth quarter and it took a basket by J.D. Wilcox with 21 seconds remaining to tie the score, 62-62, and send the game into overtime.
The two teams traded baskets in the four-minute overtime period until Howland cut loose a laser beam shot from the left side of the key as time ran out to give the Cubs the victory.
“I thought we had our chances down there at the end, we just couldn’t hang on to the ball,” King said.
Wilcox was the third Coupeville player in double figures with 13 points. Teammates Hunter Hammer and Geoff Wacker scored eight points each.
Pedroza scored 22 points for Sedro-Woolley, with Redlich and David Janicki hitting for 16 points apiece.
The Santa Slam tournament concludes today, with Coupeville and Oak Harbor squaring off at 3 p.m.