Wildcat defense wins game

Surrounded by Marysville-Pilchuck players, Oak Harbor’s Jennifer Jansen, 22, battles to pull down an offensive rebound in Wednesday’s game.  - Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times
Surrounded by Marysville-Pilchuck players, Oak Harbor’s Jennifer Jansen, 22, battles to pull down an offensive rebound in Wednesday’s game.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times

When a team has problems putting the ball in the basket, the defense has to take the game over.

In Wednesday’s WesCo North matchup against Marysville-Pilchuck, Oak Harbor’s defense stepped to the head of the class and shut the Tomahawks down.

The result was a 49-35 Wildcat victory that boosted the team’s league to 3-2.

“It was a huge effort by our defense tonight,” coach Brett McLeod said. “That was our number one thing tonight and we took their big girls out of the game.”

Poor shooting in the first quarter by both teams set the tone for the game.

After several trips up and down the floor by both teams that resulted in turnovers or shots not going in, Oak Harbor’s Nicole Mowbray tallied the first basket at the 5:11 mark.

The junior forward was one of three Wildcat players in double figures, finishing the game with 11 points.

Senior Jennifer Jansen, who also scored 11 points, made the score 4-0 with a basket, but the Tomahawks scored four straight points to shave the lead.

A free throw by Cori Henricksen, one of 19 Oak Harbor scored in the game, followed by a pair of Jansen baskets, closed the quarter giving the Wildcats a 9-5 lead.

“We came out there tonight to dominate and we shut them down with our defense,” Jansen said.

Both teams’ shooting improved in the second period and Oak Harbor was able to score 16 points to hold a 25-16 halftime advantage.

Henricksen scored six points in the quarter and Jessica Denmon added five of her game-high 13 points in the period.

“We got on the boards and battled all night,” Denmon said.

The Wildcats upped the lead to 10 points, 35-25, at the end of three quarters of play.

Trailing by as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter, Marysville-Pilchuck was forced into committing fouls in an attempt to gain possession of the ball and that turned out to be a big mistake by the Tomahawks.

Denmon hit six shots from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes, Tiffany Earnheart had two and Mowbray knocked down one to put the victory in the book.

Morgan Martinis and Andi Adams led the Tomahawks scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“Our interior defense was excellent tonight,” McLeod said. “We couldn’t hit our shots but when you play good defense, you can still win games.”

Oak Harbor 49, Marysville-Pilchuck 35

M-Pilchuck 4 12 8 11 — 35

Oak Harbor 9 16 9 15 — 49

Marysville-Pilchuck (35) — Morgan Martinis 4 0-0 12, Andi Adams 3 5-6 11, Kaitlyn Enberg 0 2-2 2, Britt Harris 2 0-2 4, Brittany Pierce 1 0-0 2, Cali Cull 0 0-0 0, Alisha Oden 0 0-0 0, Emily Enberg 0 0-0 0, Dacia Heckendorf 2 0-0 4. Totals 12 7-10 35.

Oak Harbor (49) — Jessica Denmon 3 7-10 13, Nicole Mowbray 5 1-1 11, Jennifer Jansen 5 1-2 11, Cheyenne Tubo 1 0-0 2, Cori Henricksen 1 5-6 7, Clarissa Abadesco 0 0-0 0, Kathryn Fisken 0 0-0 0, Tiffany Earnhart 0 5-7 5. Totals 15 19-26 49.

Three-point goals — M-P 4 (Martinis 4), Oak Harbor none. Turnovers — M-P 13, Oak Harbor 14. Total fouls — M-P 19, Oak Harbor 13. Fouled out — none.

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