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’Cats slow pace against Vikings
Quite often when a team in any sport finds itself pitted against the league leaders, the coach of the underdog squad will put together a new game plan in an attempt to counteract any advantage the other team possesses.
Hosting Lake Stevens in Friday’s WesCo North basketball game, that’s precisely what Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington did.
The Vikings came into the game with a record of 10-2 in league games and 13-3 overall, so Washington’s plan was to slow the pace of the action down.
For the most part playing what the Wildcats call their UConn offense, Oak Harbor was patient, passed the ball around and attempted, as much as possible, to retain possession and keep Lake Stevens from scoring.
The tactic nearly worked.
The score was tied 12-12 after the first period of play and by halftime, the Cats were down by only five points, 23-18.
However, a 27-17 Viking scoring differential in the second half was the difference and Lake Stevens left the court with a 50-35 victory, to keep the Wildcats winless in league games.
“We figured that we could slow the game down a bit,” Washington said. “We thought if we could keep the score low, we could compete for awhile.”
The Vikings’ scoring leader, Shane Kaska, was difficult to stop despite the slow down tactics, and poured in a game-high 21 points before fouling out with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
On the opposite side of the ledger Oak Harbor had no players score in double figures, but played smart and committed only seven personal fouls over 24 minutes of action.
Rashaad Smith tallied nine points for the Wildcats, Stevie Bratt had eight and Jay Stout scored seven points.
“Stevie Bratt had a good game tonight. He stepped up for us and got the job done,” Washington said.
In addition to putting a young team on the court, Washington also had to deal with four players, each of whom had been in the starting lineup at one time or another this season, out of action due to illness or injury.
“You’ve got to be proud of the kids, they played hard tonight against a good Lake Stevens team,” Washington said.
Lake Stevens 50, Oak Harbor 35
Lake Stevens 12 11 12 15 — 50
Oak Harbor 12 6 10 7 — 35
Lake Stevens (50) — Shane Kaska 10 0-0 21, Ryan Legg 2 0-0 4, Mike Schneider 1 2-2 4, T.J. Dodge 3 1-2 7, Sean Stickney 3 0-0 6, Arvid Isaksen 2 0-0 56, Chris Finley 0 0-0 0, Aaron Maw 1 1-1 3, Lorin Vandegrift 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 4-5 50. Oak Harbor (35) — Rashaad Smith 3 3-5 9, Beaux Haley 0 1-2 1, Jay Stout 3 0-0 7, Mike Washington Jr. 1 3-6 5, Stevie Bratt 3 1-2 8, Colby Anter 1 1-2 3, Blake Schulle 0 0-0 0, John Manni 0 0-0 0, Ryan Fakkema 0 0-0 0, Brooks Waller 0 0-0 0, Phul Nadeau 1 0-0 2, Nate Young 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 9-17 35. Three-point goals — Lake Stevens 2 (Kaska, Isaksen), Oak Harbor 2 (Stout, Bratt). Turnovers — Lake Stevens 17, Oak Harbor 23. Total fouls — Lake Stevens 15, Oak Harbor 7. Fouled out — Kaska.