Sports

Big finish helps OHHS girls' basketball team to win

A fast start and a big finish helped the Oak Harbor girls' basketball team overcome a sluggish middle and defeat visiting Mountlake Terrace 52-25 Tuesday in the 2009 debute.

Nicole Mowbray scored 20 points and Jessica Denmon 17 to power the Wildcats to the win.

The Wildcats jumped to an 11-0 lead; at that point the Hawks' offense had generated only one shot and four turnovers.

After a timeout, Mountlake Terrace worked its way back into the game. With 2:22 left in the half, Oak Harbor's lead had shrunk to 18-16.

The Hawks could taken the lead but were unable to convert open looks. They found holes in the Wildcat zone for excellent scoring opportunities but could not put the ball in the hole.

Oak Harbor closed out the half on a 7-2 run. Mowbray went coast-to-coast off an offensive rebound, freshman Emilie Renninger drilled a long two, and Denmon swished a three to give the 'Cats some space at halftime, 25-18.

Oak Harbor coach Brett McLeod used nine different players in the first half. He said, "I was just trying to find the right combination."

He credited his team's second half defense with turning a close game into a rout.

He said, "We had to make them uncomfortable in their offense." He noted that the Hawk's had too many open looks in the first half. Those shots disappeared in the second half as the Wildcats picked up their defensive intensity.

McLeod said, "Our defense translated into offensive chances."

Both teams struggled to score in the beginning of the second half. Oak Harbor had just three points and Terrace two (28-20) at the 3:20 mark of the quarter.

From then to the finish, Oak Harbor outscored the Hawks 24-5 thanks to defensive pressure that created numerous turnovers and plenty of Wildcat points.

After Mowbray and Denmon, Molly DeLeon was next in scoring with 7 points. Adrianna Royal, Tatiana Cumming, Clarissa Abadesco and Jessica James each added 2.

Thursday the Wildcats travel to Bellingham to take on the Raiders at 7:30.

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