Sports

Denmon scores 37 points as Wildcat girls win 57-26

Jessica Denmon (14), shown here scoring against Eatonville Dec. 30, scored 37 points the following afternoon in the Wildcats’ win over Kentridge. The senior guard’s 37 points is the second highest in OHHS girls basketball. - Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times
Jessica Denmon (14), shown here scoring against Eatonville Dec. 30, scored 37 points the following afternoon in the Wildcats’ win over Kentridge. The senior guard’s 37 points is the second highest in OHHS girls basketball.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times

Behind Jessica Denmon’s 37 points, the second most in Oak Harbor High School girls basketball history, the Oak Harbor Wildcats blistered the Kentridge Chargers 57-26 to take third place in the local Santa Slam tournament Thursday, Dec. 31.

Eatonville, the team that defeated Oak Harbor in the first round of the tournament, won the four-team Santa Slam by topping Anacortes 65-47 in the championship game.

Denmon’s high-scoring assault was three points shy of Heidi McNeill’s school record 40-point performance in her final game for the Wildcats in 2005 before going on to play for the University of Washington and in Austria professionally.

McNeill had the previous second highest total, 35, which she also scored in 2005.

The way Denmon’s game started – she shot air balls on her first two field goal attempts – it didn’t appear that she was in for a big day. But with a big assist from Oak Harbor’s high-pressure defense, Denmon took off.

The aggressive Wildcats forced Kentridge into 16 first-half turnovers, many resulting in easy transition baskets for Denmon. By the end of the first quarter Oak Harbor was up 19-8 and Denmon had 15 points.

The second quarter was nearly a mirror image of the first as the ‘Cats continued to harass the Chargers into mistakes. Denmon added 13 points in the quarter to rack up a whopping 28 by the half as Oak Harbor entered the break ahead 40-16.

The Wildcats, who finished the game with 25 steals, turned it down a notch in the second half and scored just 17 points over the final two periods. Denmon picked up five points in the third and four in the fourth before leaving the game for good with 4:16 left.

The 5-6 Wildcat guard didn’t just score; she added 10 rebounds and four assists to her big game.

Nicole Mowbray was the second highest scorer for Oak Harbor on the day with eight points. Jessica James and Naomi Walker each scored four, and Clarissa Abadesco and Shantae Young had two apiece.

The win over the Chargers (1-9) pushed Oak Harbor’s season record to 5-3.

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