Spartan trio leads Stanwood over Wildcats

It will be nice to see Stanwood basketball player Zack Johnson graduate. And Kale Schmidt. And Drew Haugstad.

At least that is from the perspective of Oak Harbor as those three seniors combined for 61 points in Stanwood’s 75-54 win over the Wildcats here Friday night.

With the help of Snohomish’s upset win over Lake Stevens (13-2, 14-5) Friday, the streaking Spartans (12-2, 12-6), who have won nine in a row, are now just a half game behind the first-place Vikings in the Wesco North.

Stanwood was one of the preseason favorites to win the Wesco North in large part because of Johnson and Schmidt. The two are four-year lettermen, three-year starters and returning first-team all-Wesco players. They have also been tough on Oak Harbor over the years, particularly Johnson.

Friday night, the burly 6-4 post who is considering playing football for Washington State University next year, bulled his way for 23 points by hitting 10 of 11 shot attempts. He also pulled down 13 rebounds.

The explosive 6-3 Schmidt, who will compete in jumping events for the University of Washington track team next year, added 18 points, 12 off four 3-pointers.

Haugstad, who will play basketball for Everett Community College next winter, has blossomed into a shooting star for the Spartans this season and his long-range skills were on display Friday. He put up 23 points while drilling six of 11 from beyond the arc.

In all, the Spartans threw up 26 threes, sinking a whopping 11.

Oak Harbor added to the long-range display by hitting six of its own out of 19 attempts. Denzel Hardin and Mike Washington Jr. nailed two each.

The Spartans took a 5-2 lead on a Haugstad 3-pointer with 6:42 left in the first quarter and gradually pulled away from there. They led 20-15 at the quarter, 32-23 at the break and 53-38 after three periods.

Colby Anter helped keep Oak Harbor in the game with a season-high 16 points, several off fine feeds from his teammates as he found open areas in the Spartan zone.

In was a nice finish for the senior, who, along with Ryan Fakkema and Rashaad Smith, was playing his final game on the OHHS floor.

Washington finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists, and Hardin had 11 points and three assists.

Smith, who had to sit part of the game with foul trouble, had eight points and five rebounds. Fakkema and Jay Stout each hit a 3-pointer.

Oak Harbor committed just nine turnovers to Stanwood’s 14, but the Spartans outrebounded the ‘Cats 44-23.

Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington Sr. said, “The kids battled, we just got beat by a better team.” Then with emphasis, he reiterated, “That’s an awfully good team.”

The Wildcats (3-11, 4-14) finish the season with road games at Marysville-Pilchuck (4-11, 7-12) Tuesday and Monroe (4-10, 6-12) Thursday.

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