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Basketball: Oak Harbor girls lose to Monroe, face playoff game
Try as she might, senior Jessica Denmon couldn't carry her team to a victory in her last game on the Oak Harbor High School basketball court.
Monroe defeated the Wildcats 60-51 Wednesday.
The loss to Monroe coupled with Arlington's win over Snohomish dropped Oak Harbor (8-8, 11-9) to fifth in the Wesco North.
That forces the Wildcats into a loser-out game at Shorewood (5-13, 6-14) Friday night for the right to move on to the district tournament next week.
Shorewood finished eighth out of 10 teams in the Wesco South, but it is the fourth highest 4A seed. Four 3A teams placed ahead of the Thunderbirds in the final South standings. If Oak Harbor wins, it will have a rematch with Monroe Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the district tournament.
Monroe (13-3, 16-4), with its win over Oak Harbor, earned a tie with Marysville-Pilchuck (13-3, 15-5) for the Wesco North title.
Denmon, playing with an Energizer Bunny attitude, poured in 31 points by hitting five 3s, several mid-range jumpers and a variety of twisting drives to the hoop.
Each time Monroe threatened to pull away, Denmon and her teammates refused to fold.
The Bearcats' Suzanna Ohlsen scored the game's first seven points, but Oak Harbor responded behind 10 Denmon points and took a 17-12 first-quarter lead.
Monroe dominated the second period and led 34-23 at the break.
Oak Harbor was down by as many as 12 in the third quarter, but again refused to go away and trimmed the margin to six, 44-38, by the end to the period.
In the fourth quarter, the gap again reached 12, then the Wildcats responded to cut it to seven, 58-51, on Denmon's final three-pointer with 1:33 left, but they would get no closer.
Both teams shot 40 percent from the field, but the Bearcats put up 17 more shot attempts thanks to 17 offensive rebounds and only three turnovers.
Oak Harbor turned the ball over 16 times.
Monroe committed only six fouls in the game; Oak Harbor 10.
Nicole scored eight points for Oak Harbor, as did freshman Emilie Renninger, who gave the 'Cats an offensive lift off the bench. Clarissa Abadesco added four points.
It was Senior Night for Oak Harbor and the final home game for Denmon, Mowbray, Jessica James, Shantae Young and Molly DeLeon.