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Basketball: Oak Harbor boys lose season finale to Monroe
Monroe defeated Oak Harbor 52-43 Thursday on the Bearcats' floor in the season finale for both schools.
The loss dropped the Wildcats' final season record to 5-15 and their Wesco North mark to 4-12. The win put Monroe (5-11, 7-13) in sixth place in the North and pushed Oak Harbor to seventh out of nine teams.
Although Oak Harbor won only five of 20 games, its showed a strong improvement over the struggles of last winter when the Wildcats posted just one win.
Coach Mike Washington Sr. said, "I'm pleased with our season, and I'm pleased with the kids' progress."
He added that the players are eager to get better and most are planning to play in a spring league. He said, "We need to get in the gym and continue to work."
It was Senior Night for host Monroe, and Bearcat senior Preston Love got the party started by drilling two 3-pointers to give his club an early 6-0 lead.
Oak Harbor eventually narrowed the gap to three, 10-7, when Mike Washington Jr. popped in a 3-pointer off an assist from Jay Stout. The Wildcats would never get closer all night, and the Bearcats finished the period on a 7-0 run to go on top 17-7.
From that point the Monroe lead varied between seven and 15 points until Oak Harbor made a run that started deep in the third quarter.
Down 39-24, the Wildcats scored two hoops in the final 10 seconds of the third period on steals and layins by Stout and Washington Jr.
Stout then started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer; that made it 39-31.
After a Monroe bucket by Cole Parker, Denzel Hardin and Washington Jr. scored to put Oak Harbor within six, 41-35.
Washington was fouled while scoring but failed to hit the following free throw. That was a theme all night as the 'Cats converted just six of 16 foul shots.
After a Monroe miss, Oak Harbor again failed to trim more off the Bearcat lead when Stout missed a jumper with about 4:45 left.
Monroe regrouped and scored twice before Washington sank a 3 to make it 45-38 with 3:07 left.
The Bearcats' Joey Roppo answered Washington's trey with one of his own with 2:05 left to quiet the Wildcats.
Washington, who finished the season as the Wesco North's second leading scorer with an 18-point per game average (Lake Stevens' Shane Kaska averaged 19.9), scored a game high 25. No other Wildcat reached double figures. Stout scored seven points, Stevie Bratt five, Ryan Fakkema three, Hardin two and Colby Anter one.
The 6-6 Parker gave Oak Harbor trouble, dominating inside and hitting jumpers. He finished with 16 points. Monroe point guard Roppo scored 14.