The holiday weekend will be a little happier for the Oak Harbor and Coupeville high school basketball teams.
The four clubs have struggled this season and entered the week with a combined 4-25 record, but each picked up a victory recently in its final game before Christmas.
The Oak Harbor girls teams (2-6) started off the winning week with a 36-34 comeback win against Cascade in Everett Tuesday, Dec. 19. Details of that game were posted online yesterday.
The other three teams collected home wins on Wednesday.
The 3A Wildcat boys (1-7) picked up their first victory of the season and Whidbey Island bragging rights when they held on to stop 1A South Whidbey 57-53.
In a doubleheader, the Coupeville girls (2-7) routed Concrete 47-7 in the opener, then the boys (2-5) clipped the Lions 62-47.
Oak Harbor boys 57, South Whidbey 53
While the Wildcats collected their first win of the season, they handed South Whidbey its third straight loss after the Falcons opened the season with five consecutive wins.
“Feels good for the guys,” Oak Harbor coach John Weston said. “It is especially nice going into the break.
“We executed our game plan, especially in the second half.”
Oak Harbor, spurred by a pair of three-point shots by Austin Boesch, held a 9-point lead, 51-42, with 3:51 left in the game, but South Whidbey scored 11 straight points in just over two minutes to go up 53-51 with 1:35 remaining.
Then Kevin Schuldt and Haven Brown hit what Weston labeled “huge shots.”
Schuldt connected on a nice post move to tie the game at the 1:12 mark.
In a play suggested by assistant coach Eric Collins, according to Weston, Brown attacked the hoop on a pick-and-roll for the game-winning basket with 25 seconds left.
Schuldt then delivered the defensive play of the game, taking a charge and giving Oak Harbor possession with 11 seconds remaining. The Falcons were forced to foul, and Gavin Allen then knocked down two free throws to ice the game.
South Whidbey scored the first basket of the game, then Allen answered with a three-pointer and the Wildcats never trailed in a closely-contested first half. The Wildcats were up 8-4 after a deliberately paced first quarter and then took a 21-20 lead into the break.
Oak Harbor built an 11-point lead in the third quarter with the help of 4 points from Brown and 6 from Weston Whitefoot. The Falcons cut the gap to 35-32 going into the last period.
Whitefoot led Oak Harbor in scoring with 12 points; Dorian Hardin and Allen each had 11, Boesch 8, Brown 8, Schuldt 4, Terrell Crumpton 2 and Gabe Salinger 1.
Kody Newman scored 22 for the Falcons, and Lewis Pope added 15.
Pope entered the game averaging more than 20 points per game, and Weston lauded the effort of Brown, with relief from Salinger, for slowing down the senior sharp shooter. Oak Harbor played a man-to-man defense in the first half then switched to a box-and-one, matching up with Pope, in the second half.
Coupeville girls 47, Concrete 7
“The team has been working hard and coming up short in previous games, so this is a good win,” coach David King said. “From the initial tip we wanted to be aggressive and dictate the pace. We came out with a press and got some steals and early scoring opportunities. We weren’t as aggressive as I had hoped, but we did get the job done.
“Concrete is a young team and played hard throughout the game. At times their inexperience showed against our pressure defense.”
Coupeville overwhelmed Concrete early, coming up with 18 of its 24 steals in the first half.
Five different Wolves scored in the first period, and the Wolves led 11-0. Coupeville continued to smother the Lions in the second quarter, and, with the help of 7 points from Kyla Briscoe, led 26-2 at halftime.
Ema Smith scored 6 points in the third quarter, and it was 37-3 going into the final period.
Sarah Wright tallied 6 points for the Wolves in the fourth.
“Sarah has been working hard all season in the post against taller defenders,” King said. “Tonight in the fourth she got a couple of offensive put backs to go in along with a nice post move.”
Concrete (1-6) made its only field goal of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves posted a season-high 14 assists; Briscoe had three and Scout Smith, Hannah Davidson, Ema Smith, Avalon Renninger and Mikayla Elfrank had two each.
Coupeville received a boost from Davidson. The sophomore moved to California after three games last season then returned to Coupeville last week. She collected 2 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks Wednesday.
Nine of the 10 Coupeville players scored, led by Ema Smith with 10. Briscoe had 9, Lindsey Roberts 8, Wright 6, Scout Smith 4, Chelsea Prescott 4, Elfrank 3 and Allison Wenzel 1.
Elfrank added seven steals, Briscoe four and Wright three.
“This game is a good starting point after a tough early season schedule,” King said. “I’m looking forward to going into this mini-break and continue to work on some things to keep us marching in the right direction.”
Coupeville boys 62, Concrete 47
After a slow start, the Wolves buried the Lions in the middle periods.
Concrete led 9-6 after the first eight minutes, then Coupeville raced to a 24-16 halftime advantage thanks to 6 second-quarter points from Hunter Smith and 5 each from Ethan Spark and Joey Lippo.
The Wolves continued the blitz in the third quarter as Mason Grove buried a trio of three-balls to help Coupeville go up 43-21.
“Great team effort,” coach Brad Sherman said. “(We) came out really strong in the third quarter.”
Smith tallied 20 points, Spark 13, Lippo 10, Grove 9, Hunter Downes 6, Gavin Knoblich 2 and Ulrik Wells 2.
Smith also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals; Downes had seven rebounds and two steals; and Lippo had four steals and two blocks.
Concrete (3-5) was led by David Swain with 18.