The Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team played its best half of the season Friday, Jan. 12, at Shorecrest, but it couldn’t make up for one of its worst in a 67-44 loss.
The Scots are the strongest team in the Western Conference, according to Oak Harbor coach John Weston. With the win, Shorecrest, which is ranked 10th in the state 3A poll, remained in first place with a 6-0 record (11-2 overall).
“(Shorecrest) made things extremely difficult for us in the first half,” Weston said. “Their length and overall talent really gave us fits to start the game. However, the guys chose to truly compete in the second half, and we were able to beat them by nine in that half.”
The Scots buried Oak Harbor in the opening half, going up 20-4 after the first quarter and 45-13 at the break.
Ignited by the play of Haven Brown and Terrell Crumpton, the Wildcats bounced back.
Oak Harbor outscored Shorecrest’s regulars 18-13 in the third period. The Wildcats also outscored the Scots in the fourth quarter 13-9; the Scots began substituting liberally midway through the period.
Brown was “aggressive on both sides of the floor,” and Crumpton “was also flying around making some big plays,” Weston said.
Brown finished the game with 15 points and Crumpton 7 to lead Oak Harbor. Dorian Hardin had 6, Gabe Salinger 5, Gavin Allen 5, Kevin Schuldt 4 and Weston Whitefoot 2.
“When the guys choose to consistently play hard, smart and together, I think they can compete with anyone in the league,” Weston said. “I was proud that they did not give up or hang their heads after possibly our worst half of the season. We followed it up with what was definitely our best half of the season.”
Philip Pepple topped the Scots with 16 points.
“Hats off to Shorecrest and coach (Brian) Fischer, they are a class act and a tremendous team,” Weston said.
Oak Harbor (1-5, 3-11) plays at Edmonds-Woodway (3-3, 8-6) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16.