A strong start and a clutch finish carried the Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team to a 66-62 win over visiting Cedarcrest Friday, Jan. 4.
The Red Wolves entered the game with a 7-2 record (2-1 in Wesco play), but it was the Wildcats (now 2-2, 4-6) who claimed the conference win.
Dorian Hardin scored 10 points in the first quarter, Matt Kelley added 6 and Oak Harbor raced to a 20-14 lead.
Haven Brown started the second period with a three-ball, and Oak Harbor held its largest lead, 9 points, 23-14.
Cedarcrest then went on a 16-5 run to take the lead, 30-28, with three minutes left in the half and led 38-34 at the break.
Two hoops by Hardin and a three-point play by Brown brought Oak Harbor within 1, 42-41, at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter.
From that point, the Red Wolves built their own 9-point lead, 54-45, late in the third quarter.
Despite hitting only five of 12 fourth-quarter free throws, Oak Harbor roared back.
Gavin Allen hit back-to-back hoops off offensive rebounds, and Oak Harbor led 61-59 with 1:44 remaining.
After a Red Wolves’ turnover, Austin Boesch buried a three-pointer.
Cedarcrest countered with its own three-ball, then Hardin secured the win with a pair of free throws.
Hardin finished with 28 points, Brown 11, Allen 9, Kelley 6, Boesch 6, Terrell Crumpton 3 and Kevin Schuldt 3.
Chris Busch scored 16 for Cedarcrest.
“We showed a lot of resilience,” Oak Harbor coach John Weston said. “The kids remained patient and chipped away in the fourth quarter.”