Unable to find any offensive rhythm, the Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team lost 47-36 to visiting Mount Vernon in a non-league game Wednesday, Dec. 27.
The Wildcats fell behind by 16 points before cutting the gap to 3, but the early deficit was too large to overcome and Oak Harbor dropped its eighth game in nine tries this season.
Oak Harbor (0-2, 1-8) hosts Meridian (1-3) in a non-conference game at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29.
Mount Vernon 47, Oak Harbor 36
The Wildcats were plagued by early turnovers, and, when they did hold on to the ball, weren’t able to get their shots to fall.
The Bulldogs turned the Wildcat mistakes and cold shooting into a 12-0 lead and led 12-2 at the quarter. Gabe Salinger finally scored for the Wildcats with 1:56 left in the first quarter.
Salinger was the Oak Harbor offense in the first half, scoring the Wildcats’ first 13 points. Terrell Crumpton tacked on two free throws in the final minute of the half, and Oak Harbor went into the locker room down 26-15.
Salinger scored only 1 point in the second half, but this teammates started to find their range and the Wildcats rallied in the third quarter.
After trailing 26-10 in the second period, Oak Harbor narrowed the difference to 31-28 with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter behind 4 points each from Kevin Schuldt and Dorian Hardin and a three-ball from Austin Boesch.
The Wildcats went into the final frame down 35-30.
Oak Harbor still trailed by 5 late and was forced to foul to stop the clock; the Bulldogs hit six of seven free throws down the stretch to hold off the Wildcats.
Oak Harbor shot only 22 percent (11-for-50) in the game and just 24 percent (5-for-21) in the paint. Mount Vernon shot 38 percent.
Mount Vernon had much to do with the Wildcats’ poor shooting night, according to Oak Harbor coach John Weston: “They got into us on defense.”
The Bulldogs turned 17 Oak Harbor turnovers into 14 points.
“We played so slow,” Weston said. “The game was weird; there was no energy.
“When we played with energy, we did OK.”
Salinger finished with 14 points, Hardin 6, Crumpton 4, Schuldt 4, Austin Boesch 3, Gavin Allen 3 and Ozell Jackson 2. Jackson added seven rebounds, and Schuldt and Weston Whitefoot had six apiece. Hardin and Allen each recorded three steals.
Mount Vernon coach Roger Valentine substituted freely, giving his reserves, which included four freshmen, ample playing time. Other than sophomore point guard Carlos Garcia, who played the whole game, the Bulldogs starters sat much of the second and third quarters.
Garcia had 15 points and five different Bulldogs scored 6 each.