Employing an effective full court press, the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team stopped visiting South Whidbey 44-33 Thursday, Dec. 28.
The Wildcats’ defensive pressure, including a stingy half-court man-to-man, stymied the Falcon attack and helped Oak Harbor pick up its third win of the season.
“Our defense was really good,” Oak Harbor coach Jon Atkins said. “We lost a little intensity in the fourth quarter — we were looking ahead to the victory — but overall we played really well.”
In the forth period, Oak Harbor saw its 18-point lead, 40-22, sliced in half when South Whidbey hit three consecutive three-balls in a two minute span to make it 40-31 with 1:22 left. Mia Littlejohn then hit four free throws to swing the momentum back to the Wildcats.
Littlejohn started the game with a three-pointer and the Wildcats never trailed.
The Falcons struggled against Oak Harbor’s press, and the Wildcats led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Miranda Wilson, Jordan Wood-Pina and Littlejohn all hit shots from long range, and Oak Harbor was up 19-8 at halftime.
Oak Harbor continued to pull away in the third quarter with the help of 7 points from Jasmine Ford and 5 from Littlejohn, and the Wildcats took a 36-18 lead into the final period.
Back-to-back steals and layups by Samantha Hines made it 40-22 with 3:15 left and helped Oak Harbor withstand the Falcons’ late 9-point run.
Littlejohn guided the Oak Harbor offense with 15 points, including hitting all seven of her foul shots. Ford had 11 points, Wilson 7, Hines 4, Delija Cammon 3, Wood-Pina 3 and Mikhaela Cortez 1.
Wilson, returning after missing several games with a concussion, gave Oak Harbor a lift.
“It is nice to be able to score from the guard position,” Atkins said in regard to Wilson. “Good to have her back, and having another ball handler is huge.”
Allison Lynch topped the Falcons with 12 points, Kolby Heggenes had 7, Mikayla Hezel 6, Kyla Knauer 4 and Ella Wood 4.
South Whidbey’s two post players, Mackenzee Collins and Lexi Starets-Foote, missed the game because of injuries.