A stingy defense and strong rebounding propelled the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team to a season-opening 49-36 win over visiting Lakewood Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The Cougars shot only 21.8 percent against the Wildcat defense, including 16.7 percent (4-for-24) from beyond the arc.
Oak Harbor out-rebounded Lakewood 53-38.
“I thought both Jasmine (Ford) and Payton (Parks) did really well on the boards,” coach Jon Atkins said. “Sarah (Mensah) also did a really good job on the offensive boards.”
Ford hauled in 12 rebounds and Parks eight. Six of Mensah’s seven boards were on the offensive end. Mikhaela Cortez chipped in with eight rebounds.
Miranda Wilson helped Oak Harbor get off to a good start, drilling a trio of three-balls in the first quarter as the Wildcat went up 13-9.
Ford scored 4 points and Mensah hit a three, and Oak Harbor took a 24-18 lead into the break.
The Wildcats built a cushion by outscoring the Cougars 17-6 in the third period. Ford popped in 7 points, Wilson 5 and Cortez sank a three-ball to fuel the big quarter.
The Oak Harbor defense also put the clamps on Lakewood’s leading scorer, Jasmine Graham, after halftime. Graham accounted for half of Lakewood’s first-half points but scored only 2 over the final two periods.
Wilson finished with 16 points and Ford 13 to guide Oak Harbor. Cortez added 9, Mensah 5, Parks 4 and Olivia Waite 2. Waite also had five assists, and Wilson and Cortez two each.
Defensively, Ford recorded five steals and two blocks; Parks had three steals and Mensah and Waite two apiece.
Oak Harbor (1-0) plays at Sedro-Woolley (1-0) at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
The next home game is 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, with South Whidbey.