The Wildcats just ran out of time.
The Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team, hungry for its first win of the season, rallied in the fourth quarter but came up 2 points short in a 69-67 loss to visiting Snohomish Friday, Dec. 15.
The Wildcats trailed 57-42 with 6:53 left in the game, then 8 points from Haven Brown ignited the comeback attempt. Dorian Hardin scored Oak Harbor’s final 9 points, including hitting a three-ball with 4 seconds remaining to get the ‘Cats within two.
Snohomish (3-2, 2-0), however, ran out the clock to hold on for the win.
The surge at the end wasn’t Oak Harbor’s only rally.
The Wildcats trailed 8-2 and 13-7 in the first quarter before Weston Whitefoot and Hardin helped Oak Harbor take the lead, 16-15, at the end of the period.
Snohomish outscored Oak Harbor 21-7 in the second quarter to lead 36-23 at the break.
The gap reached 15, 38-23, early in the third period, then Oak Harbor got back into the game by pulling within 6, 42-36, before the Panthers took off again, going ahead 55-40 at the end of the quarter.
Snohomish used a three-prong attack to take down the Wildcats. Cameron Bonorden, who scored 12 points in the first quarter and 9 in the third, led the way with 25 points. Luis Balcarcel scored 20, getting all six of his field goals in the second period. Kolton Smith added 17 points. Only two other Panthers scored in the game.
Oak Harbor featured a more balanced attack. Hardin collected 19 points, Whitefoot 15, Brown 13, Gabe Salinger 9, Gavin Allen 9 and Kevin Schuldt 2.
Whitefoot also had eight rebounds (six on offense) and two steals. Brown grabbed nine boards and had two assists, and Hardin collected three assists.
The Wildcats played without starting center Ozell Jackson, who is out with an ankle injury.
“The kids settled down offensively,” coach John Weston said. “They were running through their plays and showing better execution.
“On defense, we were more relentless.”
Weston liked the effort of Whitefoot, whose play was “big time.”
The Wildcats (0-2, 0-8) now have four straight non-conference games, beginning at Burlington-Edison (3-2) at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18. Wednesday, the Wildcats host South Whidbey (5-2) at 7:15 p.m.