By NATHAN WHALEN
Special to the News-Times
The holiday break saw Oak Harbor’s girls basketball team enjoy a four-game winning streak.
They capped off December with wins against Anacortes, Marysville Pilchuck, Marysville Getchell and Washougal.
“The girls are starting to figure out how to play with each other and know their roles,” said Eric Collins, head coach of the Wildcats girls basketball team.
They started their win streak Dec. 20 when they topped Anacortes 43-37. Collins said it was the first time in at least 10 years Oak Harbor defeated Anacortes.
Sophomore Suki Warden posted a triple-double scoring 15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, four steals, and two blocks.
“That’s probably the first time that’s happened in a while,” Collins said of Warden’s triple-double.
Senior AJ White earned a double-double scoring 11 points and 11 rebounds along with two steals and three blocks.
Sophomore Zoe Scott scored eight points that included two key baskets in the fourth quarter, Collins said.
With some players in foul trouble, sophomores JL Ventura and Reagan Syring had to step up and play extended minutes and performed well, Collins said.
Against Marysville Pilchuck Dec. 21, Oak Harbor jumped out to a 30-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and won 64-26.
Warden scored 15 points with eight rebounds, five steals and five assists. White scored 13 points with six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Collins also highlighted the defense and hustle of Jade Linson.
The Wildcats 50-34 win against Marysville Getchell Dec. 27 marked their first road win of the season. Warden scored 20 points and had five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Junior Lilly Grubbs had seven points, three rebounds and three steals while sophomore Layla Suto contributed six points, seven rebounds.
“The girls played a good second half,” Collins said. The game was tied 20-20 at halftime, but Oak Harbor outscored Marysville Getchell 18-4 in the third quarter.
Along with the victory against Anacortes, Collins said the Wildcats’ 38-32 win against Washougal was one of the best wins of the season.
“It was a good, gritty win against a really physical team,” Collins said, adding that the team stood up to the pressure and physicality of Washougal, which is a 2A school competing in the Greater St. Helens league.
He highlighted the Wildcats’ defense, which held Washougal to shooting 20 percent from the field.
The win streak improves Oak Harbor’s record to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the Northwest Conference.
Collins said the Wildcats are halfway through the season and the team is showing good chemistry. They are also playing together and “staying in the moment.”
Their season continues Wednesday when they travel to Bellingham to play Sehome, who holds a 4-1 record in the Northwest Conference.
Friday sees the Wildcats host Ferndale, who is 5-0 in conference play and an overall record of 7-4.
“These are two teams we haven’t beaten in a long time,” Collins said, adding that both games present little margin for error for Oak Harbor.
Friday’s game against Ferndale is youth night. Children who are involved with youth basketball or attended basketball summer camps get free admission, Collins said.