When first-place Stanwood faced the visiting Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team, which sits at the opposite end of the conference standings, it probably did not expect much of a challenge. The Spartans were wrong.
Stanwood (7-0, 11-2) needed a big fourth quarter to pull away from the pesky Wildcats (0-8, 1-13) in its 75-61 win Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The first half went pretty much as expected. Getting 11 points by Kaeden McGlothin, Stanwood built a 22-13 lead in the first period. The Spartans then upped their advantage to 36-23 at halftime.
Oak Harbor, however, didn’t go away. The Wildcats, behind 8 points from Matt Kelley and two three-balls from Gage McLeod, trimmed the deficit to just 4, 50-46, going into the fourth period.
Jake Cleary helped the Spartans escape by getting all 10 of his points in the final quarter; his teammates chipped in with eight free throws.
The Wildcats couldn’t complete the comeback despite three-pointers by Will Ranking and Kelley and six free throws from McLeod.
Kelley finished with 18 points, McLeod 12, Rankin 10, Mason Myers 6, Brock Boyer 2 and Kaito White 2.
Cort Roberson tallied 22, one more than McGlothin, for Stanwood.
Oak Harbor hosts Marysville-Pilchuck (7-0, 11-2), who shares the league lead with Stanwood, at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24.