Royals pounce on Wildcats / Girls basketball

Not much went right for the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team in a 72-45 loss to visiting Lynnwood Tuesday, Jan. 7.

The Wildcats get a chance to turn their fortunes around when they host Cedarcrest (1-2, 7-2) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10.

The Lynnwood contest looked like a prime opportunity for Oak Harbor to reverse its three-game Western Conference skid. The Wildcats entered the game with a 6-3 overall record; the Royals were 2-7 and 1-1 in league play.

Early turnovers and poor shooting thwarted Oak Harbor. Lynnwood, on the other hand, took advantage of its extra scoring chances with a hot shooting night. No Royal was hotter than Nakia Boston, who scorched the Wildcats for 32 points. Although 10 Royals scored in the game, no other player tallied more than 7 points.

Oak Harbor led 5-4 two minutes into the game, then Lynnwood, fueled by Oak Harbor mistakes and 10 points from Boston, went on a 19-2 run that spanned the first two quarters.

The Royals led 16-7 at the end of the first period and 39-15 at halftime. Their advantage grew to 53-24 after three quarters.

Oak Harbor coach Jon Atkins said his team played better in the second half when it started to aggressively attack the hoop — especially Mikhaela Cortez and Jasmine Ford — and worked to get the ball inside.

He also praised the play of Chloe Frank, who drew the defensive assignment of guarding Boston in the second half.

“Chloe definitely played well,” Atkins said. “She slowed her (Boston) down as much as you can a player like that.”

Boston scored 10 points after the break, six coming from the free-throw line.

Anna Jones scored 12 points for Oak Harbor. Cortez added 9, Ford 7, Tiana Jackson 6, Olivia Waite 5, Frank 4 and Grace Waite 1. Starter Payton Parks missed much of the game with an injury.