Junior Matt Kelley (20) is the only returning varsity player for the Oak Harbor boys basketball team this winter. (Photo by John Fisken)

Junior Matt Kelley (20) is the only returning varsity player for the Oak Harbor boys basketball team this winter. (Photo by John Fisken)

Winter prep preview / Oak Harbor boys basketball

From top to bottom, the Oak Harbor High School boys basketball team will have a new look this winter.

The Wildcats are under the direction of a new coach, Nate Sullivan, and will feature a varsity team that returns only one member from last year’s 6-14 squad, junior forward Matt Kelley.

New players most likely to earn varsity minutes this season, according to Sullivan, are senior guard Garrett Levell, junior forward Mason Myers and sophomore guards Gage McLeod, Kaito White and Will Rankin.

“There are many others who will contribute this season,” Sullivan added. “We are still getting to know these players.”

The top priority this season is to “play hard every possession,” Sullivan said. “Consequently, that should lead to us getting better as a team.”

He expects his players to “play unselfish basketball at both ends of the floor,” putting the team before themselves.

Sullivan likes what he sees after the first week of practice: “The kids have done a great job of learning how to play when they are tired.”

He also had praise for his staff the the school’s administration: “The new assistant coaching staff has gone above and beyond in dedicating themselves to this team…Our athletic department has done a first-class job at making this transition run smoothly.”

Oak Harbor begins the season with round one of the battle to determine the boys basketball “champion” of Whidbey Island when it hosts Coupeville at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Wildcats face their other island foe when South Whidbey comes to town at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13.