Winter sports preview: Wildcats girls basketball

Just winning a game was a big deal a year ago. Now it's an expectation.

  • Friday, November 26, 1999 1:00pm
  • Sports

“Just winning a game was a big deal a year ago.Now it’s an expectation.The Oak Harbor girls basketball team, in its second year under coach Dwight Lundstrom, turned the tide of losing last season by notching four wins. That was big news for a girls basketball program that didn’t win any games the previous season.With only one player lost to graduation, and a 9-6 record in summer ball, things are looking even better for this year’s squad.They got a little taste of what it’s like to go out and beat teams, Lundstrom said. And that taste has created a hunger. They want to be successful this year because they want to be seen, Lundstrom said of his team.If the Wildcats do find success, it will be built on the returning players from last year’s team.Back is Oak Harbor’s sophomore guard tandem of Marcy Manibusan and Valerie Hartman. Both played on a summer all-star team this summer, and both bring important dimensions to the Wildcat game. Hartman is an up-tempo, whirling Dervish ball handler. Manibusan is a deadly outside shooter.The team’s captains from last season, Sarah Matzen and Denise Stanalonis, are also returning. Matzen, a 5-foot-10 senior who averaged 8 points a game, brings calm leadership. Stanalonis – still playing a little gingerly because of a knee injury she suffered toward the end of last season – adds scoring punch and emotion to the Oak Harbor attack.Constance Burnette, a 5-foot-10 junior, can score and rebound. Jamie Armstrong, Molly Bull, Christina Gabler and Joyce Santiago are other returners expected to make major contributions.Players new to the varsity squad bring even more depth to this year’s team. Sarah Jackets, Nicole White, Nicole Nolte and Patricia Tokerak (a senior transfer from Honolulu) will all see some playing time.Lundquist said he has liked the attitude and effort he’s seen so far.As a whole, we’re more mature and stronger from the starting five through the bench, he said.At a glanceCoach: Dwight Lundstrom (2nd year)Last season: 4-14 (2-9 in 4A Western Conference)Key players: F Denise Stanalonis, 5-8 Sr.; F Sarah Matzen, 5-9 Sr.; C Christine Gabler, 5-11 Sr.; F Constance Burnette, 5-10 Jr.; G Valerie Hartman, 5-2 So.; G Marcy Manibusan, 5-2 So.Outlook: The team boasts several returners and the Wildcats are expecting to win. Lundstrom will emphasize a scrappy, pressing, up-tempo style of basketball. “

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Oak Harbor girls softball team members are allowed to workout together under current COVID-19 restrictions, but are not yet allowed to return to formal practices and competition. School sports may resume this month if Island County and others in the North region can move into Phase 2. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
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