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Oak Harbor defense overwhelms Arlington
The Arlington girls basketball team struggled to find their footing against an imposing Oak Harbor team during their clash Dec. 12. The Eagles outside shooting touch deserted them and allowed Oak Harbor to run away with an easy 58-23 victory.
In every quarter the Eagles missed open looks at the basket on offense, threw passes away in transition, and generally got outplayed by a gritty Wildcat team.
Oak Harbor began the game in a 2-2-1 full court press which frustrated Arlington. The Eagles wound up wasting precious seconds off the shot clock in beating the press. By the time Arlington crossed into scoring territory they had little time with which to work. The offensive sets became frantic and less effective.
On defense the Eagles settled into a 2-3 zone with Quinn Kesselring and Sheryl Scheppele on top. Oak Harbor ran a motion offense throughout the first quarter with cutters roaming free underneath the basket. Arlingtons back row of the zone continually got hit with unannounced screens to free up short jump shots near the basket.
Kyra Prause scored the Eagles first basket of the game three minutes into the first quarter on a jumper from the right wing. The bucket made the score 4-2 in favor of Oak Harbor, and was as close as the Eagles would get all night. The Wildcats then went on a run to lead 10-2 before Scheppele drilled a corner three pointer with under two minutes remaining.
In addition to their shooting struggles, rebounding was also a concern for the Eagles, who were outmuscled under the boards all night. Oak Harbor did have one post with a significant size advantage, but most of the Wildcat rebounds came from hard work around the rim. Whereas Arlington would send one, maybe two offensive players to the glass after each shot, Oak Harbor sent all five. The Wildcats did not worry about playing transition defense and though their strategy led to some easy fast-break points for Arlington, the Wildcats overcame that by tabbing a large number of second-chance points.
In the second quarter Kayla Cornist entered the game off the bench and scored for the Eagles to close the gap to 11 points. Cornist swished a baseline jumper minutes later to bring the Eagles to within 23-9. She then got an offensive rebound near the end of the first half and fired a pass to Kesselring who was fouled shooting the basketball. Kesselring drained one free throw to make the halftime score 27-10.
The second half got off to a solid start for Arlington, Scheppele draining a corner three followed by Alisha Murrin making a steal. Murrin fed Kesselring for a breakaway lay up and it looked like Arlington would be able to cut into the large deficit. But the Eagles found it difficult to chip away and by the end of the third quarter trailed 39-19.
In the fourth quarter the game got out of hand. Arlington missed their open shots and Oak Harbor pulled further ahead on the strength of their inside game. As the final whistle sounded with the Eagles losing 58-23.