By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
EVERETT — All the buzzer-beaters JoJo Webster hit over the summer didn’t prepare the Oak Harbor guard for the pressure cooker he faced Tuesday night.
With his team trailing by a point after a layin by Everett’s Jace Chacon and just seconds left in the game, Webster dribbled the ball upcourt and as seconds wound off the clock, stepped back behind the 3-point line and drilled a 3 at the buzzer to send the Wildcats fans into pandemonium and give Oak Harbor a 49-47 win over the Seagulls in a key Wesco 3A North battle.
“When I was coming down with the ball I didn’t know what I was going to do to be honest,” Webster said. “I was just trying to get the defender off of me and I looked up at the clock and there was two seconds left so I was just like ‘Well, I just have to pull it.’ So I did a little hesitation and pulled it and it felt good coming out of my hand and it went in.”
The plan was to have it Webster’s hands all along, according to Oak Harbor coach Michael Washington.
“We decided if they went down and scored we were just going to give the ball to Jo, who’s our quickest, best ballhandler and let him make a play,” Washington said of Webster, who hit four buzzer-beaters in games over the summer. “Fortunately he did. We have a lot of confidence in Jo.”
The basket negated a wild comeback by Everett. After a back-and-forth first three quarters, Oak Harbor used a 2-3 zone to open the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run. The Wildcats held Everett scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and the game looked all but over.
But led by Chacon and Reece Hoiby, who had six points in the run, Everett outscored Oak Harbor 10-1 in the final three minutes of the game to grab the one-point lead that led to Webster’s game-winner.
“I’m really happy that we bounced back and had a chance to win at the end,” said Everett head coach John Richer. “I told the guys that happens; it’s basketball. … (Oak Harbor) made the right shot at the right time.
“You have to learn to win in those situations and that takes time. Hopefully we can take this and move forward.”
Chacon led all scorers with 21 points, including seven straight points late in the first half that included a 3-pointer and a steal and layin to help the Seagulls retake the lead 22-19.
Drew Washington led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points.
At Everett H.S.
Oak Harbor—Dayne Herron 12, Drew Washington 19, Cortez Ridley 0, Gabe Groeing 1, JoJo Webster 11, Chris Hailer 6, Anfrenee Angkaw 0, Dyllan Harris 0. Everett—Steven Tran 2, Reece Hoiby 14, Nolan Rogge 5, Cal Knapp 0, Sam Tollefson 3, Jace Chacon 21, Sam Arends 0, Dre Edwards 0. 3-point goals— Washington 2, Webster 1, Chacon 1. Records—Oak Harbor 1-1 league, 2-2 overall. Everett 0-1, 2-4.