By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Marshfield entered Monday’s match-up with North Marion ranked ninth in the State when they came rolling into small-town USA that is Aurora to kick-off the week.
And it sure was a dandy of a game that’s for sure as these two teams could possibly meet in the postseason here in a few months.
But hey, nothing like a fun game until then right?
The press of the Pirates allowed Marshfield to take a 26-21 lead before the Lady Huskies tied it at 28 during the third quarter thanks, in part, to great rebounding by North Marion’s post players in Lindy Wing and Hannah Kinniburgh to set themselves up for success for then and for the whole second half.
With things clicking from rebounding to making shots, the Lady Huskies took a lead themselves before the Lady Pirates ran back to take a 36-34 lead in the fourth quarter.
Something had to give, and someone had to be clutch in this game to sustain a run in either direction with time running out.
That’s when 5’2 Ally Umbenhower came in.
The junior stepped to the free throw line with the score in favor of the opposition and nailed two crucial free throws to tie the game at 36. Then a two-point lead with 2:43 left in the game at 38-36.
Marshfields Hailey Browning cut it to one before Mar Verastegui put the Huskies back up two with a little more than a minute to go in the game.
Following a Verastegui steal, timeout and inbound pass to Umbenhower; it was Umbenhower’s turn to seal the game.
And that’s what she did.
She went 4-6 from the stripe in the final 34.4 seconds of the game, and those two misses, resulted in a Umbenhower rebound and a steal that set up two more rounds of Free Throws that put North Marion up five.
“Um, I don’t know. You just kind of don’t let the pressure get to you,” said Umbenhower on her strong performance late in the game. “Keep playing hard, working hard, forget about the time, forget about the score, be smart with the ball. Play together, rely on each other.”
The junior finished with 15 points, 10 in that fourth quarter and was eight-for-ten from the line. All ten foul shots too, came in the final frame.
Verastegui hit two free throws to put the Lady Huskies up seven before the Pirates cut it to four before the buzzer rang in favor of the Huskies 44-40, North Marion shot 15-for-20 in the contest from the free throw line.
“I think it we definitely want to beat them,” said Kinniburgh. “And we played hard, tough through the whole game. We had great defense and free throws definitely took the game to the end.”
The Lady Huskies will play Crook Country Tuesday as the game was scheduled right before the start of their game Monday afternoon for Tuesday at home. Tip off will be at 3pm.
HUSKIE SCORERS- Umbenhower-15. Kinniburgh-8. Wing-8. Scanlan-7. Verastegui-4. Brooks-2.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald