By Jeremy McDonald
ASTORIA, Ore.– The Lady Huskies of North Marion found themselves in another slugfest in the Vince Dulcich Memorial Tournament as it had it all:
Tough calls, aggressive play, pressing defenses as both teams were neck-and-neck for most of the game with both sides tied at 28 with Hockinson of Washington.
“We stayed aggressive and pressed the issue by getting to the line and not settling for outside shots,”said Head Coach Trevor Bodine. “Hockinson played a very good zone press and trap and we eventually were able to make them pay for pressing us after struggling with their press for most of the first half.
“We ran several different defensive looks at them during different phases of the game and played solid in the 3rd and 4th quarters, forcing them contested shots.”
Coming down to crunch time, Mar Verastegui shut down Hockinson’s best shooter and Lindy Wing and Hannah Kinniburgh made some cruical blocks defensively as it came down to excuting free throws as it took a team effort to walk out of the arena with a 48-40 victory Thursday and the first place trophy.
“Mar, Lindy and Ally (Umbenhower) all hit crucial free throws and we had solid contributions from Sonia Jimenez, Kyia Brooks and Bethany Dron when they were in,” said Bodine. “Everyone did their job in the end and at no point did I doubt them. This was a “grind game” and I have the utmost faith in my girls to battle to the very last possession and find ways to fight through adversity.”
They’ll have another tough challenge versus 5A’s South Albany on January 3 back in Aurora, SA will be walking into the contest with a 6-1 record with their lone loss coming from an undefeated Crater squad on December 9 to open the Crater Tournament in Central Point.
But that’ll only be one of the few tough challenges that North Marion will face with less than two weeks until Oregon West Conference-play begins as they go back to work.
“We will spend the next couple days working on press break, defense of course and skill work. We have several more tough non-conference games coming up before league starts,” said Bodine.
Tip off versus the Rebels will be at 7pm.
GUYS BASKETBALL-After joining the tournament late, the Huskies opened the Salem Academy Tournament with a 70-31 victory over East Linn Christian Acadmey as North will play Sheiridan Friday at 2pm