By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.–This preseason has been an unique one for the North Marion Huskie Basketball Programs.
The Lady Huskies, under first-year Head Coach Trevor Bodine, have used their depth of their bench along with their talent to build a 9-1 and eight-game winning streak with four games left before the start of Oregon West Conference play.
On the guys side, it’s the experience that this young North Marion basketball team has quickly gained and turned into a 6-2 start of the season as both the guys and girls face Junction City Friday.
“We’re leaps and bounds better than from the beginning of the season,” said Tanner Scanlan. “A bunch of our young guys, they’ve grown a lot, there’s good decision making. There getting the experience in all the minutes that they are playing and so we’re coming a long ways (but) we’ve got a long ways to go, but for right now we’re in pretty good shape.”
For the Lady Huskies, all the Overtime games and gritty wins over tough competition like Hockinson of Washington, 3A’s Rainier, 5A’s South Albany, all have guided them to the position there in entering Junction City.
“I think it just shows that we have perseverance,” said Kyia Brooks.”And it just shows that we have the mentality to work hard and keep going through everything and I think our coach is a big part of it too because he pushes us to work hard and pushes us to be better.”
“I like how we’re finding a way to win games,” adds Hannah Kinniburgh. “When one of us is having a off-night, it doesn’t matter because the rest of us can pull through when we’re doing good.”
Though it’s easy to overlook the rest of the preseason schedule, they can’t. Molalla on both sides are pushing Top 10-Top 15. Seaside is Number one on the boys side and tenth on the girls, Blanchet Catholic just handed Salem Academy their first loss of the season on the girls side and are a Top-5 team in 3A.
The same on the guys side as the Cavaliers sit fourth in the state in 3A at 6-3.
The trick will be to embrace it, embrace the challenges and improve upon themselves as units as both look to finish the preseason the way both teams have started it:
Strong and focusing at the task at hand right in front of them.
“We just have to take it one game at a time,” said Scanlan. “We play Junction City tomorrow (Friday) so we just got to, everyday, up until that game, focus on our intensity and our aggression and we just have to basically consume ourselves with that game coming up and then it’s on to the next. So it’s just take it step-by-step.”
“We’re just taking it one-game at a time, we’re worrying about Junction City right now,” said Bodine.”We’re going to be watching some film after practice today and get our game plan ready for them and trying not to look too far ahead.”
The Huskie-Tiger doubleheader starts at 5:30 with the guys and the girls start at 7:15pm in Junction City.