AURORA, Ore.–As fitting as to their first meeting did Friday Night’s Game follow suit with a game-winning shot as time expired.
But, it wasn’t North Marion that made the shot but instead of that from the Lady Eagles. In Overtime. At the buzzer.
The question became who ruined the Lady Huskies Senior Night?
A 5-foot-11-inch sophomore in Marri Martinez with a put back-shot as time expired.
But how did we get to this point of this shot? Overtime?
It started with the start of the fourth quarter.
Stayton found themselves up double-figures and rolling with both teams having foul trouble throughout the game as North Marion looked down-and-out.
“We just kept saying, ‘keep intense, don’t let the pressure get to us. Like we have it,” describing the final quarter.
That was in part because of who they were facing and what their opponent is known to do:
It’s known in the Lady Huskie folklore this year that they’ll battle back from deficits, small or large, they’ll battle back.
“Our team always finds a way to get back into our groove and play to our potential and we find a way to do it,” said North Marion’s Ally Umbenhower.
And they did just that and slowly climbed all the way back into the game as Hannah Kinniburgh not just tied it, but gave the North Marion Girls a 40-39 lead with 1:24 left in the
Kinniburgh hits a lay up to tie it at 39 with 124 left. She was foulef and made ft to giv nm 40-39 lead before Sierra Shelton of Stayton tied it at 40 seconds later.
Kinniburgh scored two of her 12 points as Tess Hendricks scored two of her own 13 points from free throws as you saw players slowly fouled out with 46.9 left in the game.
The score remained at 42 as neither Alyssa Lindemann and Umbenhower shot fell in regulation.
Martinez and Hendricks gave the Eagles a three-point lead to start Overtime despite the loud North Marion crowd around them.
Using their crowd as momentum, Kinniburgh once more tied the game up at five as Stayton had to rely on depth as Hendricks and Alexa Bender fouled out to get the win and outlast a Kinnburgh-led Lady Huskie team looking to keep pace with Cascade for the Oregon West Conference Title.
Coming up the court with seconds remaining, North Marion brought the pressure they’ve done efficently to claw back into the game and Stayton managed to get the ball up the court and get a shot off with the scored tied at 47 and seconds left.
It missed the mark.
But as a act of fate and timing, Martinez went up in traffic gets the ball and shoots; and in what it seemed like slow motion, the ball went in as time expired.
Stayton erupted and the Lady Huskie team were left stunned of what had just happened.
“I felt really excited,” said Martinez. “Since I should be boarding, that’s my part of the game is to board, so I was like, ‘this offensive board is going to mean a lot’ so I had to get it.”
Lady Eagle Head Coach Darren Shryock admits that both team are evenly matched as the last several meetings between the two have proven as he is proud with how the girls did with Newport Tuesday at home to close out the season.
“I really proud of the girls played hard,” said Shryock. “We hardly got any minutes from Alexa tonight with foul trouble, loss Tess in the overtime period. So our other girls just stepped up and made plays.
Though the loss knocked North Marion out of contention for the OWC Title, they can lock up second-place and do the unthinkable Tuesday versus Cascade by beating the undefeated Cougars (18-0) on their home-court on their senior night.
And all they got to do is move past this game and use this pain as fuel for that one.
“We need to forget about this game,” smiles Umbenhower. “Use the momentum we had going into overtime. Use that momentum and use the momentum from the alst time playing Cascade to play them to the best of our ability.
“They’re fast, their pressure is good but I know that we can work together to beat them.”