Stayton Girls Basketball Completes 4-0 Weekend

By Jeremy McDonald

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.–  What a way to end a four-game weekend for the Stayton Eagles Girls Basketball team.

Against a scrappy North Eugene squad, the Eagles slowly matched that intensity as Alexa Bender picked up several blocks early in the first-half.  KJ Nyquist leaped up for one herself towards the end of the first half to deny the Highlights of a for sure lay-in with the game close at halftime.

Entering the final 90 seconds of the game and the score in favor of Stayton by three, 32-29, Marri Martinez had a late block  with 1:28 left in the game as the ball went of bound.

Another big defensive stand by the Eagles ended up in KJ Nyquist forces a jump ball with 1:04 left, but was in favor of the Highlanders, but North Eugene overthrew their in-bounds pass giving Stayton the possession


The Highlanders then went full court press on in bound before fouling Alli Nyquist going to line. Miss the front end of her one-and-one opportunity  Alli Nyquist would get the rebound-pass like off Bender on the tip out on the rebound attempt off the Free Throw attempt as KJ Nyquist was fouled after Alli’s pass to her.
The younger Nyquist goes 2-for-2 from the line with 47 seconds left in the game to make the score 34-29 in favor of Stayton with North Eugene breathing down their necks, not backing down to the Eagles squad in front of them.
“It was kind of nerve racking but it was important to make that for my team so we can have a better lead than we had before,” said KJ Nyquist.15
North Eugene quickly scores and fouls Alli Nyquist with 32.7 Stayton up three in hopes that the older Nyquist would miss one of the free throws or both.
But Alli Nyquist drains the 1st then drains the 2nd as Lexi Smart forces a jump  ball call on the next Highlander possession to hand possession back to Stayton with 25.7 seconds to go as eventually Martinez iced the 37-31 with shooting one-of-two from the line to help the Eagles go 4-0 on the weekend.
Of those four wins, two came over higher classification opponents in 5A’s North Eugene and 6A’s Willamette.

A scrappy game like this, doesn’t just help the team come together for this particular game, but for the rest of the summer to help carry momentum over to the season ahead as the team gels together with one another as they polished off their fourth-win in two days.

“I feel like it’s a big confidence booster is that we went 4-0 this week as oppose to, ‘hey, we beat a 6A team’ or ‘we lost to a 6A team’, it’s just we came out with four wins,” said Lexi Smart.  “So we don’t really look at who the league is, we’re just going.”

Now with one game in between now and Friday-Sunday’s George Fox University  Tournament in Newberg, a challenge is presented for the Eagles squad because Tuesday’s game versus Molalla and Central is the only time they’ll get to physically work on what they need to work on before the tournament considering they won’t have practice time.

But Smart referred to a interesting sports psychology technique in visualizing what they need to work on, getting those mental reps in, between now and this upcoming weekend.

“We don’t have any practice so we just have to reflect on our game and see where we can do better at as individuals,” said Smart.  “Even if it’s a team process, we have to see what we can do as ourselves because if we’re not practicing all together then you can only work on yourself.”

Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!

Photos By Jeremy McDonald



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