By Jeremy McDonald
INDEPENDENCE, Ore.– It was yet another physical battle between Stayton and Central Thursday afternoon on the road.
The last time these two teams met a few days ago, the Stayton Six denied the Panthers a golden opportunity to steal a comeback-from-behind victory by keeping them off the board; and coming off a week of no practice or games and a win earlier in the day, the Eagles found themselves in a another dogfight with Central as they forced overtime at CHS on tired legs.
“I think we came out really hard, and some of us, we’ve been at camp at week, so it’s been new, we haven’t practice or played any games this week so I think we came out hard being off a week,” said Marri Martinez on the fight of the Scrapy Stayton Eagles on this day.
It’s almost like it’s a glimpse of what is to come for the Eagles come November and December when they lace it up for the games to come in the winter, and though they lost a tough 38-34 game to the Panthers, the improvement in this summer alone was present in terms of bonding with new people and taking lessons from games like Central to build from moving forward.
“We’ve improved a lot and with getting plenty of new girls and with us trying to replace the girls that we have lost will be tough, but we’re definitely filling in the spots good,” said Martinez. “I think we all love each other it’s crazy.”
Those new girls: The Nyquist girls in KJ and Alli from Oregon City and Genevieve Frith from Regis, blended in just greatly this summer as they adjusted to what Head Coach Darren Shryock is trying to do and were succeeding as Alli Nyquist showed that she’ll be a great replacement for Tess Hendricks at the Point Guard position and KJ and Frith viable and key guards for Stayton this winter.
The Eagles didn’t play many teams below 5A and playing the tougher competition in 6A and 5A showed them what it takes to be physical, be aggressive as they did against Central several times this summer.
And it was all apart of the plan by Shryock as Stayton steadily picked up their aggression and their physical play through-out the few weeks worth of summer basketball as Shryock knows having coached at those levels in the past.
“It’s easy when your playing against bigger kids to kind of wilt and shrink under the pressure and physicality of it and they’ve done a great job in responding to that,” said Shryock. “The kids we have coming in, so Alli and KJ and Genevieve, they’ve helped with that aspect of things.
“The Nyquist girls play so stinking hard so they help us and Genevieve is a nice addition to us as well. So that’s good. The biggest thing is that they’re a bunch of nice girls, they get along off the court and all those things, so really nice to be around them.”
And with tough games like with these summer ball games with Central and the Class of the Field, you can see that it’s been a summer of growth and maturity for the Eagle Girl Ballers. Lessons that have been learned and a bond was built from a foundation of a variety of things; either on and off the court.
As the summer wraps up at Team Camp next week, it should be interesting to see how this team does come the tip-off of the season here in a few short months.
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