By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– Entering this weekend on the road again, the North Marion Lady Huskies were up against some tough competition in the Small School/Large School Junior Varsity division.
They defeated the Oregon City Red team 49-38 and West Linn (49-46) in close games, ran-away versus Tualatin (50-17) and Hermiston (55-27) and defeated Woodinville 45-35 to get to the championship game against Banks.
“I like having the different pace, watching the 6A schools because we’re a smaller school and we don’t get to see that many well-JV teams if we do play JV-teams,” “So it’s nice to keep up with the 6A JV teams and then it’s also nice to feel like winning against those school varsity’s because you don’t know, maybe they have more girls; I’m just glas we’re not all over the place.”
Without Mia Hammack and Emily Scanlan, North Marion found themselves in a hole early, but rallied to take a 32-31 lead after Ally Umbenhower connected on a pair of free throws.
Umbenhower was on fire during the second half of the game as the soon-to-be-senior scored 17 points in the summer basketball game Sunday afternoon with the Lady Huskies going toe-to-toe with a Lady Braves team that finished runner-up to Sutherlin in the 4A State Playoffs a few months ago.
Seeing such talent and building that confidence is good to build said Hannah Kinniburgh.
“It’s a nice confidence booster, especially when your 4-15 in the beginning of the game and we caught up to them and we got the lead, it’s a real confidence booster,” she said.
Though both teams were tough and physical like it was a State Championship game in March, Banks would ice this Summer Ball Championship thanks, in part, to free-throws down the stretch and turnovers.
“It felt really good, I feel like we can take them if we play them again during season and again, focusing on not turning the ball over because that’s what really brought in line,” said Katie Ensign. “I think overall we played pretty well to the fact that we’re missing two of our good players,”
But hey, with this confidence of knowing that being a sixth-place team at State last year and being able to compete well with the second-best team in the State from that same year without two of your top players, it’s something to build from as they polish off the edges.
And with a few more games left in the summer season, it’ll be a great tool to help end the summer off strongly as they remember to play as a team.
“Play as a team and just enjoy it the whole time,” said Kinniburgh.