By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– If anything, Thursday’s win over Corbett was certainly a statement what they lack in size they have in heart.
In other words: Don’t judge the size of the dog, but the fight in it.
Led by Sergio Jimenez, Jared Hauser and other influences from Bryce Lemon, Trevor Ensign, the Henry twins and company, the North Marion Boys Basketball team turned the momentum of the Cardinals into their own when they turned a 19-11 deficit into a 31-26 lead by halftime.
The job wasn’t over yet as Corbett, who have been on the up-and-up as a program, stormed back and used a buzzer-beating three to take a 40-39 lead entering the fourth quarter; a 14-8 quarter advantage.
However, as the Huskies too showed in this game, they aren’t going down without a fight as they walked out for the final eight minutes.
“Our mindset was to keep the mindset up, like we did in the past few quarters and we just wanted to get the ball in the bucket and stop this team from scoring,” described Jimenez as they walked out to the court for the fourth quarter. 15
For the first 3:20 of the quarter it was seeing which defense can get a double-double first in steals and rebounds on both ends of the court until Griffin Henry drained a three to get the scoring going with 4:40 left in the third that gave North Marion a 42-40 lead.
Lemon made it a 43-40 led a tad bit later on the first free-throw attempt, the second one missed by Jimenez got the rebound and put back to make it 45-40 before Griffin Henry got a steal that led to another Jimenez basket to make it 47-40 with 3:45 to go.
A 8-0 run in 55 seconds as the Henry twins made it a 11 point game 51-40 before Corbett chipped away at the lead, eventually getting it to 54-46 with 1:07 left in the game when Jimenez walked to the line with Head Coach Tully Wagner yelling ‘defensive goal’ to the team on the court.
“When I shot the free throws all I was thinking about was going up, sinking those two and our defensive goal was to get 15 turnovers as a team and I think we succeeded with that one,” said Jimenez who added 17 points offensively himself on Thursday.
The defense, the mindset of the Huskies of this game was getting after that trophy and protecting the house described Jimenez as they know the hot-hand of Banks on Friday will challenge them with physicality, with their height and their shooting ability in the hopes to ruin the Huskies dream of bringing home that Abby’s Pizza Holiday Classic first-place trophy on Saturday afternoon in front of the home crowd.
“We’re just a bunch of tough players out here, we just want this win,” said Jimenez. “This is our tournament so we got to go home and get it, we really just wanted this win.”
“It’s something that we worked for, we kept our intensity up and just to fight through these tough battles and it was just really a team effort. We’re all in it together, we all knew we could win and we just went out there and we did it. So it was a real emotional win and it was nice.” adds Ensign. “We just got to ride this high and know what we can do and trust in ourselves. Banks is a good team but I think we can come out and play and put up a good fight.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald