By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–Portland Christian proved that they could compete as they found themselves down two to North Marion after the first quarter in a then-22-20 game.
The Huskies though turned the then two-point lead of their’s into a 30-24 lead during the second quarter against the aggressive 3A squad thanks to a combined team effort in fighting for balls and looking for the open man for the cleanest shot possible
“It was just an effort at the start of the game, that first half was all just effort as a team,” said Ensign who finished with 16 point”Every one fought, everyone was 100-percent the whole time pretty much.”
The Royals however answered the bell entering the second half getting ot down to three entering the third and turned a six-point deficit to a 61-60 lead with 36 seconds remaining in the game.
With Head Coach Tully Wagner calling their last timeout prior to Portland Christian taking the lead, the Portland Christian timeout after the go-ahead lay-in was kind of a blessing in disguise
“We knew we had to stay relaxed,” said Sergio Jimenez, who had a team-high 18 points on the timeout huddle before taking the ball over coming out of the timeout. “We all stayed calm.”
They walked out and play resumed as they advance past half-court.
As they rotate the ball around and around looking for a shot, milking the clock at the same time saving for the last shot as time hit a few seconds left when Grant Henry drained the go-ahead three with three seconds left of the game to put North Marion up 63-61.
“It was a play set up for Grant (Henry), they were pressuring me over there with the ball so I tried to get the ball to Trevor (Ensign),” starts Jimenez.
“No one was going to force a shot, no one on our team is like that and so I passed it out to Andy (Schmitz), he passed it to Grant and he got his look and luckily it fell,” smiled Ensign.
Ensign described that a win like this is a credit to their unselfishness and their good mentality and Jimenez seconded that as they prepare for Catlin Gabel Friday evening at 5pm for the second day of the Crusader New Year’s Invitational at Blanchet Catholic.
“It’s a big win for us we had to stay tough, stay calm and don’t pressure ourselves,” said Jimenez. “We knew we could get this win and we got it.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald