By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Both North Marion and Yamhill-Carlton entered their Oregon West Conference match-up with opposite beginnings to the OWC-league season.
The Lady Huskies opened with a sound 52-30 victory over Newport whereas the Lady Tigers found themselves coming off a tough loss to Cascade 61-32 to start league.
North Marion came out slow and Yamhill-Carlton capitalized on the slow start and miscues by building a 23-17 lead by halftime led by Sadie Horne and Megan Gaibler. Horne scored eight of her 23 points in the first half before taking off in the second half as Gaibler added another seven in the opening 16 minutes.
But, one thing the Lady Huskies know how to do is to not to throw in the towel and they used their frustration as fuel and channeled in their home crowd as they slowly began to chip away at the lead, cutting it to 33-32 before Yamhill-Carlton pushed it to a 35-32 lead by quarters end.
“What personally helped me was the crowd,” said North Marion’s Raymee Boese. “Even though I didn’t do anything when the crowd pumped us up, that pumped everyone up. That’s what I felt like we got our mojo back into gear and that’s when we started to focus on, ‘ok we’re down, what can we do? Let’s play’.”121
The physicality that the Tigers brought in the second half caused the Lady Huskies to adjust and slowly were finding some sense of a groove, but whenever they got it down to a point, Yamhill-Carlton threw a monkey-wrench in and capitalized by pushing the lead back out a few more points.
For a Tigers team who were looking for their 11th win of the season, which would match their win total of their last four years before this year combined, were keeping their nerves in-tact as Horne pushed the lead to 42-36 with about a minute left in the game by going one-for-two from the free throw line.
“You just got to have your nerves in-tact and be ready for whatever is next you know?” said Horne on the game as the Huskies took over on offense.
Ally Umbenhower converted an ‘And-one’ opportunity to cut the lead in half with 40.8 left in the game as the senior guard finished with nine points, Boese scored two of her nine with 11.8 left in the game to bring North Marion to one, 42-41.
With their crowd behind them chanting, ‘Let’s go Huskies!’ and the Yamhill-Carlton fans supporting their crew, the North Marion defense caused the Lady Tigers to go out-of-bounds twice with their defense while Yamhill-Carlton forced a jump-ball on defense to get the ball back.
But during the scramble and aggressiveness, no points nor fouls were called as the Lady Huskies found themselves with the ball with 4.4 seconds left in the game.
After Head Coach Trevor Bodine using two timeouts to prevent a turnover off a five-second call, North Marion inbounded the ball hoping for the game winner as Mya Hammack, who led the Huskies with 12 points took the ball up court.
Hammack saw Umbenhower open on the opposite side of the court open through the arms of the Tiger defender on her and had to throw a awkward pass around the YC defender to Umbenhower on the run for a catch-and-shoot opportunity with the clock at two seconds left in the game.
But, the ball got away from Umbenhower after she tried to bring it in as time expired on the 42-41 game Friday night.
On one side of the court, the Tigers celebrated as they picked up their first win against North Marion since the two-teams have been in the current-OWC format and picking up their first OWC win of the season with now the preparation and focus is now on for Stayton on Tuesday night.
“What we can learned from this game motivates us to the other games, we know what’s coming. We have a gameplan for every game,” said Horne, who finished with a team-high 23 points.. “That loss (to Cascade) just made us want to fight harder, that’s it. We wanted it.”
Gaibler finished with seven, Reilly Southard and Taylor Reimann both had four points each in the game.
On the other, faced with a tough defeat, the Lady Huskies, who find themselves in a four-way tie for second with Yamhill-Carlton, the Lady Eagles and Newport in league at 1-1 and have the Lady Warriors next on Tuesday, will look to bounce back following the defeat.
“To not let the competition judge who we are,” said Boese. “We have to judge ourselves and what we’re capable of.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald