By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– For the last-time this season, the North Marion Girls Basketball team had the honor to play at home one last time this season when they hosted South Umpqua High School in which winner moves-on to the Field of 16 this upcoming week.
For seniors like Lindy Wing, it was a bittersweet moment when they lined up for the opening tip.
“Our last couple of games we’ve finished super strong so so they’re all good games for all the seniors, but it is super…it’s really sad that I have to go but I’m really excited to see what the upcoming girls have to offer and it’s definitely bittersweet but I’m glad to see what the future holds,” said Lindy Wing.
But for her and the rest of her teammates, they left no doubt when they jumped out to a 20-7 first quarter lead on the Lady Loggers from the Roseburg-area.
“Our coach always tells us to come out super strong and the first couple of minutes are really important. So for us to come out strong and to start the tempo, it’s a great feeling because when everyone’s taking their shots and everyone’s playing defense and playing as a team it’s just…the game’s fine you know?,” said Wing on the hot start.
Fouls and turnovers slow the Lady Huskies offense down a tad in the second quarter as they found themselves up 18 after two before the offense regained it’s composure in the second half as they continue to increase the distance between themselves and South Umpqua as North Marion took the game 60-23.
It was the eighth-time this season that the Lady Huskies scored at least 60 points in a game while their 23 points allowed is the third-time they’ve permitted a team to score less than 30 in a game and was two-points shy of their season-low of 21 points against Seaside on January 12.
“It felt good, we’ve had a few rough games this season but it feels good just to bounce back and just to keep on the role that we’ve had since Cascade and we just hope to coming out strong,” said Mar Verastegui on the performance of the team Saturday.
And with North Marion bringing up a few girls from Junior Varsity and being able to go to their bench for the last few minutes of the game, the exposure of what’s to come Friday against Junction City and possibly beyond at Forest Grove could be beneficial if one of the starters goes down in foul trouble or something similar.
“I think it’s good that they gain experience and it’s really cool for them all go out because we need a deeper bench, it’s always good to have a deeper bench. So we’re just building that experience up in the younger girls and they got to learn not to play timid and just give it their best of the time they could get out there,” said Verastegui, who had eight points in the win. “I think they did good actually, they got quite a bit of rebounds. It’s hard to get to the basket in a game like that but they gave it their all and I’m pleased with how they played.”
With the Tigers Friday on the road, it won’t be the first meeting between the two as the Huskies defeated Junction City 49-29 on January 4 for one of their four losses on the season; and with that comes the mentality of going in like you haven’t played the team before because things could have changed in the month-and-a-half since their last meeting.
“We got to play them like we’ve never played them before,” said Wing who had two. “We just got to come out strong and set the tempo like we did today and play as a team and hopefully take the ‘W’.”
Ally Umbenhower led North Marion with 24 points as Hannah Kinniburgh and Raymee Boese both contributed eight points each in the game.