North Marion Finishes 3rd In All Of 4A

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

FOREST GROVE, Ore.–  For Hannah Kinniburgh, and perhaps the rest of the North Marion Lady Huskie Seniors, it didn’t hit them that this was their last game ever in a North Marion basketball jersey as they warmed up for their third–fifth place game versus Banks Saturday afternoon.

“Honestly, it didn’t hit me that this was my last game, it was just kinda like, ‘hey this is a important game, let’s go out there’,” starts Kinniburgh.  “And then we all started to realize like, ‘wow, this is our last game’ and we just used that and we knew we wanted to give us something good.
“We knew people were overlooking us, they are ranked higher but we didn’t let that happen with Hidden Valley.  We haven’t let that happen before, we fight.  We know what we need to do and I hope the girls from next year take this in and be grateful they got third and use this as ‘We got third, we want something better’ and they get something better.”
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Katie Ensign (12) waiting on a free throw as the sophomore is one of the few players returning from this year’s team next year (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
Like they did versus the Mustangs the first night, Cascade night two, the Lady Huskies came out swinging for the fences and built a 36-25 halftime lead.  But they knew that Aspen Slifka can take over a game like she did in the second half as the Lady Braves began to fight back and got the game to 51-48 late in the fourth quarter.
“They have heart, we knew they weren’t just going to roll over on us Slifka’s a great player,” said Ally Umbenhower.  “But they tried to comeback but we kept on doing what we had to do, we made our stops and we just kept playing with heart.”
Umbenhower’s mom, Niki, was a sophomore in 1984 the last time that the girls program at North Marion got this far in the state tournament as the younger Umbenhower and her team slowly began to shut the door on Banks and slowly pulled away for the win.
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Emily Lucas (30) looking on as the senior came in during the final minute of the game (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
In the final minute, Emily Lucas, one of the seniors who played Junior Varsity, was put in the game as she got to experienced the State Environment before the games end.
“Oh it was awesome to be apart of this and to be able to experience this,” Lucas said with a smile.

During this time as well, Kinniburgh and Umbenhower both were subbed out to a loud ovation from the crowd as they hugged their Head Coach Trevor Bodine and made their way to the bench one last time in their High School careers.
“It’s a bittersweet moment knowing that was my last game of my high school career and to be playing with Hannah and Lindy since I was like six years old, it hurt but it was so great to be out there,” said Umbenhower on the moment.
During the last four minutes of the game as well, the underclassmen:  Mar Verastegui, Mya Hammack, Katie Ensign, Raymee Boese, all contributed big in the win to help send their seniors off with a ‘W’ one last time.
“The girls that got to come up with us and got to play, they got to experience it and that’s what fed us last year,” said Kinniburgh who finished with 17 points and three rebounds in the game.  “Like, ‘oh we got to taste at it, we don’t want to lose that’, so with all the support and love that  Trevor gives us.  All the coaching he gives for us, this is like our thank you to him making it as far as we can for everything’s he done for us and always pushing us to be each and every game,
“He never doubts us and that’s what the program thrives on, the support from Trevor and all the girls.  We’ve seen where we can go and we don’t doubt ourselves anymore.  We know what we’re worth.”
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Ally Umbenhower (2) flashing three fingers on each hand in excitement of finishing third at State (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
When the clock hit zero’s, the scoreboard read:  North Marion 65, Banks 57.  The Lady Huskies finish third in the State of Oregon.
For Wing, who was on the court when the buzzer rang as she finished her high school career with two points, five rebounds and two assist, to finish third is an amazing feeling to end her high school career as she saw the progression of the program going from Field of 16 her sophomore year to now.
“It’s an amazing feeling, I mean we fell a little short of our actual goal was but it was third-place and it’s a awesome feeling,” said Wing. “I’m sad it’s my last year, but it feels good.”
As Wing, Umbenhower and Kinniburgh accepted the third place trophy for their team, the new standard has been set for next season as the underclassmen now take over the program from the seniors.
Umbenhower finished with 13 points, three steals and three assist in the game.  Hammack had 10 points to go with four assist.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald
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