By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– It was just a few months ago that Paige Martin was hanging up her sneakers for the season as she went under-the-knife for facial surgery in December of 2017, a few games into her junior season. As she healed up from surgery, North Marion went out without one of their big post girls as the squad finished third in 4A in 2018.
Fast forward to June 2, 2018 and cleared to go, the soon-to-be-senior was back on the court and ready to play for the Lady Huskies again.
It took Martin until the second half of their first Summer Basketball game against South Salem to get comfortable again, but when she did she looked good. Fighting for rebounds with Raymee Boese as the Twin Towers look to be finding a groove together as they entered the second game versus Hidden Valley as the Lady Huskie squad were knocking off the rust from the Spring Break after their third-place finish at State this past season.
“I thought I was going to be rusty and everything, but once I started playing it was kind of easy to get back into my groove, I’m glad to be back,” said Martin.
“We just weren’t in it, but coach said he wanted us to show effort and we put that in and we put that in towards the end and we were able to stay in the game, go into Overtime. Then we were able to get that last shot off to get the win,” adds Verastegui.
Mya Hammack tied the game up with ‘And-One’ to force overtime versus the Indians as Martin tied the game with a hard fought lay-in during the overtime period. Strong defense set up Mar Verastegui game-winning three-pointer at the Overtime buzzer to hand North Marion their first win of the Summer Season.
“That was fun, that was what I enjoyed most about it is being able to do that,” Martin added about helping out down the stretch.
But, they had one last tough challenge to close out the day:
Fatigue seemed to have settled in for both teams as both sides tipped off after 9pm, yet they battled through it as the game was close to the end with the Lady Crusaders leading by three in the closing seconds.
The Huskies had their changes to force overtime yet again with the ball in the final seconds of the game as they got two or three shots off, but none fell as Salem Academy got one of the loose balls both sides were scrambling for as the Crusaders let the clock run out on the game.
Knowing it was just mental, North Marion will come back out Sunday looking to rebound to close out the first weekend of the Summer Basketball season.
“It could’ve been a lot better game, we were just kind of not in it. Our passes could have been better, we could have had smarter decisions and overall play we could’ve played a little bit better with more effort,” said Verastegui. “So we just got to have that mentality that we have to go hard on every minute of the game.”
The Lady Huskies have games at 9am (St. Paul), 11am (Kennedy) and 3pm (Faith Bible).
Photos By Jeremy McDonald