By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Entering their last game of the afternoon in the warm gym of North Marion High School, the Lady Saxons had probably their toughest challenge of the day versus the Lady Huskies of North Marion.
Having battled back from a 9-4 deficit, South Salem built a 40-35 lead on the Huskies before North Marion eventually tied it up at 41 with time in the running clock game down to its final minute after Paige Martin knotted the game up at the present score.
But the Saxons came down the court, and with five seconds remaining in the game, Victoria Stafford handed South Salem a 43-41 lead entering a timeout.
“It’s just been confident in myself that I’m a strong finisher. When a coach trust you like that you got do it,” said Stafford. “Oh it was for sure tiring after playing three games, two were back-to-back, but when it’s a good team you got to come out strong and just finish.”
North Marion came out of the timeout and heaved a pass down-court in hopes for a last second lay-in for a tie or a foul as a stretched out Mar Verastegui just barely missed the inbound pass as the soon-to-be-senior slipped out from the crowd down court.
And as the Saxons prepare for three more games Sunday, it comes down to the fundamentals in preparing for that as they wrap up the first weekend of the Summer Basketball Season.
“We just got to get some sleep and drink a lot of water, it’s very hot in here,” said Stafford cracking a smile as South Salem plays at 10am, noon and 1pm Sunday at North Marion.