By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– North Marion came out strong against Valley Catholic to start the EOT Les Schwab NW Summer Championship at Oregon City High School Friday morning as the Lady Huskies built a 23-12 lead by the halftime break over the Valiants.
“We came into it knowing we’re going to put all of our energy in the court, so I felt like we had the higher energy entering halftime,” said Raymee Boese on the first half.
Entering the second half however, Valley Catholic stepped up their game as they challenged the Huskies with a press defense, sometimes looking like a trap defense as well as the Valiants turned turnovers, rebounds and a shot-clock violation into points on the offensive side of the ball in the opening minutes of the second half.
About five minutes into the 16-minute half, the 11-point North Marion lead was now down to two thanks to a 11-2 run by Valley Catholic to get back into the game with the scoreboard reading the Huskies up 25-23 now with momentum swinging towards the Valiants with time for them to do further damage.
“It was pretty hard, I kind of zoned out and forgot about the 30-second shot clock,” said Boese as the shot-clock is not in Oregon Basketball as it is with other programs from other states that are in the tournament field this weekend. “But after we got called on it twice, I think we started to pick up on it and got our passes quicker to tire them out. That’s how we got quick points.”
Over the next six minutes or so, starting with Mar Verastegui’s free throws to put the Huskies up 27-23, North Marion began to slowly rebuild a sizable lead.
Paige Martin pushed them over double-figures once more with a basket as Mya Hammack and Kaitlyn Cobb scored down the stretch to help seal a 48-35 victory as they await their opponent for Saturday’s 2:15 match-up as Friday morning’s game served as a good challenge for the rest of the summer season going into the winter season itself.
“I think, compare to everyone else we’ve been playing, they were good competition to get us ready for the season because we’ve started a little slowly but I think the game has helped pushed us like, ‘This is where we have to be playing at’,” said Cobb.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald