By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Woodburn and North Marion Boys Basketball gave their fan-bases a lot to cheer about in 95-82 Huskies win from the opening tip.
In their rematch of their season opener just a few weeks ago, 77 first half points were featured in the opening half with both teams neck-and-neck laying it all out for the bragging rights of winning the Abby’s Holiday Tournament with the Huskies leading the game 39-38 at the halftime break.
Just before the first half ended however, with the Huskies leading 35-27 on the Bulldogs, Woodburn went Bulldog-like and charged back into the game with an 11-4 run that made things interesting entering the halftime break.
“They’re a good team, hard team to play. I know when we’re at our best we’re pretty good so we came out knowing that we’re going to play our best,” said Jimenez, who had 12 points in the first half. “We went toe-to-toe, even though we were only up by one at halftime we just knew we just had to play together and kept punching.”
But as Woodburn got it close, Sergio Jimenez went off as the second half started. The junior scored 11 of North Marion’s first 13 points with Nic Iliyn having the other two as the Huskies built a 63-45 lead after Grant Henry’s three-pointer with 3:43 left in the third.
The lead pushed towards 20 before Woodburn chipped it to 69-56 before Iliyn got North Marion back up 71-56 after three.
Ryan Stebner opened the quarter with an And-One to get the Bulldogs back to 12. Jimenez hits a three. Jeovanny Marroquin got the lay-in but not the And-one as Jimenez pushes the lead to 14.
6:34 left the Huskies led 75-61 as Woodburn calls time.
Reese Miller lays it in after the timeout and Marroquin got it to 10 with 6 to go. Diego Torres got the deficit down to eight with 5:42 left. The score was now 75-67 in favor of the Huskies.
It was a good learning experience for the Bulldogs faced with their first defeat of the season.
“We just kept fighting and fighting, just trying to get to the lead,” said Torres, who had 10 points in the game. “It first starts on defense. We got to get back to the basics, know help-side, make sure we close out on our rotations and everything. But I think we’ll learn very well from this. Our unit just needs to come together from this and get it done.”
Jimenez bumped it up to 77-67. Jimenez would end up scoring 28 points in the second half, 14 in each the third and the fourth quarters.
For a minute each side fought for the after numerous Woodburn shots, Jared Hauser got a rebound that was pushed to the ball up-court that transitioned into a Jimenez lay-in.
Veliz got his squad back to ten twice with two three-pointers as the senior Bulldog finished with 34 points and had two cracks at getting it into the single-digits but had no luck to it.
“Well coach said that we need to get up court because they we needed to challenge them more. They had it easy the first half and we kept fighting and fighting,” said Torres. “But it was challenging because they went 90-percent from the three-point line, which is really rare. But props to them, they made good shots.
“We just kept fighting and fighting, just trying to get to the win.”
With the win, North Marion enters the Surf-N-Slam tournament in San Diego, California after Christmas on a two-game winning streak, and confidence is high as they open against Scripps Ranch (CA) on Thursday morning.
“We’re going to use this as a fire and we’re going to keep going hard at practice. Stay together, we’re going to try to do this to every team now,” said Jimenez, who finished with 40 points in the win.
Marroquin finished with 11 points and Stebner added another nine in the game for Woodburn. Grffin Henry finished with 16 points, Brady Hansen (11) and Johnny Page (10) finished in double-figures for the Huskies Saturday night.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald