By Jeremy McDonald
PALO ALTO, Calif.– Through a few minor hiccups in the first half against a Arroyo Grande squad that has been in the second round of the CIF Division-3AA Southern Section Playoffs the past two years and were 10-4 on the year, the Huskies held a 26-24 lead entering the second half.
Kaiya Ellison led the offensive charge for the Eagles behind her range from deep while Mya Hammack led the way for the Huskies with 14 first half points.
The game, like it did the night before for North Marion, came down to who had that one decisive run at the right time. And in this one, it came in the third quarter.
But for Arroyo Grande as the Eagles took advantage of cold shooting by the Huskies in the third quarter to make the two-point game into a 41-30 lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter thanks to a 17-4 quarter run.
“I mean honestly we did it to ourselves. Our defense was good, but unfortunately there’s nights where you can’t shoot and the only one that can shoot was Mya,” said Mar Verastegui.
Hammack was fouled at the third quarter buzzer and her two free throws got North Marion back to within nine entering the fourth as she finished with 21 points in the game. But though they got it to single-digits there and once during the fourth quarter, the Huskies couldn’t string enough shots with their strong defense to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, falling 56-45 in the Championship Bracket Semi-Final round.
“We can use this game as a learning experience. You’re not always going to win, you can learn from the mistakes and learn how to be resilient when your not shooting well,” said Verastegui. “Doing other things that are going to get us back into the game.”
The Huskies will battle in the third-place game Saturday at 3pm versus Sacred Heart Prep at Eastside College Prep.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald