By Jeremy McDonald
FOREST GROVE, Ore.– To get to the Final Site is hard enough, winning a State Game even harder.
But to get there back-to-back years as Stayton has, that’s still as amazing as making it one in a High School career to mix in with the Oregon West Conference-title that they received this year with Philomath to boot.
“It’s really great, we also got a league Title…I couldn’t ask for a better two years,” said Marri Martinez, “We did what we did unfortunately we fell short, but this whole year we gained a lot of family.”
Their Friday morning breakfast game probably wasn’t the way they were envisioning how this season would end up, a 42-35 defeat to a third-ranked Banks squad in the consolation semifinals, but for those returning it is a fire to bounce back even though they are losing seven quality seniors from their 20-6 team this year.
There is a standard set now to compete for an Elite 8 appearance every year that now future Stayton teams to strive for to get back to Forest Grove the next year and year after that.
“It’s going to be tough either way because it’s going to be our last game, but we really pushed ourselves at the end to really comeback and fight back,” said Holly McGill. “We were held to a really high standards. There’s going to be big shoes to fill (next year).
“Marri, Alli (Nyquist), Biz (Alyssa Smart) and they’re just going to have to work hard for it.”
It’s been a slow progress to this point over their four years, and yes this Senior Class knows the impact they are leaving behind, now it’s up to those below them to continue where they are leaving off.
“They can keep it up. They just got to work hard, we put in time after time in Summer Ball. We stayed after practices, we just really cared. We have one family, we have one job, we left our impact and they know what they’re going to do next,” said Martinez.
Martinez finished with eight points and nine rebounds, Alli Nyquist added 11 points and three steals, McGill had four points in her final game.
KJ Nyquist, who is a junior this season, had six points and seven boards to close out her junior season. Genevieve Frith, too a junior and returning next season, added four points and three boards as they’ll take over the program in 2020.