By Jeremy McDonald
FOREST GROVE, Ore.– The trilogy didn’t disappoint between Banks and North Marion Saturday morning.
The atmosphere felt like the third-fifth place matchup again, and there was a feeling that the circumstances should have been different than the fourth-sixth place game they were in.
Coming off tough Day 1 losses, the Huskies were coming off of a tough win versus Marshfield and the Lady Braves off a win over Stayton.
Banks took advantage of North Marion’s slow start as they built a 24-19 halftime lead, turning missed opportunities at the line and rebounds off missed shots into points on their offensive end.
Banks was in their fifth-straight trophy game in the past six years, North Marion in their third-straight under third-year coach in Bodine.
For Bodine, he brought dominance to the Girls Program for the Huskies and helped change the culture at the school, something that Senior Raymee Boese was grateful for.
“It’s been amazing, Trevor is the best coach I’ve ever had. He’s taught me so much,” said Boese. “He taught me how to be more aggressive, he taught me to be aware of my surroundings in the game better than I already did. The fact that he stepped in my sophomore year and took us to State all three-years of my High School experience, it was really important. I’m thankful to have him.”
Boese led the defense with 20 rebounds and held 11 of North Marion’s 23 second half rebounds as the Huskie defense in general tamed Aspen Slifka to 2-of-18 shooting from the field in the game. Gracie Nelson stepped up as the Banks senior scored 13 points in the 48-38 loss Saturday afternoon.
By the end of the third quarter Slifka, who went 11-for-18 at the free throw line, went 1-for-2 at the line to hand the Braves a 32-31 lead entering the fourth. North Marion’s defense held Banks to their lowest point total of the game of six in part of a 17-6 quarter to help turn the momentum firmly into their favor.
The Huskies defense held the Braves offense to 11.5-percent shooting after Banks shot 30.4-percent in the first half.
“We came out as strong as we could have, the second half was a little rough. I think we stayed together , always encouraging each other all the way. That’s what it means to be a team,” said Slifka.
Hammack and Ensign went for 15 and 14 respectively as they take over the program as leaders entering next season, knowing the big shoes they’ll have to fill from this season’s team as they hope to make it 4-for-4 next year in State Appearances.
“Trevor was actually talking to us about that, pretty much we need to put in the work in the off-season,” said Hammack. “We need to have the people who probably aren’t starting step it up and keep getting their shots up and hopefully fill those shoes. Hopefully working in the off-season will fill those roles.”
For the Lady Braves, they were a relatively young team in age, but showcased that talent that Banks has been known for the past few years with their five seniors showing them how they’re supposed to do it in the program.
“We all really stepped up as leaders this year we’ve had a really young team, so helping out the underclassmen getting them on the same page,” said Slifka. “It’s all really fun, we’re all best of friends on-and-off the court, it’s fun to see.”