By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– The ball was in their court on how they wanted to rebound from their first loss in nearly a month Monday night against Corbett.
A win would all but guarantee a one-game Tri-Valley Conference playoff with the team that snapped their eight-game winning streak in Gladstone in Molalla Tuesday night before the OSAA 4A Ranking Freeze that night. The one-game playoff will decide who will get the number-one seed out of the conference.
The Huskies did just that, pulling away from the Cardinals 78-54 to uphold their end of the bargain. The Gladiators did on their part in their 75-58 win over Molalla Monday night.
The victory that overlooked Senior Night for North Marion, didn’t see the Huskies separate themselves from Corbett until the last little bit of the third quarter into the fourth quarter. Playing without David Page, who missed Monday’s Senior Night game healing up for Tuesday’s match-up, Johnny Page was looked to in carrying the rebounding load for the Huskies. The Senior saw his teammates step up with the void left by Page’s twin in David in alleviating the pressure on Johnny for the most part.
“It’s great. When one of us is down, we always got guys who step up and play good,” said Johnny Page.
Page finished with six points in the win, but the little hiccups leading into the last four minutes of the third quarter had kept the Cards within eight-to-twelve points after North Marion used a 18-0 run to take a 18-7 lead into the second quarter.
Their mentality was the main culprit in the game, knowing that they need to sharpen it up moving for outside of just Gladstone Tuesday night at the neutral site.
“We got to stay sharper. In the first quarter we held it down pretty good,” said Sergio Jimenez. “In the second quarter we allowed 22 points, that’s something we can’t do against a team like that. We just need to be ready, we need to stay mentally focused…from here on we’re playing the best teams in the State Playoffs and we need to stop those.”
Jimenez was on fire in the win with 31 points. Corbett’s Joe Fundak finished with 22 points after each Fundak and Jimenez scored 16 points each in the opening half as the Cardinals finish the regular season 10-12 and 4-6 in the TVC.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald