By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– For Makesha Bizon, her first year as the Head Coach of her alma mater was interesting to say the least. Preparing now for her second year in leading the North Marion Girls Basketball program this Winter.
“It was weird. It was definitely weird to come back and coach, but I mean it’s basketball and I love to coach and I love the kids,” said the 2008 Huskie-graduate.
The Huskies went 4-6 in Bizon’s first year coaching, winning three of their final four games after a 1-5 start to the year. With Jayden Sahlin and Megan Netter not returning for their senior seasons due to Volleyball commitments, Mallory Patzer and Ally Coulombe will be looked to as the leaders this year following the graduation of three seniors from their Spring squad.
“I’m super excited. Ally and I have just…there’s a lot of girls that came out this year that didn’t last year and just getting them used to coming in and with us with the experience we can help them,” Patzer said.
With North Marion’s recent history with guards leading the offense with Mar Verastegui , Mya Hammack and Ally Umbenhower, a new face will take over at the position this year. Laura Cabrero will step into the role of running the offense, a foreign exchange student from Barcelona, Spain and is excited to contribute for the Huskies this Winter.
“I’m so excited. I want to win,” laugh Cabrero.
Patzer was working with Cabrero during the start of Tuesday’s practice. Both are similar in height, about five-foot-ten or so, giving North Marion some extra needed height and skill on the court as they prepare for their first game of the season against Cascade.
For Patzer, she’s excited to see what their new point guard can do this season.
“I think we’re all super excited that Laura is with us. She’s helping with the comradery; she’s a super nice girl and she’s having fun with us. It’s really exciting to have her,” Patzer said.
“She’s going to be good for us,” adds Bizon of Cabrero.
Patzer points to the Spring as a transition year, going from Trevor Bodine’s system and expectations to Bizon’s system and expectations, but with some time in this new system, they’re ready to hit the ground running.
But it won’t be easy to start.
They start with the senior-heavy Cougars December 1 in Turner before hosting Marist on December 3 for their home opener. The Huskies will be on the road a lot between December 7 and January 14 with road trips to Woodburn, Stayton, the Oregon Episcopal Tournament, Banks and Seaside.
The lone home games will be the North Marion Tournament December 29 and 30 and Valley Catholic on January 7 before they start Tri-Valley Conference on January 18.
A good test nonetheless to see where they’re at as the season is on the horizon.
“We have a tough preseason. We got Seaside. We got Banks coming up. We’re traveling to Woodburn the first week in December, so we got a bunch of tough games to show us where we’re at and where we’ll need to improve on,” Bizon said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald