North Marion boys fall to third place in Oregon West Conference after loss to Stayton

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion's Sergio Jimenez goes to take a shot on the basket. It's been a bit of a bumpy road for the North Marion boys basketball team's foray into conference play this season. After starting out on a high not with back-to-back home victories over Newport and Yamhill-Carlton, the Huskies fell back to earth last week with a pair of league losses.

North Marion (9-9, 2-2 Oregon West) opened the week on the road, dropping a 74-68 game at No. 9 Philomath (9-7, 2-2) on Jan. 23. The Huskies were looking to rebound against Stayton on Friday, but the Eagles (9-9, 4-0) had other ideas, racing out to a double-digit lead early en route to a 58-46 victory at North Marion High School.

The Huskies were slow out of the gates against the Eagles, falling behind by nearly 20 points after Stayton went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter to take a 34-15 lead going into the locker rooms.

But North Marion wouldn't go away.

The Huskies held Stayton to just seven points in the third quarter and finally cut their deficit to single digits halfway through the fourth quarter.

North Marion twice got to within six points in the fourth, the first time off a steal that led to a pair of free throws by sophomore Sergio Jimenez, while the second came on a 3-pointer from Grant Henry with 90 seconds left in the game.

But each time, the Eagles responded with a 5-0 run to build their lead back up to double digits, putting North Marion away to stay perfect in league play through the first two weeks.

North Marion was led Henry, who knocked down four 3-pointers to pace the team with 14 points. Henry also pulled down five rebounds and had four steals in the loss.

Senior post Trevor Ensign was held to just two points in the first three quarters, but caught fire in the fourth quarter, connecting on five field goals to help bring the Huskies to within striking distance. Ensign finished the game with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Jimenez added eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss.

North Marion has now lost four of its past six games as the team heads into a three-game streak of road games. The Huskies will travel to Cascade (9-8, 1-3) on Wednesday before starting the second half of their league schedule on Friday at No. 4 Newport (11-7, 3-1).