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North Marion girls knock off two top-seeded teams in quarterfinal tournament en route to third-place finish

PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion senior Hannah Kinniburgh takes a moment to talk with head coach Trevor Bodine during a stoppage in play in the Huskies' 41-39 loss to Cascade on Friday. Kinniburgh led the Huskies in the playoffs with 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 3-pointers and 1.7 steals per game.

North Marion 65, Banks 57

The Huskies' final game of the 2018 OSAA 4A Girls Basketball State Championship tournament was arguably their best showing. The Huskies survived a 37-point outing from All-State guard Aspen Slifka by outshooting the rest of the Braves and pulling away down the stretch to win by eight.

"I told Hannah the day before that she's yours," Bodine said. "I figured a little bit extra height and a little bit extra length would give her fits, and she still scored 37. She's a good player. We're not going to stop everybody."

While Slifka was lighting up the gym, North Marion held her teammates silent, forcing the rest of the Braves into hitting just 5-of-27 field goals.

After going down 9-4 after the first three minutes of play, the Huskies responded by going on a 16-3 run over the remainder of the quarter to take the lead for good and head into the second period up 20-12. North Marion extended its lead to double digits in the second, taking its biggest lead at 36-20 on a 3-pointer from Kinniburgh with less than three minutes remaining in the half before the Braves finished the period with five straight points.

But Banks was not done yet. Slifka came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 15 consecutive points to cut the Huskies lead to four points. North Marion's lead shrank to 51-48 midway through the fourth quarter, but the Huskies were able to withstand the rally by sinking 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch pull away for the win.

"Everybody just played really, really well on Saturday," Bodine said. "My (starters) were steady and my role players were outstanding. It was really nice to see a balanced attack and pretty good defense."

Kinniburgh finished the game with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three 3-pointers.

Umbenhower and Hammack also scored in double figures, with 13 and 10 points, respectively, and combined to go 14-of-15 from the free throw stripe.

Sophomore Katie Ensign came off the bench to post six points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

Cascade 41, North Marion 39

After a back-and-forth game that featured four lead changes and eight ties, the North Marion Huskies' state championship bid was snatched by the Cascade Cougars in the final minutes of Friday's semifinal at Forest Grove High School.

The Huskies were in the driver's seat after taking a 39-37 lead on a jumper from Hammack with 2:28 left in the game. North Marion responded by successfully defending the Cougars' following possession, taking a timeout with two minutes remaining.

Cascade made up for it when Kirstin Cade stole a pass from Umbenhower and passed it ahead to Halle Wright for the layup with 1:46 left to tie the game. North Marion turned the ball over on their next possession, and the Cougars were content to use all 90 seconds left to create the shot they wanted.

After back-to-back 30-second timeouts, Cascade found its opening when the Huskies double-teamed Wright at the top of the key, who found teammate Kelsey Molan for a wide-open layup to go up 41-39 with 27 seconds left in the game.

"My two guards got caught on a switch," Bodine said. "We've worked on that play. My girls just got caught up in the moment, didn't pay attention and they got free when they weren't supposed to."

The Huskies had less than 30 seconds and two timeouts to tie or win the game, but the Cougars successfully kept them from creating a good shot, forcing Hammack to hoist a contested 3-pointer with five seconds left that missed the mark.

"Credit to Cascade – they did what they were supposed to do," Bodine said. "They got a steal and they did exactly as they were coached to do. They made one more play than we did."

Junior Mar Verastegui led the team with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Kinniburgh had seven points and seven rebounds and Hammack led with a game-high five assists.

North Marion 40, Hidden Valley 26

The Huskies opened the tournament with the biggest upset of the tournament, holding the second-seeded Mustangs to just 17 points through the first three quarters on Thursday at Pacific University.

After falling behind 3-1 in the opening minutes against the Mustangs, North Marion responded with five consecutive field goals — four of which came from 3-point range — to take a 17-6 lead after the first quarter.

The Huskies extended their lead to 25-8 midway through the second quarter, forcing Hidden Valley into committing 14 turnovers that North Marion converted into 13 points.

"They took a standing eight count and didn't really recover," Bodine said.

While the two teams played more evenly in the second half, the Mustangs were never able to find any offensive rhythm, shooting just 9-of-42 from the field and 4-of-18 from 3-point range to go along with 24 turnovers.

"We've been there for sure," Bodine said. "You just have games like that. It's unfortunate timing."

Umbenhower had 11 points, four steals and six rebounds in the win, while Hammack added four steals and four assists. Kinniburgh hit on 3-of-4 3-pointers, putting up 11 points and six rebounds.

Phil Hawkins can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Giant Killers

The North Marion Huskies took down four top-10 teams in the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs.

Feb. 20, 2018 —North Marion 54, No. 3 Cascade 52

March 2, 2018 —North Marion 47, No. 8 Junction City 21

March 8, 2018 — North Marion 40, No. 2 Hidden Valley 40

March 10, 2018 —North Marion 65, No. 5 Banks 57

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