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North Marion girls rebound with 31-24 victory over Seaside in final non-league game

PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion sophomore Mya Hammack struggles to find an open teammate against Banks smothering defense in the second half of the Huskies 50-31 loss to No. 2 Banks last week. The No. 3 North Marion girls basketball team was looking to build off its victory over No. 1 Marshfield the week before, only to be taken out by another state title contender on Jan. 8, losing 50-31 to the No. 2 Banks Braves.

North Marion (9-5) had its momentum from the previous week cut short by a hot-handed Braves team that had won four straight heading into its non-league match against the Huskies.

Both teams got off to hot starts in the first quarter, only to be bogged down defensively in the second eight minutes of play. Banks shot out to 21 first-quarter points thanks to All-State senior Aspen Slifka, who scored 10 points.

She was nearly matched by North Marion junior Katie Ensign who was 4-of-4 from the field, scoring eight of her own to help keep the Huskies within a 21-14.

PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion sophomore Mya Hammack lofts a 3-point attempt in the Huskies 50-31 loss to No. 2 Banks last week. Hammack finished the game with six points.Neither team could find a rhythm in the second quarter. North Marion was 2-of-13 from the field, but held Banks to just two points as the Huskies trailed 23-18 heading into halftime.

But the Braves pulled out of their slump in the third quarter. Senior post Gracie Nelson scored eight points while the Huskies continued to struggle offensively, falling behind 36-25.

The woes continued into the fourth quarter where Banks outscored North Marion 14-6 to pull out the double-digit victory.

Ensign led the Huskies with 10 points in the loss, while senior guard Mar Verastegui added eight points. Sophomore Mya Hammack scored six in the loss.

North Marion responded three nights later with its best defensive game of the season, holding the visiting Seaside Seagulls to a season-low in a 31-24 victory on Friday night.

The victory concluded North Marion's non-conference schedule for the season. The Huskies open league play against the Tri-Valley Conference this week with a trip to Molalla (8-6) on Wednesday, followed by a home game at Madras (8-5) on Friday.

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