But the Kingsmen drop a nail-biter to McMinnville

MILWAUKIE - As went Miranda Martine, so went the Rex Putnam Kingsmen girls basketball team on Dec. 21, as the Kingsmen dropped a 55-52 nailbiter to McMinnville.

The 5-10 junior point guard had a huge game, with 23 points, eight steals, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

But Martine fouled out with 3-1/2 minutes to play, and the Grizzlies rallied from a 5-point deficit to the 3-point victory.

'Miranda had a great night!' said Putnam coach Mike Pomerenke. 'All of the teams in the state are gunning for her. But she just slashes through and makes things happen. She's improved dramatically over last year. She's developed into one of the best guards in the state….

'Last year she had a total of 161 points on the season. Right now she's got 160 points. She's averaging over 20.'

Martine was 8-of-16 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the game with the Grizzles.

Martine wasn't the only Putnam player who played well in the loss. Senior guard Sami Parr had 10 assists; and sophomore post Sarah Wilson held her own with McMinnville's 6-3 post, hauling down 10 rebounds and rejecting three shots.

But except for Martine, the Kingsmen struggled to get their shots to drop, and the Grizzlies prevailed.

'We've still got a ways to go, but I'm encouraged,' said Pomerenke. 'We're averaging in the 60's, and it's been a long time since Putnam's had a team scoring like that.'

The Kingsmen took a step backwards last Thursday when they lost to Churchill, the seventh-ranked team in Class 5A, in a tournament at Summit High School in Bend.

Summit prevailed 62-55, but the score was tied at halftime.

'It's a game we should have won,' said Pomerenke. 'We let them dictate the tempo, and we had 20 turnovers.'

Parr played well for the Kingsmen in defeat, scoring 20 points and assisting on nine baskets.

Martine was double teamed and scored only 11 points. Wilson had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Putnam begins Three Rivers League play this Friday, when the Kingsmen play host to West Linn.

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