Boys basketball: No. 7 North Marion beat Junction City 56-55 on final shot
After trailing by nine points late in the third quarter, No. 7 North Marion (7-5) rallied to beat the visiting Junction City Tigers in the final seconds on Thursday night.
The two teams entered the third quarter with the Huskies trailing 30-29, but the Tigers (8-5) scored the first eight points of the second half to take their largest lead of the game, 38-29.
The Huskies responded with a late run to match, outscoring the Tigers 13-5 to pull within 46-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
Junction City kept North Marion at arms length for most of the final eight minutes before the Huskies pulled ahead on their final possession.
Down 55-53 with seven seconds left in the game, sophomore Sergio Jimenez took an inbounds pass from halfcourt and drove to the right side of the paint, where he hesitated to draw a defender in the air, then pivoted and went inside for a layup.
Jimenez was fouled on the attempt, which went in to tie the game at 55-55 with 2.3 seconds left.
The Huskies had battled inconsistency at the foul line all game, hitting just 5-of-12 free throws before Jimenez's final shot, but the sophomore coolly sank his attempt to put the Huskies ahead.
On the ensuing inbound play from Junction City, North Marion's pressure forced the Tigers to inbound the ball under their basket, preventing any kind of shot attempt to win the game.
Jimenez finished the game with 12 points. Junior Grant Henry led North Marion with 18, including three 3-pointers. Henry led a 20-point barrage in the second quarter when the Huskies rallied from a 17-9 deficit in the first period to get within one point going into halftime.
Earlier in the week, North Marion fell 66-46 to 5A South Albany (7-3) on Jan. 2.
The Huskies finish their non-conference slate this week against Molalla (2-8) and No. 6 Seaside (9-2).