Williamson caps victory over Ridgeview with free throw in final seconds

With six seconds remaining in Friday night’s home opener against Ridgeview, the Huskies were up 57-54 and Kyle Williamson was at the line shooting PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion senior Kyle Williamson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 39 seconds left against Ridgeview to help guide the Huskies to a home victory Friday night.

Needing to make just one free throw to all but seal the victory, the North?Marion senior clanked his first attempt off the front of the rim.

The second attempt hit nothing but net, giving Williamson a game-high 23 points and a satisfying victory.

The Ravens hit a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the Huskies were going home with a win that was in doubt just minutes earlier.

“I was confident in what he could do.?I depend on him a lot,” said North Marion coach Chris Parkinson. The Huskies had a poor day at the free throw line, hitting just 55 percent. “That was part of what was going through my mind. We hadn’t been very good.”

But the team made the one that counted most.

North Marion was down 47-44 with three minutes left after a 3-point barrage from Ridgeview in the third quarter left the Huskies scrambling to rally back.

Senior Ben Crumley started the comeback bid hitting 2-of-2 from the line, followed by a crucial block by Wampole to erase a Ridgeview layup.

The Ravens hit a free throw on their next by: PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion junior Joshua Umbenhower helped the Huskies with 12 points in North Marion's season-opening win at Woodburn High School Thursday night.possession, but Williamson tied the game at 48-48 after connecting on a mid-range jumper with 2:13 remaining in the game

The Ravens failed to hit on their next shot, and Williamson gathered the rebound to start a possession that ended in free throws for junior Joshua Umbenhower. He hit 1-of-2 to put North Marion up by a point, but Ridgeview scored to take the lead back.

The Huskies responded on a made basket by Crumley that was assisted by Kerry Cook, giving North Marion a 51-50 lead with 1:04 left to play. The Ravens went to the line on the following play and hit both free throws to take a 52-51 lead.

After a North Marion timeout, Williamson attempted a mid-range jumper from the right side, but missed short. The ball took a long bounce toward the top of the 3-point line, where Williamson was waiting.

He gathered the rebound in stride and launched a 3-pointer, which swished through the net to put the Huskies up 54-52 with 39 seconds left.

Williamson stole the ball on Ridgeview’s next possession and was fouled, hitting 1-of-2. The Ravens turned the ball over again, and Tristan Wampole scored a layup on the inbounds play with 16 seconds left to give North Marion a 57-52 lead.

A Ridgeview layup with seven seconds left led to Williamson’s critical free throw attempts to put the game away for good.

The game was scheduled to be North Marion’s season opener after the team’s game at Elmira on Dec. 6 was canceled.

The team was able to reschedule on the fly, however, and traveled to Woodburn Thursday to take on the Bulldogs.

Junior forward Kerry Cook led the way against Woodburn, scoring a team-high 21 points to help guide the Huskies to a 65-53 win. Umbenhower added 12 and Crumley scored 10 in the win.

North?Marion (2-0) is off to its best start since the team won its first two games of the 2009-10 season and went on to play in the quarterfinals of the 4A state basketball tournament. The Huskies were scheduled to host Cottage Grove (3-0) Tuesday before taking on Yamhill-Carlton (2-3) Thursday in the opening game of North Marion’s home tournament this weekend.

“I am just really happy for the kids. They’ve been working really hard, and not getting to play Elmira that first week was pretty disappointing for them,” said Parkinson. “It was really good for them to get some games in. And then to start 2-0 is just a credit to them in all their hard work through the month of November.”

After the tournament, the Huskies are scheduled to take a two-week break before returning to action in January.

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