FOREST GROVE — Gracie Brugnoli summed thinks up simply for Marshfield’s top-ranked girls basketball team.
Marshfield's Gracie Brugnoli tries to go to the hoop against North Marion's Mar Verastegui on Friday.
“It was definitely not the way I wanted to end my senior,” Brugnoli said after North Marion held off a furious Marshfield rally to beat the Pirates 49-46 in the consolation semifinal at the Class 4A state tournament at Pacific University on Friday morning.
The Huskies, who beat Marshfield for the second time this season, built an early lead with tough shooting and stayed in front the entire way. But they had to sweat out the final 30 seconds.
North Marion led 48-36 after two free throws by Makenzie Ulven with 5:08 to go, but Marshfield charged back.
Hailey Browning had a steal and a basket, McKayla Myrand scored inside on a great pass from Tess Garrett and then Garrett was fouled twice on drives to the hoop and made all four free throws.
Suddenly, North Marion’s lead was down to four points with still 2:37 to go in the game.
And then the Huskies, who had been outstanding all game from the line, started missing. They misfired on seven of their last eight free throws, the exception one by Mya Hammack for their final point with 1:37 to go in the game.
Fortunately for North Marion, the Pirates were missing their chances to pull closer, and their only points in the final 1:30 were a pair of free throws by Garrett with 13.4 seconds to go.
Marshfield forced a five-second call after those points, but Garrett was just off the mark on a potential tying 3-pointer. And after two final misses from the line by the Huskies, Brugnoli missed at the buzzer, putting North Marion into the fourth-place game Saturday morning against Banks.
“Our first half really hurt us,” said Myrand. “We’re not good at catching up.”
The Pirates rarely trailed in games this season, but found themselves fighting from behind in both games at the state tournament. Both times Marshfield nearly rallied, but Marist Catholic held on for a win in the quarterfinals Thursday and North Marion did the same Friday.
The big difference Friday was the Huskies made shots early and the Pirates did not.
Katie Ensign had three 3-pointers in the first half and Mar Verastegui had a three-point play.
And every time Marshfield chipped away at the lead the first three quarters, the Warriors answered.
Garrett blanketed Ensign to keep the ball out of her hands after her third three — she scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half — but others stepped up for North Marion.
“They shot the lights out,” Marshfield coach Bruce Bryant said. “That’s what they do.”
Verastegui finished with 15 points before fouling out. Hammack added 11.
“They started out good,” said Garrett, who led the Pirates with 16 points. “We just never could fight back all the way.”
Browning added nine points and Brugnoli eight for Marshfield.
“We showed a lot of heart in the second half,” Bryant said. “We didn’t play with the same determination in the first half as we did in the second half.
“Ten points is a lot to come from behind against a good team.”
The loss ended a magical run for Marshfield’s seniors, including six who were key members of last year’s championship team — Garrett, Browning, Brugnoli, Myrand, Alex Locati and Jazmin Chavez.
Marshfield’s group was the first girls team to make it to three straight state tournaments — the Pirates finished fifth in 2017.
Marshfield's Hailey Browning goes up for a basket Friday against North Marion.
“I’m proud of everybody and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished the last four years,” Garrett said.
“These four years have been incredible with this group of kids, and I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “They’ve put Marshfield basketball on the map.”
BANKS 42, STAYTON 35: Aspen Slifka had 27 points and five steals to lead the Braves into the fourth-place game against North Marion.
Gracie Nelson added 10 rebounds for Banks.
Alli Nyquist had 11 points for Stayton in the loss.
BAKER 61, PHILOMATH 56: The Bulldogs earned a spot in the championship game by finishing on a 7-2 run after the Warriors tied the game with 1:32 to go on a layup by Sage Kramer.
Rose Gwillim had 18 points and 20 rebounds and Isabella Nemec had 12 points for Baker.
Philomath had four players finish in double figures: Emma Pankalla (15), Kramer (12), Mia Rust (11) and Lauren Berklund (10).
MARIST CATHOLIC 46, NEWPORT 45: The Spartans got a go-ahead 3-pointer by Maggie Stephenson with just over a minute to go and then survived a couple of missed free throws when Newport couldn’t hit a shot to go ahead.
Madison Ficek had 18 points and Ruby Vlahof added 17 for the Spartans, who edged Marshfield in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Halle Hargett had 16 points, Megan Wagner 14 and Kaitlyn Mitchell 10 for the Cubs, who play league-rival Philomath for third place Saturday.