A funny thing happened to Terry Rasmussen on his way toward retirement as a basketball coach.
First, he was pulled back in to serve as...
North Medford moved some things around and sophomore Louis Michelon responded with his best game of the season to help propel the Black Tornado boys soccer team to a 3-1 win over Barlow in the Class 6A state playoffs.
Michelon was a stalwart at left defender and set up one goal in the rainy, muddy conditions at Hoffbuhr Field.
"It was a pretty ugly game but I thought we held our composure pretty well and knocked the ball around pretty well even with the mud and rain and the fast ball," said North Medford head coach Dan Torrey.
North Medford (10-4) will next play at top-seeded Westview in Tuesday's second round.
Leo Alonso gave the Black Tornado an early lead with his goal in the seventh minute off an assist by Edgar Lizardo.
North built its advantage to 2-0 with a goal in the first minute of the second half. Garrett Byrd played in a corner kick that deflected out to Bryan Carbonell, who ripped a high shot from 25 yards out that was initially saved but not able to be hauled in because of the wet conditions. Bennie Torres collected the loose ball from close range and netted a goal.
"We knew with the field being wet we needed to crash the goal anytime we put something on target and he was just right there for us," said Torrey.
Barlow (9-4-2) scored in the 58th minute but North answered in the 66th when Michelon played a 45-yard long ball through the air to Byrd, who settled it, beat one defender and then cashed in on a one-on-one opportunity against the goalkeeper.
Conner Ginder supplied seven saves to help the Tornado's cause.
SOUTH EUGENE 6, GRANTS PASS 2 — At Eugene, South Eugene opened up a 2-0 lead by halftime then kept it rolling with four goals in the second half to deny Grants Pass (9-5-1) in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
The Axemen improved to 11-3-1.
CORVALLIS 2, ASHLAND 0 — At Ashland, Corvallis (7-5-3) used a goal around the 10th minute and a successful penalty kick opportunity in the second half to push past Ashland in the Class 5A state play-in game.
Senior center midfielder Dylan Molnar, goalkeeper Imani Sharpe and sweeper Brenton Wileman all played well for the Grizzlies (6-7-2).
WOODBURN 10, EAGLE POINT 1 — At Woodburn, Eagle Point fell to 1-11-1 with the Class 5A state play-in loss to Woodburn (13-1), No. 3 in the state power rankings.
ONTARIO 4, HENLEY 2 — At Ontario, host Ontario proved too much in the 4A play-in game, eliminating Henley (3-11-1) from playoff contention.