• Black Tornado boys stave off Axemen

  • South Eugene made things a bit more interesting in the second half, but the North Medford boys basketball team would not be denied a spot in the Abby's Holiday Classic championship game.

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  • South Eugene made things a bit more interesting in the second half, but the North Medford boys basketball team would not be denied a spot in the Abby's Holiday Classic championship game.
    And even sweeter for the Black Tornado — they will take on rival South Medford (6-3) for the title today at 6 p.m.
    Backed by balanced scoring and timely defensive stops, North Medford held off South Eugene's fourth-quarter surge for a 70-62 victory on Friday at South Medford High.
    North Medford (7-1) limited the Axemen (5-4) to just seven points on 15 percent shooting in the first quarter but South Eugene made halftime adjustments to become much more effective in the second half.
    South Eugene sophomore star Eli Lininger found his stride in the second half, where he scored 22 of his 26 points as the Axemen continually made it a point to feed him the ball.
    "A silky smooth left-hander, he's very good," said North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn on Lininger. "He's a special player already and he's just a sophomore. It was a chore for us to guard him."
    The Black Tornado stormed out of the second half with an 8-0 run that extended its lead to 38-20, but Lininger and the Axemen came alive to match North Medford's 25-point third quarter.
    The Axemen clawed within six points in the fourth but, over the final moments, North Medford made the key free throws and defensive stops necessary to secure the win.
    "We've been playing pretty well lately but we have a lot of things we need to work on," said Plankenhorn. "Hopefully we find ourselves again (in the championship game)."
    Oshea Bailey navigated North's balanced attack with 15 points to go along with eight assists and four rebounds. Tristen Holmes registered 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals while Julian Gray notched 11 points, four boards and three assists.
    Aaron Browne-Moore and Brandon DeBerry added nine points apiece for the Black Tornado, who went 7-for-10 from 3-point range.
    South Eugene's Brandon Thompson scored 13 points and Mason Green-Richards chipped in 12.
    NORTH MEDFORD (70) — Bailey 15, Holmes 14, Gray 11, Klug 2, Browne-Moore 9, Knox 6, Reyes 0, DeBerry 9, Sherbourne 4. Totals: 26-52 11-19 70.
    SOUTH EUGENE (62) — Lininger 26, Green-Richards 12, Strgar 0, Chubb-Fertal 0, Moran 3, Bassett 4, O'Neil 0, Lea 4, Thompson 13, Richards 0. Totals: 24-63 12-16 62.
    North Medford 17 13 25 15 — 70
    South Eugene 7 13 25 17 — 62
    3-point goals — North Medford 7 (Bailey 3, Gray 2, Holmes 2), South Eugene 2 (Green-Richards 2).
    CRATER 59, MCMINNVILLE 51 — At McMinnville, Cody Dismukes hit 9 of 10 shots on his way to a game-high 22 points, powering Crater to the nonconference win.
    Dismukes, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, also had four steals while holding McMinnville's top scorer, Gage Gubrud, to three points. Connor Lane added seven points and nine rebounds for the Comets (6-4).
    McMinnville (4-5) was paced by Tanner Autencio's 18 points.
    CRATER (59) — Dismukes 22, Bennett 6, Erskine 4, Martin 0, Marineau 4, Jaasko 8, Lane 7, Reiter 0, Orozco 6, Morgan 2. Totals: 22 13-18 59.
    McMINNVILLE (51) — Autencio 18, Dyle 1, Gubrud 3, Anderson 4, Vickman 14, Coste 0, Parker 7, Long 4. Totals: 12 23-29 51.
    Crater 15 18 11 15 — 59
    McMinnville 11 8 16 16 — 51
    3-point goals — Crater 2 (Dismukes 1, Jaasko 1), McMinnville 4 (Autencio 4). Fouled out — Erskine.
    JV score — McMinnville 58, Crater 56.
    THURSTON 66, EAGLE POINT 52 — At Wilsonville, Thurston ended Eagle Point's six-game winning streak in the semifinals of the Wilsonville Invitational.
    The Eagles (7-3) will play in the third-place game today.
    STAYTON 39, HIDDEN VALLEY 35 — At Stayton, Hidden Valley rallied after a 23-8 halftime deficit but came up short in the Stayton Holiday Classic.
    Mike Hults connected on all three of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help pull the Mustangs to within one point of host Stayton, 36-35, with 90 seconds to go. But the Eagles converted three free throws down the stretch for the final margin of victory.
    Guards Alan Rojas and Hults each scored nine points to pace Hidden Valley (3-8). Kody Garrison hauled in six rebounds and Hults had five.
    Andrew Reardon scored 18 points for Stayton (5-5).
    HIDDEN VALLEY (35) — Rojas 9, Hults 9, Flynn 5, Elkins 5, Bennett 3, Vaughn 2, Gilbert 2, Garrison 0, Fields 0, Chastain 0, Campbell 0. Totals: 13 4-6 35.
    STAYTON (39) — Reardon 18, Brown 7, Bucheit 7, Johnson 7, Chappell 0, Lopez 0. Totals: 11 17-22 39.
    Hidden Valley 4 4 14 13 — 35
    Stayton 12 11 5 11 — 39
    3-point goals — Hidden Valley 5 (Hults 3, Bennett 1, Flynn 1). Fouled out — Garrison.
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