North Medford High wrestling coach Phillip Lopez isn't the type to get carried away.
First-game jitters got the best of South Medford early on during Saturday's boys basketball season opener.
But once the Panthers got their legs underneath them, they were off and running and left visiting Wilson in their shadow for a 70-47 victory at South Medford High.
South Medford senior Ben Orndoff came off the bench to open the second quarter with seven straight points and give his team a lead it would never relinquish in the runaway triumph. After Orndoff's effort put the Panthers up 17-13, the team really kicked it in gear with a stifling press that took the wind out of Wilson's sails for an eventual 27-0 run.
"We came out a little hesitant with this being our first game, kind of anxious to play against other people," said Panthers senior Mark Winans, who had a game-high 16 points. "We kinda got a feel for it in the first quarter and then once our press started working effectively, it just kinda rolled over and we gained the momentum."
Winans managed four of his six steals in the second quarter and a road-weary Wilson squad was held scoreless until 90 seconds remained before halftime. The Trojans (0-1) didn't manage to get beyond halfcourt with the basketball during a span of five straight possessions, and South Medford didn't allow any assistance by going 9-for-9 from the field after opening the quarter with three misses.
"The press corps showed up and I think the result was a 27-0 run," said Panthers head coach Dennis Murphy. "We got ourselves going and, obviously, that really helps us. It's all a game of streaks and runs anyway and we just got on a great run."
"There's no question they were at a little bit of a disadvantage," Murphy added of the Trojans. "They got up early to get here and were on the road all day because it took them longer to get here than they thought. They were tired a little bit, but I also really think we wore them out ... at least in the first three quarters anyway."
Orndoff finished with 13 points in a balanced effort by the Panthers that saw 10 of their 11 players reach the scoring column.
"For Ben's effort coming off the bench, he did a great job," said Murphy. "If we get those kind of efforts that surely is a good thing for us. We've never been about a guy so if we can get to nine, 10 or 11, it surely makes us better."
"I'm very happy," added the coach. "There's some things we surely need to get better on but I thought we competed hard and got after them tonight."
South senior C.J. Keepes had eight points and three assists while junior Cameron English added seven points and four rebounds and Brayden Massey had six points, five rebounds and three assists.
Reserve senior Bryson Carpenter went 6-for-8 from the foul line for his points and the Panthers got good all-around play from Brandon Robertson (four points, five assists, five rebounds, two steals) and five points from sophomore Hunter Bradford.
Tristian Lallo added four points and six rebounds and Trenton Monical pulled down four boards for a Panther team that was 26-for-56 from the field and limited Wilson to 18-for-50 shooting.
"We're about maybe four guys deep right now and when we get to that point where we need to start subbing people we have breakdowns," said Wilson head coach Scott Aker of his team's pivotal scoring drought. "We just didn't handle (South Medford's pressure) very well and they went on a huge run."
The Trojans will have only a few hours to find a solution to that problem, however, as they move across town to take on a North Medford team that thrives on applying defensive pressure. Tipoff for that game at North Medford is 1:45 p.m.
"They bring maybe more pressure than that and if they were here tonight watching then I know what they're going to do tomorrow," Aker said of facing the Black Tornado. "But this is a good experience for us, though, to get out to Medford. We think it's good for our kids to get out of our environment and maybe see a different brand of basketball so it was a good experience."
Wilson junior Ben Lensch paced his team with 14 points, while Tyler Woodland came off the bench for eight points and the Trojans got six points apiece from starters Cole Conklin and Jack Rubin.
WILSON (47) — Lensch 14, Woodland 8, Conklin 6, Rubin 6, Sadorf 5, Floom 4, Slayton 2, Marrone 2, Thriesen 0, Latham 0, Spector 0. Totals: 18-50 8-11 47.
SOUTH MEDFORD (70) — Winans 16, Orndoff 13, Keepes 8, English 7, Massey 6, Carpenter 6, Bradford 5, Robertson 4, Lallo 4, Monical 1, Lupton 0. Totals: 26-56 16-25 70.
Wilson 13 6 10 18 — 47
South Medford 10 32 17 11 — 70
3-point goals — Wilson 3-20 (Lensch 2, Sadorf 1), South Medford 2-13 (Winans 2).