Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
It may have been Ashley Bolston's last league game at home, but South Medford's Southern Oregon Hybrid contest on Friday ended the same way that they've always ended for her.
The Washington State-bound Bolston composed another stellar performance against North Medford and got plenty of help from her teammates in a 67-32 win at South Medford High.
The top-ranked Panthers (21-3, 11-0 SOH) can secure their fourth straight undefeated conference season with a victory at Grants Pass on Tuesday. Their last league loss was on Feb. 17, 2010, 50-45, to North Medford.
Bolston wasn't even in high school then.
She will wrap up her career as the winningest girls basketball player in school history whenever she's done, and has the opportunity to reach the Class 6A state tournament in all four of her years.
South took a moment to recognize its lone senior with a presentation before the game. After Bolston turned in 17 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals against the Black Tornado, Panthers head coach Tom Cole shined the spotlight on her once more.
"She is arguably the state player of the year," Cole said.
Sophomore Julissa Tago had 19 points and five rebounds and junior Keyari Sleezer registered 12 points and six blocks for South, which led 20-7 after the first quarter and 34-10 at intermission.
Tago turned in 13 of her points in the third quarter.
Freshman Lauren Orndoff scored a career-high 11 points and sophomore Jasmin Falls grabbed 12 rebounds, including eight in the first quarter.
The Panthers — who finished with a season-high 15 blocks — looked sharp in their 10th straight triumph, Cole said. South, which will host a first-round state playoff contest on March 4, has only lost to schools from Washington, Maryland and California this season.
"Tonight we did a nice job getting out early and building a quick start," Cole said. "I thought we were aggressive defensively."
Senior Joci Ellis had nine points and junior Alexia Hall seven for North Medford (10-12, 3-8), which wraps up its regular season by hosting second-place Roseburg on Tuesday. Freshman Savannah Bumgardner and senior Sarah Koistinen added six points apiece for North.
NORTH MEDFORD (32) — Ellis 9, Anderson 0, Rivero 0, Martin 1, Thomas 3, Bumgardner 6, Koistinen 6, Hall 7. Totals: 10 11-18 32.
SOUTH MEDFORD (67) — Williams 2, Tago 19, Johnson 0, Bolston 17, Orndoff 11, Sleezer 12, Lemons 2, Falls 4, Washington 0. Totals: 27 12-15 67.
North Medford 7 3 10 12 — 32
South Medford 20 14 18 15 — 67
3-point goals — North Medford 1 (Hall 1), South Medford 1 (Tago 1).
JV result — South Medford won.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email email@example.com. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt