Basketball Story Archive Subsribe to the Varsity541 Basketball RSS feed

Cavs coach Blatt owns up to late-game gaffes, LeBron bailout

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — David Blatt stepped over some cables and weaved through a throng of reporters eager to hear his explanation of two head-scratching decisions on Sunday in Chicago.

Blatt leaned back and steadied himself. He was up...

Challengers hire Martinez as girls coach

After serving as a top assistant under Cascade Christian girls basketball coaches Tim Pflug and Marvin Denman, Scott Martinez will get his turn in the top spot.

He accepted an offer to man the vacated position on Thursday.

Martinez has...

Courting Juli

Courting Juli

One notification after another pops up on a teenage girl’s cell phone and it’s no big deal.

That’s the way it goes in this age of constant access and immediate gratification.

But when you’re a 17-year-old...

Crater’s Setzer, Berriochoa commit to colleges

CENTRAL POINT — Crater High seniors Courtney Setzer (women’s basketball) and Paige Berriochoa (volleyball) committed to Southern Oregon University and the University of West Georgia, respectively, during a school ceremony...

Crater hires Schmerbach for boys position

Crater hires Schmerbach for boys position

CENTRAL POINT — After stepping away from the high school basketball scene in 2008, Chris Schmerbach felt like the time and opportunity was right to return, and administrators at Crater High agreed.

Schmerbach was announced Monday as...

Setzer, Tago head all-state honors

For one it was a fitting finale and for the other it was proof that hard work does pay off.

Either way, the end result was the same as Crater senior Courtney Setzer and South Medford junior Julissa Tago each were named to their respective...

Green Machine

Green Machine

Slowed by injuries throughout the high school basketball season, South Medford’s Hunter Bradford was only looking to enjoy his time on the court with his body finally healthy heading into the eighth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball...

Tago nets game-winner, MVP for Siskiyous

Tago nets game-winner, MVP for Siskiyous

The eighth annual girls Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic came down to a battle between South Medford teammates Julissa Tago and Jasmin Falls.

But it was Tago's last second jumper that lifted the Siskiyous to a 66-64 victory over the...

Campbell, Juncal lead record voting for MT All-Star games

The voting booth for tonight's Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic starters has closed, and a record number of votes were cast for this year's players: 23,670 in only 11 days.

That surpasses the 22,472 votes of 2013 and is 8,000 more than...



For the eighth year, we're happy to welcome the top high school players in the region for the Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic on Friday at Kids Unlimited.

March 2015


Tristen Holmes (Siskiyous)

North Medford, Sr., Guard

Crater’s Johannes will not return as coach

Only days removed from the end of the winter sports season, Crater High School is already in the process of hiring a boys basketball coach after Glenn Johannes informed the school he will be unable to return from what was expected to be a one-year...

Locals take home Skyline honors

Phoenix senior basketball player Bailee Tally was named a Skyline Conference first-team honoree and made the all-defensive list for a second straight season after recent voting by coaches.

Tally averaged 19.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 steals...

North Medford settles for sixth place

PORTLAND — The effort was there but the timely baskets simply weren’t for North Medford as the Black Tornado closed out a solid campaign by settling for sixth place in the Class 6A boys basketball state tournament on...

Setzer sparks Crater to state trophy

Crater's Courtney Setzer led by example in a 50-36 third-place victory against Corvallis in the girls Class 5A state basketball tournament at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis Friday.

The senior post paced the Comets in four statistical categories and...

No. 1 South Medford makes early exit

PORTLAND — For the second straight day, South Medford struggled from the field but still had a chance in the waning minutes to secure a victory at the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament Friday.

Unfortunately for the...

La Salle ends Crater's championship hopes

CORVALLIS — Crater has put together an outstanding girls basketball season, but it was difficult for the Comets to come to grips with that notion following a 47-39 loss to La Salle Prep in the Class 5A state semifinals Thursday night at Gill...

No. 1 South Medford falls to Roseburg in 6A quarterfinals
No. 1 South Medford falls to Roseburg in 6A quarterfinals

PORTLAND — Top-ranked South Medford entered the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament with a target on its back and Roseburg’s third effort of the season painfully hit the mark in a shocking turn of events Thursday.

Huge rally sends North Medford into fourth-place game, 60-57

PORTLAND — North Medford outscored Lakeridge 42-22 in the second half to pull off an improbable comeback for a 60-57 victory Thursday morning in the Class 6A boys basketball consolation semifinals.

The Black Tornado, which trailed by...

Late lull costs North in quarterfinals

PORTLAND — The opportunity was there but North Medford just couldn’t seize it Wednesday night in the final quarterfinal game at the Class 6A boys basketball state tournament here at the Chiles Center.

The Black Tornado, seeded...

Comets advance to 5A state semifinals

The third meeting between the Crater girls basketball team and Springfield wasn’t nearly as interesting as the first two.

It was certainly more important though.

The third-seeded Comets led the whole way as they downed the...

North Medford boys fall in state quarterfinals


Something to Prove
Something to Prove

The venue may have changed but Keyari Sleezer’s attachment to the state tournament setting certainly hasn’t.

Sleezer is making her fourth straight trip to the Class 6A state tournament today and it was one year ago in Portland,...

Players chosen for Mail Tribune All-Star games; fans vote for starters

Teams for the eighth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic have been chosen, and an online ballot is set up for fans to vote on the starters for the boys and girls games.

Crater eager to make impact

David Heard can talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to state tournaments.

The Crater girls head basketball coach advanced three Comet squads to state championship games during a stellar eight-year run before resigning in 2002 to spend...

North aims high in tourney return
North aims high in tourney return

North Medford may not have the most complete recent history at the Class 6A boys basketball state tournament, but there’s no denying that when the Black Tornado is in the eight-team field, the local boys come to play.

North Medford head...

Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic starters ballot
Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic starters ballot

Vote now for the starters of the eighth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic games.

Comets Cruise
Comets Cruise

CENTRAL POINT — The tape wrapped around her left knee to stop it from bleeding was worn down but the smile on Destiny Fahndrich’s face was bigger than ever in the waning moments of Saturday’s Class 5A girls basketball state...

Top-ranked South back in tourney
Top-ranked South back in tourney

The memories sting as much now as the moment they were made.

Just ask Julissa Tago.

The South Medford junior vividly remembers the gut-wrenching feeling of falling short not once but twice in the Class 6A state finals, prep...

Saxons end Panthers’ season

SALEM — The South Medford boys basketball team led during most of its game against sixth-ranked South Salem, but the Panthers couldn’t hang on at the end in a 67-63 defeat during the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs at South...

Heading North
Heading North

North Medford boys basketball coach Scott Plankenhorn made a plea to his team to give it their all prior to Friday’s second-round game in the Class 6A state playoffs because such opportunities are not guaranteed.

The Black Tornado, ranked...

Rothfus leads St. Mary's into state semifinals

Dakotah Rothfus had one of her finest games of the season, helping St. Mary’s down Rainier 44-30 in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A girls basketball state tournament at Marshfield High in Coos Bay Thursday.

Tigard tops North girls in playoffs

TIGARD — After a rough first quarter, the North Medford girls basketball team was able to steady the ship against Tigard during their first-round Class 6A state playoff contest at Tigard High on Wednesday.

The Tigers, however, regained...

Playoff Push
Playoff Push

South Medford juniors Jasmin Falls and Julissa Tago have had some sensational days during their Panther careers, but few could outshine what the duo were able to accomplish on Wednesday.

Paced by Falls and Tago, who combined to miss only six...

South boys cruise by McMinnville
South boys cruise by McMinnville

Once South Medford decided to ratchet up its play Tuesday night, there was no chance for McMinnville to pull the first-round upset in the Class 6A boys basketball state playoff at South Medford High.

A little passive during a feeling-out process...

Tornado breaks through with win
Tornado breaks through with win

Tristen Holmes was just a freshman looking on from the bench as the North Medford boys basketball team fell to Jesuit in the Class 6A state semifinals inside the Moda Center in 2012.

The point guard helped guide the Black Tornado to the first...

Crater boys fall short in 5A play-in game

CENTRAL POINT — Crater's Race Reiter received plenty of attention from the Central Panthers in a boys basketball Class 5A state play-in game Tuesday.

Despite being double- and triple-teamed, Reiter went for a game-high 24 points but the...

Setzer, Comets pick up MWL honors

The Crater girls basketball team was rewarded for a stellar regular season with several Midwestern League honors after recent voting by coaches.

Senior post Courtney Setzer was named the league player of the year after averaging 18 points, 8.8...

Tago headlines list of SWC all-stars
Tago headlines list of SWC all-stars

Standing out on a deep and talented basketball team is rarely easy but South Medford junior Julissa Tago has done that in her third varsity campaign.

For her efforts, Tago was recognized as the Southwest Conference girls basketball player of the...

Crusaders headed to tourney with victory

The St. Mary's girls basketball team is a roster of 10 with no junior varsity squad below it. The club ventured into the 2014-15 season without the services of last year's top scorers, Emily Alvarez and Lillian Martin, who graduated, and with modest...

February 2015

Long journey ends in loss for Challengers

NYSSA — After a long drive, the Cascade Christian boys basketball team came up short in overtime against Nyssa in a first-round Class 3A state playoff contest on Friday.

The Bulldogs prevailed, 68-61, to advance to the eight-team...

South Medford standout Ritter out for season
South Medford standout Ritter out for season

For the second straight year, South Medford girls basketball standout Andee Ritter has had her season cut short by a knee injury.

South reserved tickets on sale

Reserved seat ticket holders can begin buying tickets for South Medford's boys basketball playoff game today at the school office.

The boys will host a first-round game Tuesday, but the opponent hasn't been determined. Reserved seats that aren't...

South Medford girls perfect, again
South Medford girls perfect, again

When Tom Cole moved to Southern Oregon from Missouri in 1995, one of his biggest goals was to help build up the community's youth through after-school activities, like basketball.

He's done that through his work as executive director of Kids...

Huge rally lifts North over Roseburg

ROSEBURG — North Medford came up with a stunning two-minute blitz, scoring 17 unanswered points and rallying for a 55-50 Southwest Conference boys basketball victory over Roseburg Tuesday to end league play.

The Black Tornado (20-4, 11-3...

Locals pick up MVL awards

Rogue Valley Adventist sophomore Trevor Haugen was named to the Mountain Valley League boys all-star first-team list recently.

Prospect’s Darren Stillwagon and RVA’s Nathan James earned second-team recognition.

On the girls...

Challengers, Crusaders rake in SCL awards

Cascade Christian senior wing Jason Wyncoop was named the Southern Cascade League player of the year and St. Mary’s Eric Guyer and Rogue River’s Ron Haynes were given co-coach of the year honors in the conference recently.


Chieftains edge Challengers for SCL crown

ROGUE RIVER — It’s been a long time coming but Rogue River was able to step up to the challenge in the waning moments Saturday night to clinch the Southern Cascade League championship in the Class 3A boys basketball state...

North slides by Sheldon
North slides by Sheldon

Tenth-ranked North Medford was efficient on offense and utilized 18 turnovers by Sheldon to gradually pull away in a battle of teams tied for third place in the Southwest Conference boys basketball standings Friday.

Nine Black Tornado players...

Panthers fall from first with OT loss

EUGENE — After pulling together for a fine fourth-quarter rally to force overtime, the South Medford boys basketball team fell victim to a hot-handed South Eugene squad at the free-throw line in overtime on Friday.

The Panthers held the...

South Medford girls clinch SWC title

The South Medford offense went through Jasmin Falls and the Panthers rolled past visiting South Eugene 70-22 in Southwest Conference girls basketball Friday.

Top-ranked South Medford (20-4, 13-0 SWC) clinched its fifth straight conference...

Mustangs end Pirates' year

MURPHY — Mike Hults had 19 points as the Hidden Valley boys basketball team downed Phoenix, 53-31, in a Skyline Conference playoff game at Hidden Valley High on Wednesday.

Eric Mejia had seven points, five rebounds and three steals for...

Challengers surge past St. Mary’s
Challengers surge past St. Mary’s

During the Southern Cascade League regular-season series between Cascade Christian and St. Mary’s this season, the Crusaders were able to put together double-digit scoring runs to combat the Challengers.

In Wednesday’s SCL boys...

Crater rally denies EP
Crater rally denies EP

CENTRAL POINT — Eagle Point had one of the state’s top Class 5A girls basketball teams on the ropes all night and yet somehow Crater found a way to mount a wild fourth-quarter rally and secure one of its toughest wins of the season...

North Medford girls hold off Cavers

North Medford built an early lead then held off Grants Pass for an important 43-37 Southwest Conference girls basketball home win Tuesday.

The victory gives fourth-place North Medford (11-11, 6-6 SWC) a two-game lead over Grants Pass (6-15,...

Class 4A power runs past Challengers

NORTH BEND — Jason Wyncoop scored 17 points for the Class 3A Cascade Christian boys basketball team in a 55-36 loss to 4A top-ranked and undefeated North Bend during nonleague action on Saturday.

The Challengers (15-10) were playing their...

Crusaders earn share of league title

Viv Juncal played a crucial role for St. Mary's as the Crusaders clinched a tie with Lakeview for the Southern Cascade League girls basketball championship with a 58-41home victory against Illinois Valley in Friday’s regular-season...

St. Mary's secures tie for SCL boys crown

Seniors Matt Johnson, Denton Edwards and Zach Lewis stepped up on senior night for St. Mary's on Friday.

The senior trio helped St. Mary's jump out to a commanding lead and the Crusaders romped to an 87-31 home victory to pull into a three-way...

Challenge accepted
Challenge accepted

A curtain separates two basketball courts in the gymnasium at Cascade Christian High. If it's a packed house, it can be raised and aluminum overflow bleachers can be rolled in.

After his team won on Friday to set the stage for an elimination...

South boys romp past Willamette

South Medford was in a sharing mood Friday as the ninth-ranked Panthers handed out 24 assists for 29 baskets en route to a 77-44 victory over Willamette in Southwest Conference boys basketball action at South Medford High School.

Brayden Massey...

School Directory

Sport Directory

Conference Directory

Prep Notebook

Kris Henry

Comets’ surge is one to be admired

When you’re on a winning team, it’s easy to maintain your competitive spirit.

Practices become more tolerable, gearing up for...