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Sealing the deal

Sealing the deal

South Medford girls basketball standouts Andee Ritter and Keyari Sleezer proved there is more than one route to achieve your goals on Wednesday as each signed Division I national letters of intent.

Ritter, who stepped into a key role for the...

There’s a new Kobe in LA, but he's only 15

Don’t be surprised if Filipino flags are being waved en masse this winter in the gym at Los Angeles Cathedral High. There are more than 375,000 Filipinos living in Los Angeles County, and a 17-year-old basketball prodigy with more than 50,000...

Cascade Christian hires two coaches

Tim Pflug has been hired as the Cascade Christian girls basketball coach and Suzanne Ray has taken over as the Challengers’ cross country coach.

Pflug and Ray replace Marvin Denman and Steve Williston, respectively.

Pflug brings 15...

Johannes takes medical leave at Crater

Johannes takes medical leave at Crater

CENTRAL POINT — Crater High School has been forced to alter its plan for the upcoming boys basketball season, with head coach Glenn Johannes taking a medical leave of absence and top assistant Terry Rasmussen taking over on an interim...

St. Mary's hires boys hoops, volleyball coaches

A pair of former St. Mary's standouts will take over the coaching reins in two sports next season.

St. Mary's Alvarez highlights 3A all-state selections

Three local girls and one boy were selected to the Class 3A all-state basketball teams released recently from voting by that classification's coaches.

Phoenix duo named to all-Skyline first team

Phoenix senior Baylee Toney and junior Jason Wyncoop were honored for their basketball efforts by the Skyline Conference coaches recently with first-team selections to their respective all-conference lists.

Panthers' Bolston heads all-state listing

South Medford senior Ashley Bolston capped her girls baskeball career as the winningest player in program history and, on Wednesday, added an exclamation point to her run with a first-team all-state selection at the Class 6A level.

Siskiyous deny Rogues' rally

Siskiyous deny Rogues' rally

After their Siskiyous team had held a lead for almost the entire edition of the Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic, Crater's Connor Lane, Eagle Point's Cesar Chavez and South Medford's Ben Orndoff simply weren't going to miss an opportunity to go...

Siskiyous hang on for narrow victory

Siskiyous hang on for narrow victory

The story and headline had practically been written: Siskiyous dominate, cruise past Rogues.

March 2014

All-Stars ready to light it up again
All-Stars ready to light it up again

As much as basketball players enjoy racing up and down the court and putting up shots and points with video-game regularity, there's something else they like to do.


Cesar Chavez

Panthers fall in title game
Panthers fall in title game

PORTLAND — Midway through the third quarter, South Medford had the look of a champion in its third straight Class 6A girls basketball state championship here at the Moda Center.

South boys settle for sixth
South boys settle for sixth

PORTLAND — That intangible factor that often turns the tide between winning and losing just wasn't on South Medford's side Saturday morning here at the Moda Center.

Knights secure fourth at 4A state

CORVALLIS — The North Valley boys basketball team tied the Class 4A state tournament record with 11 3-pointers as the Knights downed Cottage Grove, 68-39, to take fourth place at Gill Coliseum on Saturday.

South Medford beats Beaverton, to play for state title
South Medford beats Beaverton, to play for state title

PORTLAND — Still a big factor in South Medford's state quarterfinals win on Wednesday, the general conclusion was that sophomore standout Julissa Tago needed to be more aggressive on the offensive end for the Panthers to reach their third straight...

Panther boys finally get mojo in Moda

PORTLAND — South Medford head coach Dennis Murphy kissed point guard Brayden Massey on the cheek, burst through the locker room door with a scream and treated the nearby walls like a bongo.

Wildcats rally to eliminate Eagle Point from state

EUGENE — Eagle Point's record-breaking season came to a close Friday morning as Wilsonville defeated the Eagles 52-45 in the consolation bracket of the Class 5A boys basketball tournament.

Knights knock off Hornets

CORVALLIS — Chris Morsa had 23 points and five assists and Thor Whitmore added 17 points while coming up clutch late to help guide ninth-seeded North Valley to a 61-55 win over Henley in a Class 4A state consolation game at Gill Coliseum on Friday.

South struggles in tournament opener
South struggles in tournament opener

PORTLAND — South Medford had its chances to snap a three-year drought at the Moda Center on Thursday, but the fourth-seeded Panthers just couldn't capitalize against Jesuit in another disappointing showing in the Class 6A boys basketball state...

Bulldogs cool off Eagles in tourney opener
Bulldogs cool off Eagles in tourney opener

EUGENE — Cold shooting and early turnovers proved too much for Eagle Point to overcome in its state quarterfinal matchup with West Albany on Thursday.

North Valley falls in Class 4A quarterfinals

CORVALLIS — Philomath held North Valley to one basket in the final six minutes and defeated the Knights, 44-43, in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A boys basketball state tournament at Gill Coliseum Thursday.

Alvarez, Morse, Knox land top SCH honors

Cascade Christian and St. Mary's were well represented in Southern Cascade Hybrid boys and girls basketball all-league voting.

Panthers slip by Saxons in quarters

PORTLAND — South Medford's top-ranked girls basketball team did all it really needed to do Wednesday afternoon at the Moda Center.

Eagles get another shot at Bulldogs

Eagle Point and West Albany haven't played each other this season, but that doesn't mean the boys basketball teams aren't familiar with one another.

Players chosen for annual All-Star Classic

The boys and girls teams have been selected for the seventh annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic, and the talented mix of area high school players bodes well for another exciting exhibition of high school hoops.

Panthers up for challenge
Panthers up for challenge

South Medford girls basketball head coach Tom Cole was speaking about his own team, but his words may be even more salient to his squad's opponent today.

Panther boys aim to halt skid in Portland

South Medford's history of getting to the state quarterfinals is well-documented, with the Panther boys reaching that point in 12 of the last 13 years.

2014 Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic ballot

This is the official ballot for voting for the starters in the Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic games on March 21, 2014.

Eagles hang on
Eagles hang on

EAGLE POINT — The decision was an easy one for Eagle Point boys basketball head coach Bryan Wood: Get the ball in Cesar Chavez's hands, and let him do the rest.

Panthers secure trip to state tourney

South Medford boys basketball coach Dennis Murphy has long talked about what it means to play "Panther basketball."

Challengers bag fourth-place trophy

COOS BAY — Cascade Christian will have to make room in a trophy case that has filled up in a hurry since it moved up to Class 3A six years ago.

So it begins for South
So it begins for South

A group of children rushed the basketball court at South Medford High on Friday night.

Challengers hang on, have shot at fourth

NORTH BEND — Cascade Christian had the upper hand for the entire second half of its Class 3A boys basketball game against Amity at North Bend High Friday.

Challengers fall in 3A tournament opener

COOS BAY — The Cascade Christian boys basketball team collided with a fiery defensive squad which took the Challengers out of their game plan early on and never recovered in Thursday's Class 3A first-round state tournament game.

Panthers press on
Panthers press on

Nothing comes easy once you get into the state playoffs, and 10th-ranked South Medford faced that reality Wednesday night during first-round boys basketball action against Beaverton.

Tornado closes its season on cold note

It pained Scott Plankenhorn to even say the numbers.

Eagles slay Dragons in double OT thriller

DALLAS — When Eagle Point needed a miracle, Adrienne Wood delivered.

Power of Panthers
Power of Panthers

Why does Krystal Williams sit on the edge of her seat? Why does the South Medford junior reserve listen carefully to head coach Tom Cole from the bench and watch the action in front of her with the eyes of boxer ready to take a swipe?

United front allows Crater to deny Vikings

CENTRAL POINT — Crater senior Becca Heard is as optimistic as anyone, but even she couldn't help but admit to being taken aback by the start of Tuesday's Class 6A girls basketball state playoff opener against Forest Grove.

North's comeback effort falls short at Jesuit

PORTLAND — Senior guard Joci Ellis led a spirited comeback by North Medford, but the Black Tornado couldn't overcome an early shooting barrage by Jesuit and fell 59-49 in the first round of the Class 6A state girls basketball playoffs Tuesday.


Adrienne Wood

South Medford's Sleezer stepping up
South Medford's Sleezer stepping up

What a difference a year makes.

North moves on
North moves on

Alexia Hall snatched the basketball with the speed of a cheetah, zoomed down court and scooped in a silky smooth layup.

Crusaders earn state tourney berth

Salem Academy made St. Mary's work overtime, but the Crusaders made enough big shots to earn another trip to the beach.

February 2014

South's Bolston, North's Holmes selected top players in SOH

Basketball players Ashley Bolston of South Medford and Tristen Holmes of North Medford have similarities in their games.

Crane tops Butte Falls in playoffs

CRANE — Emmitt Bateman recorded 16 points and Jared McGonagle went for five points, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks for Butte Falls in a 42-31 loss to Crane in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs at Crane High on Wednesday.

Allen, RVA take home top MVL accolades

Rogue Valley Adventist senior Caleb Allen was named the Mountain Valley League most valuable player for a third straight year in recent voting by coaches.

South finishes conference play on high note

South Medford continued its torrid play in the boys basketball regular-season finale against Grants Pass Tuesday.


Brandon Lupton

South Medford leader Orndoff nearly gave up basketball
South Medford leader Orndoff nearly gave up basketball

Tonight's regular-season finale figures to be a special one for South Medford's Ben Orndoff.

Phoenix rolls in Skyline playoff

PHOENIX — Baylee Toney led four Phoenix players in double figures and the Pirate girls basketball team created havoc on defense in a 69-31 victory over Hidden Valley in a Skyline Conference league playoff game Monday.

Challengers secure SCH tourney title

The third-ranked Cascade Christian boys basketball team used a balanced effort to charge past Lakeview, 65-52, in the championship game of the Southern Cascade Hybrid playoffs on Saturday.

South stands alone
South stands alone

In the heat of good competition, it's typically the little things that put a boys basketball team over the top.

Eagles complete SOH sweep
Eagles complete SOH sweep

EAGLE POINT — Ashland dared Eagle Point to shoot and for three quarters the Eagles looked like they had forgotten how.

Bolston, Panthers sharp in victory

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.

Crater slips by Roseburg again

CENTRAL POINT — The Crater boys basketball team gave Connor Lane plenty of looks on Friday, and the 6-foot-7 senior took advantage of them.

RVA's Allen is flying high
RVA's Allen is flying high

Maybe Caleb Allen gets his strength from his dad, a former Marine who builds helicopters.

Toney leads Pirates past Pelicans

PHOENIX — Baylee Toney had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Phoenix girls basketball team trounced Klamath Union 62-43 to finish third in the final Skyline Conference standings Thursday at Phoenix High School.

Crusaders clinch top seed with triumph

The third-ranked St. Mary's girls basketball team clinched the top seed in the Southern Cascade Hybrid with a 66-36 win over Lakeview in the league championship at St. Mary's High on Wednesday.

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Kris Henry

South, North twin bill set for Friday

It’s been 12 years since the last football doubleheader for South Medford and North Medford at Spiegelberg Stadium, but that will...