The streak is over.
The streak is over.
And what an emphatic way to end it.
Tenth-ranked North Medford (12-4, 5-1 SWC) controlled the tempo the entire way, building its lead to as much as 29 in the fourth quarter, to defeat No. 2 South Medford (13-3, 5-1 SWC) 73-57 in a packed North Medford gym on Saturday.
The victory snaps South's 17-game winning streak over North, which spanned nearly eight years with the Black Tornado's last victory coming Feb. 1 2000.
"This win is bigger than any win I've ever gone through," junior Josh Pecktol said amidst North's jubilant student body. "It's an amazing feeling. It gives us a lot of respect through the state. I think people are going to start turning their heads and realizing North Medford is a team to beat.
"We can compete with anyone in the state right now. If we play our best game, I don't think there is anyone in the state that can beat us."
North played with unmatched intensity from the start and enjoyed a double-digit lead throughout after a 6-0 run early in the second quarter.
The Tornado's depth was evident with four players scoring in double figures. Junior guard Jordan Ellis scored 20 points, senior guard Danny Berger had 16, Pecktol finished with 15 and senior guard Michael Williams had 10, eight in the first quarter.
The Tornado's active defense kept South out of its rhythm and the Panthers were outscored in every quarter except the last when the game was well-in-hand.
North forced 16 turnovers and limited South's top two threats, Michael Harthun and E.J. Singler, who were held to six and seven points, respectively, in the first half.
Harthun finished with 21 points and E.J. Singler had 19. Mitch Singler was the next highest scorer with six. North disrupted Harthun by trapping him off of ball screens and the Tornado's size advantage made it difficult for E.J. Singler inside.
Harthun had 28 and Singler 26 in the first meeting between the two teams.
"We were just doing what we could to contain them," Ellis said. "We weren't trying to stop them all the way. We knew they were going to get buckets, and we were just trying to not let them go off on us like they did in the first game."
North shot 26 of 45 in the game (57 percent) to 22 of 46 for South (48 percent). The Panthers were 1-of-8 shooting from the three-point line.
The Tornado seized momentum early with an 8-0 run to end the first quarter and take a 20-9 lead.
Ellis keyed an early 6-0 second quarter run by hitting a deep jumper, a layin and feeding Pecktol for an easy layin, which stretched North's lead to 26-13.
Berger scored six points in the final 3:48 of that second quarter to help the Tornado to a 36-21 lead at the break.
North never let up in the third quarter with Ellis and Pecktol each scoring 11 as the Tornado outscored South 25-14 to take a 61-35 lead into final quarter as chants of "overrated" reigned from North's cheering section.
"They just dominated us," South coach Dennis Murphy said. "They played very well. They made open shots, beat us in transition. They beat us in every phase. They played awfully well and are very good.
"It's disappointing. We have to come out and compete harder than that."
The win is North's fifth straight overall and puts the Tornado tied atop the SWC standings with South. North's only conference loss came at South 73-67 earlier this month.
South had won five straight and will look to get back on track next Friday at home against South Eugene.
North returns to action next Thursday at Roseburg and with one giant monkey off its back.
"It's kind of returning to the old North Medford," North coach Scott Plankenhorn said. "They are a fun team to play and watch and coach."
SOUTH MEDFORD (57) — Aguirre 3, Harthun 21, Haveman 0, M. Singler 6, Kezer 2, E.J. Singler 19, Walport 0, Boyd 4, Work 0, Phillips 2. Totals: 22 12-13 57.
NORTH MEDFORD (73) — McLemore 3, Williams 10, Ellis 20, Pecktol 15, Berger 16, Hutley 0, Barlow 1, Waldron 1, Budavari-Jasper 2, Maurer 5, Levos 0. Totals: 26 17-27 73.
South Medford 9 12 14 22 —57
North Medford 20 36 61 73 —73
3-point goals — South Medford 1 ( Harthun), North Medford 4 (McLemore 1, Williams 1, Ellis 2). Fouled out — Ellis, Boyd. Technical Fouls — South Medford coach, South Medford team.
JV result — South Medford 65, North Medford 58
Reach sports reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail email@example.com