North Medford's calling card has been its defense.

North Medford's calling card has been its defense.

And when the Black Tornado girls basketball team adds a bit of offense to the mix, it makes for a deadly combination.

South Medford found out when fifth-ranked and Southwest Conference front-runner North rolled to a 61-40 victory Saturday in the Panther gym.

The Tornado (14-3, 6-1 SWC) led 34-20 at halftime, then went on a 14-1 run to begin the third quarter.

"We shot well and did a good job on defense," North coach Tim Karrick said. "We started running and made some shots. That always gives you more energy on the defensive end. We played just well enough to put it out of reach in the third quarter and kind of cruised the rest of the way in."

Karissa Dixon had 14 points, Jana Parker 12 and Erica Schultz 10 for the victors. Off the bench, McKenzie Smith scored eight points and made all six of her free throws.

Schultz powered her way to 13 rebounds, and Whitney Hodnett had seven assists and five rebounds, Parker had six boards and Dixon contributed four steals.

North didn't finish well in the early going, but Karrick was pleased with his team's effort after it started slowly the night before in a win over South Eugene.

The game featured a number of foul shots by both teams. North was 22 of 28 at the line, while South was 23 of 33.

"I'd say it was a pretty physical contest," said Panthers coach Tom Cole. "We didn't play very well in the first half, and against a good team like North, when you're inconsistent, it's tough to get any kind of rhythm going. They did a good job of getting inside on us early, and we just didn't have a good shooting night."

South Medford managed only eight baskets.

The Panthers (11-5, 3-4 SWC) were led by junior guard Sheena Barkley's 19 points.

"She really stepped it up tonight," said Cole. "They played Brittney (Newcomb) pretty strong and double-teamed her a lot, and Sheena stepped up. She penetrated and got to the basket quite a bit and got to the line."

NORTH MEDFORD (61) — Gall 0, Schultz 10, Satterfield 6, Dixon 14, Hodnett 2, Parker 12, Egge 0, Smith 8, Whitehead 3, Abeloe 6, Kummer 0. Totals: 16 22-28 61.

SOUTH MEDFORD (40) — Towry 0, McCoy 0, Stevens 4, Newcomb 7, Barkley 19, Medina 4, Batten 2, Salisbury 4. Totals: 8 23-33 40.

North Medford 18 16 18 9 — 61

South Medford 10 10 7 13 — 40

3-point goals — North Medford 3 (Parker 2, Dixon 1), South Medford 1 (Barkley 1). Fouled out — Stevens. JV result — North Medford won.