PHOENIX — A little too amped up by the prospects of playing in a conference playoff, the Phoenix girls basketball team struggled to find their rhythm on offense Thursday.

PHOENIX — A little too amped up by the prospects of playing in a conference playoff, the Phoenix girls basketball team struggled to find their rhythm on offense Thursday.

Fortunately, the Pirates' defensive prowess was in high gear, leading the third-seeded hosts to a 56-26 victory over No. 6 seed Illinois Valley.

Phoenix came up with a season-high 23 steals and the Pirates used a combination of a full-court press and aggressive 2-3 zone to continually turn back the Cougars.

With the win, Phoenix advances to play No. 4 seed Rogue River at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for the right to advance to the Class 4A state playoffs. Skyline Conference champion Hidden Valley and runner-up Henley have already secured spots in the playoffs.

Rebecca Singleton, a 5-foot-8 senior, provided a solid all-around game for the Pirates (16-10, 10-5 Skyline) with 14 points, 10 rebounds and six steals.

"The last four or five games, she's been real aggressive," Phoenix coach Randy Kirkland said of Singleton. "She missed the first eight or nine games of the season with a shoulder injury she suffered in soccer, but she's just been extremely productive lately."

Sophomore Kelsey George chipped in with 19 points, four steals and three assists, while senior sister Kayla George pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds for Phoenix.

The Pirates converted only 9 of 39 shots in the first half, but regrouped to net 11 of 21 in the second half. Despite the poor shooting early in the game, Phoenix was still able to manage a 24-6 lead by halftime thanks to its solid defense.

"We're real proud of the fact that we're holding opponents under 39 points per game," said Kirkland.

ILLINOIS VALLEY (26) — Huntamer 1, Farr 3, Holtz 6, R. Yeoman 4, K. Yeoman 2, Allan 6, Cleman 4, Tausaga 0, Klaberline 0, Cotta 0. Totals: 9 5-10 26.

PHOENIX (56) — Singleton 14, Baker 1, Wellburn 2, Ke. George 19, Tally 2, Helm 2, Ka. George 4, Smith 5, Main 1, Passante 6, Scowden 0. Totals: 20 14-29 56.

Illinois Valley 4 2 10 10 — 26

Phoenix 10 14 16 16 — 56

3-point goals — Illinois Valley 3 (Holtz 2, Farr 1), Phoenix 2 (Passante 1, Singleton 1). Fouled out — Huntamer.

ROGUE RIVER 45, NORTH VALLEY 38 — At Rogue River, Shawna Hamre scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Rogue River won its fourth straight after holding off a fourth-quarter charge by North Valley in a Skyline Conference playoff game.

The Chieftains (13-13), the conference's fourth seed, will play at Phoenix on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The winner hosts Baker in a Class 4A state playoff game on March 4.

Hamre, a 6-foot senior post, also had 14 rebounds and four blocks, while Angie Caschera and Shawna Turnham shared the team lead in assists with five each. As a team, Rogue River had a season-high 16 assists on 21 field goals.

The Knights outscored Rogue River 21-9 in the fourth quarter but could get no closer than seven points. Becky Egli scored all eight of her points in the final frame for North Valley (6-16), the fifth-place team in conference.

NORTH VALLEY (38) — Swanson 3, Egli 8, Ni. Goens 6, Ellis 2, Robles 5, Na. Goens 6, Giesen 8, Brown 0. Totals: 15 5-9 38.

ROGUE RIVER (45) — Cauble 0, Turnham 8, Hamre 20, Smith 2, Phillips 6, Caschera 6, Reyes 3, Updegraff 0. Totals: 21 3-12 45.

North Valley 0 9 8 21 — 38

Rogue River 14 10 12 9 — 45

3-point goals — North Valley 3 (Swanson 1, Egli 1, Robles 1). Fouled out — Na. Goens.

Southwest Conference

SOUTH EUGENE 49, NORTH MEDFORD 18 — Sarah Whitfield scored 28 points and South Eugene earned the victory over first-place North Medford in the Southwest Conference finale.

North (20-5, 12-3 SWC) entered the contest with its first outright conference title already wrapped up and the Tornado shifted its starting lineup to honor the seniors.

Senior Erica Schultz, North's leading scorer, led the Tornado with 10 points.

South Eugene (17-8, 11-4 SWC) clinches the No. 2 seed with the victory. MacKenzie Kerins added 11 for the Axemen.

North hosts Canby next Wednesday in the first round of the state playoffs.

SOUTH EUGENE (49) — Roberts 0, Blackwell 0, Teninty 2, Kerins 11, Whitfield 28, Barnes 6, Williams 0, Cook 0, Shivers 0, Kiplinger 2. Totals 17 13-13 49.

NORTH MEDFORD (18) — Gall 0, Schultz 10, Satterfield 0, Dixon 0, Hodnett 4, Dekorte 0, Parker 2, Egge 0, Smith 2, Whitehead 0, Abeloe 0, Kummer 0. Totals 6 5-9 18.

South Eugene 17 11 13 8 —49

North Medford 6 5 3 4 —18

3-point goals — South Eugene 2 (Whitfield 2), North Medford 1 (Schultz 1).

JV result — South Eugene won.

GRANTS PASS 66, SOUTH MEDFORD 46 — At Grants Pass, with nothing to lose for either side, Grants Pass took care of South Medford early in a tune-up game for the Class 6A playoffs.

The fourth-place Cavers (14-10, 7-8 SWC) built a 10-point halftime lead and finished with a 40-24 advantage on the boards. Grants Pass had the game in-hand early in the fourth with a 14-point edge.

Natasha Torgerson and Gabby Randall each scored 15 points. All of Randall's points came in the first half before she tweaked her ankle a few minutes into the third period.

Torgerson also grabbed 12 rebounds as did Chelsea Chamberlain, who tossed in 11 points.

The Panthers (11-13, 4-11) closed their season in fifth place in the SWC — finishing just outside the playoff picture. Alanna Stevens had game-high honors with 16 points and Brittney Newcomb tossed in 13.

Grants Pass will face either McKay or West Salem in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday.

SOUTH MEDFORD (46) — Stevens 16, Towry 1, McCoy 2, Newcomb 13, Medina 5, Batten 6, Salisbury 3. Totals: 18 8-16 46.

GRANTS PASS (66) — Randall 15, Torgerson 15, Franko 8, Pepperling 8, Aguilera 4, Loffer 3, Chamberlain 11, C. Soars 2, Bath 0, Zottola 0, K. Soars 0. Totals: 22 21-30 66.

South Medford 15 11 13 7 — 46

Grants Pass 18 18 15 15 — 66

3-point goals — South Medford 2 (Salisbury 1, Newcomb 1), Grants Pass 1 (Torgerson). Fouled out — Stevens, Towry. Technical fouls — Newcomb, Towry.

JV score — Grants Pass 39, South Medford 28.

SHELDON 59, ROSEBURG 34 — At Eugene, Theresa Brown and Katie Steigleman scored 17 points each and Sheldon rolled in the Southwest Conference finale. Sheldon saw its lead balloon with a 29-point effort in the third quarter.

The Irish (18-7, 11-4 SWC) claimed the third seed from the SWC.

Roseburg (2-22, 0-15) was led by Katie Wilton's 13 points.

ROSEBURG (34) — Wilton 13, Berry-Cabio 8, Baker 6, Jarvis 5, Erickson 2, Kitzow 0, Whittrock 0, Whitman 0.

SHELDON (59) — Th. Brown 17, Steigleman 17, Ward 3, King 2, Gray 4, Pangilinan 1, Frohloch 1, Hauser 2, Ta. Brown 10, Anderson 2, Gerod 0, Doe 0.

Roseburg 8 6 13 7 — 34

Sheldon 14 12 29 4 — 59