ROSEBURG — The challenge put forth by South Medford coach Dennis Murphy to his boys basketball team was answered in a manner befitting the No. 4-ranked team in the state Friday night.

ROSEBURG — The challenge put forth by South Medford coach Dennis Murphy to his boys basketball team was answered in a manner befitting the No. 4-ranked team in the state Friday night.

Dismayed by the Panthers' lack of energy and focus during Tuesday's upset loss to Sheldon, Murphy enjoyed a return to form for South Medford as his team cruised past Roseburg 70-40 in Southwest Conference action.

E.J. Singler had 20 points, 19 rebounds and three assists, and Michael Harthun added 19 points and eight assists to lead the way for the Panthers (20-4, 12-2 SWC).

South wrapped up the league's No. 1 seed to the state playoffs with the victory and at least a share of the SWC title.

"I was glad how we came back and responded with a much greater effort than Tuesday night," said Murphy. "We put a pretty tough challenge to the kids to play with a sense of urgency, and I think they did that."

The Panthers led by only three points after the first quarter but used a 21-4 surge in the second to pull away from Roseburg (7-15, 3-10) and halt the Indians' three-game winning streak.

"Defensively, we played tough again in the second quarter and that got us going," said Murphy, whose team was 17-for-34 from the field in the first half.

Zach Haveman added 10 points for the Panthers, who will look to clinch the outright SWC title at home Thursday against Grants Pass in the regular season finale.

"Obviously we're real excited about the No. 1 seed," said Murphy, "and we want to take care of business Thursday night and win the conference outright if we can."

SOUTH MEDFORD (70) — E.J. Singler 20, Harthun 19, Haveman 10, Aguirre 5, M. Singler 4, Walport 4, Work 4, Kezer 2, Phillips 2, McLaughlin 0. Totals: 31-71 4-5 70.

ROSEBURG (40) — Sherriff 8, Hancock 7, Cavens 7, Malone 5, Whitman 4, J. Johnson 4, S. Huff 2, M. Huff 2, Priestley 1, LaBranche 0, B. Johnson 0. Totals: 16-50 5-8 40.

South Medford 16 21 18 15 — 70

Roseburg 13 4 17 16 — 40

3-point goals — South Medford 4 (Aguirre 1, Harthun 1, Haveman 2), Roseburg 3 (Malone 1, Hancock 1, Sherriff 1).

JV result — Roseburg won.

NORTH MEDFORD 75, SHELDON 72 — At Eugene, Michael Williams and Ryan McLemore each hit clutch free throws down the stretch and Tim Budavari-Jasper and Matt Maurer combined on a key steal inside the final 15 seconds to lead North Medford.

The sixth-ranked Black Tornado (18-6, 11-3 SWC) saw an eight-point lead erased in a last-minute surge by the Irish (9-14, 6-8), but Williams hit the front end of a one-and-one for a 73-72 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Budavari-Jasper tipped away Sheldon's entry pass to the post and Maurer pounced on the ball and moved it up court.

With seven seconds to go, McLemore calmly drained both ends of a one-and-one to give North a 75-72 advantage. Sheldon's final 3-point attempt to tie missed its mark.

During the game, Williams became the career assist and steal leader for North Medford.

By virtue of South Medford's win Friday and the Panthers' tiebreaking edge over the Black Tornado, North Medford will be the No. 2 seed out of the SWC for the state playoffs. The Tornado still has a chance to earn a share of the SWC title with a win Thursday at South Eugene and a South Medford loss to Grants Pass.

NORTH MEDFORD (75) — Pecktol 18, Berger 15, Williams 12, Budavari-Jasper 12, Maurer 8, McLemore 8, Waldron 2, Hutley 0, Barlow 0. Totals: 32 7-13 75.

SHELDON (72) — Reynolds 22, Clemo 20, Pinz 11, White 6, Davis 6, Garcia 5, Todd 2, Wellman 0, Agerter 0, Higgins 0. Totals: 24 20-26 72.

North Medford 17 11 23 24 — 75

Sheldon 15 13 19 25 — 72

3-point goals — North Medford 4 (Williams 1, Berger 3), Sheldon 4 (Clemo 1, Reynolds 3). Fouled out — Berger, Garcia.

JV result — Sheldon won.

GRANTS PASS 55, SOUTH EUGENE 50, OT — At Grants Pass, Grants Pass rallied from five points down with 11/2 minutes to play in regulation, then was solid at the free-throw line in overtime in winning the pivotal SWC contest.

The Cavemen (9-15, 5-9 SWC) are battling South Eugene (10-14, 4-9) for the league's fourth and final state playoff berth.

A steal and layup by Dee Wiersma and a 3-pointer by Zach Morgan allowed Grants Pass to tie it at the end of the fourth quarter, 45-45.

In overtime, the Cavemen made 8 of 10 free throws during one stretch to pull way.

Morgan and Wiersma each had 16 points. Wiersma had five steals and four 3-pointers. Buddy Saxon added 12 points and six assists.

John Hayward-Mayhew scored 18 for the Axemen.

SOUTH EUGENE (50) — Lapite 0, T. Rooke-Ley 8, A. Coleman 7, Masterson 2, Jacobs 9, Risinger 0, H. Rooke-Ley 0, Trachtenberg 0, Lokombo 3, S. Coleman 0, Brown 3, Hayward-Mayhew 18. Totals: 18 10-14 50.

GRANTS PASS (55) — Morgan 16, Carpenter 9, Saxon 12, Wiersma 16, Davidson 2, Fields 0, Parker 0. Totals: 16 16-22 55.

South Eugene 9 11 10 15 5 — 50

Grants Pass 11 7 17 10 10 — 55

3-point goals — South Eugene 4 (A. Coleman 1, Jacobs 2, Brown 1), Grants Pass 7 (Morgan 3, Wiersma 4).

JV result — Grants Pass won.