North Medford likes to pride itself on solid defense, but what transpired Friday went well beyond any expectations for the Black Tornado boys.

North Medford likes to pride itself on solid defense, but what transpired Friday went well beyond any expectations for the Black Tornado boys.

Already with a comfortable cushion, ninth-ranked North Medford took things to a different level in the second half against Crater, holding the Comets without a field goal until the final two minutes of play en route to a 60-29 romp.

Crater was 0-for-18 from the field in the second half until reserve guard Evan Erskine converted a jumper with 1:50 to go. The sophomore later added a 3-pointer with 10 seconds to play for the Comets' only other field goal of the final 16 minutes — capping a 7-0 run to close the game by Crater.

"I know that when we come focused, we're a pretty good defensive team," said North Medford head coach Scott Plankenhorn, whose team improved to 12-4 and 3-3 in Southern Oregon Hybrid play. "There's been some games where we've lost focus in some stretches and it has hurt us, but when we come focused the whole night we can be pretty good."

As much as that is true, Crater head coach John Parent said his team had to shoulder some of the blame for what turned into a 2-for-20 effort from the field in the second half. The Comets, who played the final 121/2 minutes without leading scorer Cody Dismukes, shot 23 percent from the field overall (10-for-44).

"We couldn't throw it in the ocean from the beach," said Parent. "We struggle sometimes on offense and without Cody in the game we really struggle."

Dismukes received a technical foul and was ejected from the contest after a dispute with 4:36 to go in the third quarter. He had just received a charging call on a drive where he led with his forearm and was walking away when he got tangled with North's Michael Osmanski and the two exchanged words. Seconds later, Dismukes was ousted from the game.

"The ref said he threw an elbow, which he never did," Parent said of the incident that took place directly across from the Crater bench.

While the ejection forced Crater (4-13, 0-7 SOH) to find offense from other sources — Dismukes had five points and five rebounds — it really didn't have much bearing on the final outcome. North Medford held a comfortable 38-20 lead leading up to the incident, having really only been challenged when Crater mounted a 10-3 run to close the first quarter and trail only 17-14.

"It's a situation where we've got to learn," said Parent. "We're going to get behind in games, you just have to fight harder and do the things we ask you to do and we'll be fine. We got down early (14-4 in the first quarter) but we came back and we've got to learn from that. Just because we get down again doesn't mean we can't come back again."

Black Tornado senior Jared Knox helped set the tone for his team with a game-opening 3-pointer and seven points in the first quarter. The 6-foot-4 standout notched 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, and finished with three blocks and a pair of assists.

"When we have good games, he's obviously our go-to guy," said Plankenhorn. "He's starting to step up but it's still an adjustment role for him."

North also got inspired performances from Chris Faust, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and fellow junior Jordan Browne-Moore, who added eight points, six rebounds and two blocks.

"That was really big, especially for Chris," said Plankenhorn. "I thought he really extended his game tonight and made plays for us."

Friday's outing also represented a change in offensive scheme for the Black Tornado.

"We've been doing some adjusting ... hopefully it's for the better. We're going to find out pretty soon here," added Plankenhorn. "We're working on trying to get some guys shots and be a little more coordinated on what we're doing instead of letting them freelance. We kinda found out the kids are struggling with that so we're trying to tell them a little more where to go, where to cut and what to look for."

Trey Garfas added seven points off the bench and Osmanski had five points and three rebounds for the Tornado, which plays at Grants Pass on Tuesday before hosting South Medford next Friday.

Justin Martin connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the final 42 seconds of the first quarter for all six of his points, which represented his team's high mark. Jeremy Seiver and Anthony Neal each added four points.

CRATER (29) — J. Martin 6, Dismukes 5, Erskine 5, Seiver 4, Neal 4, Williams 3, Morgan 1, Douglas 1, Funderburk 0, Rodman 0, Stewart 0, Jaasko 0, Bennett 0, A. Martin 0. Totals: 10-44 6-14 29.

NORTH MEDFORD (60) — Knox 17, Faust 10, Browne-Moore 8, Garfas 7, Osmanski 5, Ellis 4, Mautz 3, McEwen 2, Artale 2, Bailey 2, Howitt 0, Parker 0, Takahashi 0. Totals: 23-39 8-14 60.

Crater 14 5 2 8 — 29

North Medford 17 18 14 11 — 60

3-point goals — Crater 3-12 (J. Martin 2, Erskine 1), North Medford 6-11 (Knox 3, Garfas 1, Osmanski 1, Mautz 1). Technical fouls — Dismukes.

JV score — North Medford 52, Crater 40.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Kris_Henry