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Preps start winter sports play this week

High School basketball begins this week at all levels for Southern Oregon boys and girls teams.

In boys Class 4A non-league play tonight, Eagle Point is host to Bend at 7:30, and Ashland visits Class 3A Phoenix at 7:15.

In a girls game, North Medford entertains Del Norte at 7.

Eagle Point boys coach Keith Williams says the Eagles' fortunes this year were dealt a severe blow when junior shooting guard Nick Rouhier suffered a serious knee injury last summer.

We won't be the same without Nick, says Williams. Nick is a great shooter, and we will miss that.

We will still need to use our quickness on the perimeter, but we can't overlook our big guys.

The Eagles will look inside for scoring and rebounding out of 6-foot-7 Phil Garrett and 6-4 Chad Stuart. Garrett was a third-team Southern Oregon Conference all-star last year as a junior.

Expected to start on the perimeter tonight for the Eagles are point guard John Lucas and wings Danny Acrey and Chris Sawyer.

Those perimeter guys are pretty small, but we do have some quickness there, says Williams. We have to take advantage of that.

In another boys game, Illinois Valley plays at Coquille.

In boys jamborees, North Valley and Rogue River visit Hidden Valley, Butte Falls and Cascade Christian play at Scenic Middle School in Central Point and New Hope Christian is at Prospect.

In other girls games, Brighton Academy plays at Illinois Valley, Phoenix at Douglas, Glendale at Rogue River, South Medford at Henley and New Hope Christian at Prospect.