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Tornado boys brace for Roseburg visit

With second place in the Southern Oregon Conference high school boys basketball race at stake, North Medford will try to defend 6-foot-8 Roseburg center Matt Brown and the rest of the Indians tonight in the North gym.

Game time is 7:30.

Roseburg, which was picked by SOC coaches to finish second in the league behind current leader South Medford, has a 4-2 record. North Medford is alone in second place at 5-2, and Klamath Union is tied with Roseburg at 4-2.

The Black Tornado has continued to win, especially on its home floor, despite the loss of senior point guard K.C. Rumrey to a season-ending knee injury. North has a 6-1 home record.

Roseburg is a definite playoff team, and that makes this a big game for us, says North Medford coach Terry Gregg. We need to continue to focus on team play and playing aggressive defense. To be successful, we also have to do a good job on the boards.

While the Indians try to run their offense through Brown at the low post, North Medford will use a typical Gregg offense.

As far as we're concerned, we don't have one or two guys that we emphasize on offense, says Gregg. It's been different guys stepping up in every game.

Since the loss of Rumrey, forward Jesse Fowler, guard Doug Zimmer and 6-5 center Kacy Carter have been North's most consistent scorers.

In other Southern Oregon Conference boys games tonight, Grants Pass is at Ashland, Klamath Union at Eagle Point and Crater at Mazama. In girls games, Ashland plays at Grants Pass at South Middle School, Mazama is at Crater, Eagle Point at Klamath Union and North Medford at Roseburg. All games start at 7:30.

On Saturday night, the front-running South Medford boys play at Crater, Mazama is at Grants Pass, Eagle Point at Roseburg and Ashland at Klamath Union. In girls games, Crater is at South Medford, Grants Pass travels to Mazama and Roseburg is at Eagle Point. All games start at 7:30.

South Medford takes a 6-0 SOC record to Crater Saturday.

The Comets, 2-4 in the SOC, take a three-game SOC win streak into the weekend.

South Medford, in particular, looms as troublesome.

Honestly, they (the Panthers) scare me, says Crater coach Matt Meunier. We don't match up with them very well because of their speed and athletic ability.

I don't see many holes in their team. They have four guys capable of having big scoring games. If one of those guys goes off, we will change up our defense to try to slow him down.

He referred to point guard James Wightman, forwards Adam Decker and Bryn Ritchie and guard Travis DeManby.

We've tried all week to focus on Mazama and not worry about South Medford, says Meunier. But it's hard to not worry about South.

Junior guard Matt Brown continues to lead the Comets in scoring with an average of 19.6 points per game.