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Wightman, Bruner to play for Raiders

Former South Medford High basketball standout James Wightman is one of four recruits who have committed to play for Southern Oregon University next year.

The others are junior college transfers Ryan Bruner of Cave Junction and Marc Cordle of Albany, plus incoming freshman Martin DeGroot of Glide.

Wightman, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound point guard, averaged 14 points and four assists last season as a freshman for Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. He was a Southern Oregon Conference all-star for three seasons and third-team all-state as a junior. Wightman started on three consecutive Class 4A state tournament teams.

Every time I see James play, I'm more impressed, said Southern Oregon coach Brian McDermott, who guided the Raiders to their most successful season in 30 years in 1998. His style is different than our other guards, and that will give us a good contrast.

We want to play more up-tempo next year, and he will have a big impact.

Bruner, a 6-7, 200-pound forward, earned Class 3A all-state honors as a senior at Illinois Valley High in 1995-96. He amassed 14-point, eight-rebound and three-block averages at Chemeketa Community College during the 1997-98 season.

Cordle, a 6-3, 185-pound guard, is a former South Albany High all-conference player, who earned all-star honors last season at Linn-Benton Community College.

DeGroot was an outstanding all-around athlete at Glide, where he excelled in soccer, basketball and track. The 6-7, 200-pound forward earned honorable mention all-state accolades last season after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds.

Southern Oregon graduated three starters and three reserves from last year's 22-9 team, which posted the school's first conference title and national tournament berth in 30 years.