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N. Eugene rolls over Tornado girls, 65

North had its way with the opposing girls basketball team Friday night at North Medford High.

Unfortunately for the Black Tornado, the dominating effort belonged to another North squad.

North Eugene (3-1) used a stifling press and a crisp transition attack to romp past North Medford, 65-46, in non-conference action.

We were chasing and they were initiating, and that was the big difference, said North Medford coach J.T. Thomas. They did a very good job of forcing us to do things we didn't want to do. They're a good team.

The Black Tornado (2-2) struggled to get anything going offensively or defensively against the Highlanders, frustrating the North Medford players in their home-opener.

We just came out tired, said North Medford senior Tressa Manwaring, who managed 11 rebounds but only two points. Nobody could run, nobody could execute, nobody was getting a rebound, nobody was breaking their press. Nothing. We were in slow motion.

While the Black Tornado stumbled, the Highlanders glided across the court, picking off errant passes and deftly knifing past defenders for transition baskets.

They were playing hard and didn't miss a beat, said Thomas.

I have to credit them with turning the tempo up with a pace we haven't seen this year all the way through the game. It just got to a point where we never could recover.

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Tornado's Kara Hwang, right, and — Tressa Manwaring battle.

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Two junior reserves proved to be North Medford's saving grace, with Kara Hwang and Tasha Williams each notching 14 points for the Tornado. In contrast, North Medford's entire starting five combined for 14 points.

I'm real happy with their production, Thomas said of Hwang and Williams. They're a couple of real savvy young kids. They did a real good job recognizing what was happening as they watched the game and then making that mental transition once they got into the game.

North Eugene received a steady effort from its starters and reserves, with 5-foot-3 point guard Katie Williams pacing the Highlanders with 16 points and six of the team's 12 steals.

Kristi Hill added 10 points for North Eugene, which led by as many as 22 in the third quarter.

The Highlanders' relentlessly pressured North Medford guards Tennille Bennett, Cari Jones and Jamie MacLauchlan in the backcourt. When the trio were finally able to break free, the Black Tornado still had trouble capitalizing thanks to missed shots from the field and free-throw line.

We probably missed enough shots right at the basket to have made this a very different game, said Thomas. We didn't focus well at the free-throw line either.

North Medford connected on 4 of 14 charity shots compared to a 16-of-27 effort by North Eugene.

The Black Tornado maintained striking distance for most of the first half until the Highlanders closed the second quarter with an 11-2 run to muster a 37-22 advantage.

North Eugene never let its lead dip below 14 points in the second half to quiet any hopes of a Tornado comeback.

Despite the loss, Manwaring said North Medford won't have trouble putting the lackluster effort behind as the Black Tornado prepare to face eighth-ranked South Eugene today.

It's behind me right now, the senior post said moments after the final buzzer. I'm just going to focus on (today) and try and forget about this one. We'll learn from it.

NORTH EUGENE (65)-- Swedberg 8, Williams 16, Gilbert 6, Hill 10, Brock 3, Goodale 6, Jodoin 1, True 7, Stribling 8, Stratton 0, Collins 0. Totals: 24 16-27 65.

NORTH MEDFORD (46)-- Hwang 14, Williams 14, Jones 4, Versteeg 4, Bennett 4, MacLauchlan 4, Manwaring 2, Horn 0, Stevenson 0. Totals: 21 4-14 46.

North Eugene

............18 19 13 15 -- 65 North Medford

.............14 8 10 14 -- 46

3-point goals -- North Eugene — (Williams 1). Fouled out -- MacLauchlan.

JV score -- North Medford 52, North Eugene 45.

N. Eugene rolls over Tornado girls, 65-46 photo by Drew Fleming North Medford's Tressa Manwaring, right, shoots over North Eugene's Kristi Hill.