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Hilgendorf fuels South over Irish

Normally, a point guard is a passer first and a scorer second.

— — — Abby's Holiday Classic

— — FIRST ROUND RESULTS

— At North Medford High

McNary 50, McMinnville 46 — North Bend 63, North Medford 61

— At South Medford High

Crook County 58, Glencoe 57 — South Medford 66, Sheldon 52 — —

South Medford High boys basketball coach Dennis Murphy has defied that theory in recent years by producing point guards who pass and score.

The latest is senior Steve Hilgendorf, who scored 22 points and dished off nine assists Tuesday night to lead the Panthers to a 66-52 win over Sheldon of Eugene in the opening round of the Abby's Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament in the South Medford gym.

Murph (Murphy) wants me to go to the rack (drive to the basket) and look to score more, said Hilgendorf. I'm doing that better and better now.

The win moves the Panthers (3-4) into the tournament semifinals tonight (6 o'clock) against Crook County in the North Medford gym.

I like handling the ball and being a scorer, said Hilgendorf. We're emphasizing getting the ball and running out to try to get easy baskets. It worked pretty well tonight because they (the Irish) didn't get back on defense very fast.

South Medford, leading 27-24 at halftime, outscored the Irish 9-3 to start the third quarter to build a 36-27 lead with 2:26 left in the period.

Forwards David Kime and John McKay came off the Panthers' bench to spur the scoring surge. Kime scored a layin early in the run and McKay hit a 3-point field goal from the baseline and added two free throws to increase the lead to 36-27.

Kime and McKay came off the bench and really helped us, said Murphy. There was a stretch in the third quarter where they (the Irish) went scoreless in seven straight possessions and we scored five times on seven possessions.

That was probably the turning point of the game, said Murphy. We shot well for three quarters, and we played pretty well. Then, we had a little letdown in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Ryan Heil and 6-foot-7 senior center Nick Decker both scored eight points for South Medford, and 6-4 junior forward Jared Mulhollen had six. Decker collected 10 rebounds to lead both teams.

Hilgendorf has scored 38 points during his last two games in his new role as a point guard who scores and passes.

We needed somebody to score more, and Hilgy is the veteran and a good shooter, said Murphy. We need him to score, shoot the ball and still handle it.

Ben Moen-Arnold led Sheldon with 13 points. Guard Blake Slonecker added 10 points and guard Matt Erickson finished with nine.

Murphy said the Panthers have improved markedly with three tournament games in Red Bluff, Calif., last week and the opener in the Abby's tourney.

We shot the ball better tonight, and the key to that is Hilgendorf, said Murphy. He not only hit some big shots and drove hard to the basket, but he made good passes to his teammates.

Said Hilgendorf: They weren't picking me up that tight out front and I had room to drive, said Hilgendorf. I kept taking it until they closed it down.

The other thing is we're playing harder now, said Hilgendorf. The harder we play, the smarter we seem to play.

SHELDON (52)-- Ross 0, Drennan 0, King 2, Martell 2, Erickson 9, Baker 4, Bremmer 0, Hamilton 0, Slonecker 10, Marsden 4, Copley 2, Moen-Arnolv 13, Haliski 6. Totals: 20 10-14 52 .

SOUTH MEDFORD (66)--Hilgendorf 22, Heil 8, McKay 8, Rasmussen 2, Wallenberg 4, Mulhollen 6, Grant 2, Kime 6, Decker 8, Feigi 0, . Totals: 29 5-7 66.

Sheldon

....................16 15 5 16 -- 52 South Medford

........19 22 15 10 -- 66

3-point goals -- Sheldon 2 (Erickson 1, Slonecker 1), South Medford — (Hilgendorf 1, McKay 2).

CROOK COUNTY 58, GLENCOE 57-- At South Medford, Noah Pinkston made the game-winning shot at the buzzer to lift Crook County over Glencoe of Hillsboro.

With just seconds left and Crook County behind by one, Crook County's Jared Abell attempted a 3-pointer, but came up short. Pinkston grabbed the ball as it came down and banked it in at the buzzer for the win.

Abell, a senior, led the Cowboys with 26 points, and Pinkston added 15.

Mark Gayman led the Crimson Tide with 24 points.

CROOK COUNTY (58)-- Moon 8, Gillen 0, Gray 0, Eckman 3, McCarthy 6, Abell 26, Lucas 0, Pinkston 15. Totals: 20 15-17 58.

GLENCOE (57)-- Henningfeld 0, Barnett 0, Benson 0, Gayman 24, Tingley 0, Fonder 11, Mcinnis 11, Richardson 0, Suson 0, Kirsch 0, Rice 5, Titts 6. Totals: 25 5-9 57.

Crook County

.......15 17 13 13 -- 58 Glencoe

.................20 12 9 16 -- 57

3-point goals -- Crook County — (Eckman 1, Abell 1, Pinkston1), Glencoe 2 (Fonder 1, Mcinnis 1).