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Crater remains in state

-playoff hunt with win over North

Crater wing Chris Pettegrew hit six free throws and scored 11 points in the final 31/2 minutes Tuesday night as the Comets defeated North Medford, 59-55, to remain in the state-playoffs hunt.

Down by six points after the third quarter, the visiting Comets rallied to tie the game just 92 seconds into the final quarter.

North and Crater traded baskets until Pettegrew hit a 3-point goal with — minutes, 20 seconds remaining to put the Comets up, 49-46. It was the start of a 12-5 Crater run that assured the Comets (14-10, 7-7 Southern Oregon Conference) at least one more game, a tie-breaker against Klamath Union (7-7 SOC).

Crater and KU finish the regular season tied for fourth in the conference, so the 7 p.m. Thursday match at Crater High School will decide which team advances to the Class 4A state playoffs.

It was the final game of the season for North (7-16, 4-10), which ends up sixth in the conference standings.

"I didn't have any doubts," said Pettegrew, who scored all his points in the final quarter. "We just had to get the ball and get in our offense. Three minutes is a lot of time and we were only down by a few."

Crater head coach Matt Meunier said North "stifled" Crater in the third quarter, but the Comets came through in the fourth.

"In the fourth quarter, we finally got some stops," Meunier said. "We made some stops and got the rebound."

Crater hit 19-of-38 from the floor (50 percent), while North hit just 21 of 51 (just less than 40 percent). Crater was 17-for-29 from the line while North was 9-for-16.

North senior Gabe Burchfiel led all scorers with 24 points, while Crater's Andrew Norum paced the Comets with 21. North's Zach Taylor scored 13, while Crater's Derek Petersen posted 10.

North Medford seniors said they had a fun season, even though they lost more games than they won.

"It has been a ride," Ryan Davis said. "It has totally changed from three years ago. I had a lot of fun this year. I can't believe it's over."

Burchfiel, a 6-foot-4 post, said he was sad, but said the season had some bright moments.

"This is my last year so I am kind of bummed out," Burchfiel said. "We made some big steps forward and had some good leadership on the team. Hopefully in the future, North can make it into the playoffs."

Guard Zach Rettmann said he believes North will be a threat next season.

"We felt like we could have made the playoffs, but we lost two real unfortunate ones against Klamath," Rettmann said. "All we really talked about tonight was that us seniors have (made) a good foundation for the future. We have a great young group coming up and they will be fun to watch."

Taylor said he "loved everything about the season."

"I had some interesting things happen," he said. "But I would not have (wanted) to be anywhere else."

On Tuesday, Norum, Petersen and Brian Goode helped Crater jump out to a 12-5 lead early in the first quarter, but eight Comet turnovers in the quarter helped North close the gap. A few seconds into the second quarter, Taylor hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 12-all.

Burchfiel, junior Brian Clifton and sophomore Beau Hovland hit baskets to give North a 23-17 edge midway through the second. Norum and Dan Gulgiotta led Crater on a 12-0 run to give the Comets a 29-23 halftime advantage.

Burchfiel scored nine points and North outscored the Comets, 19-7, in the third quarter, to pull into the lead. Crater answered with 23 fourth-quarter points

Meunier said Crater will "have to play better to beat K.U."

"It will be tough," he said. "We both have the postseason at stake."

CRATER (59) - Zimmerman 3, Petersen 10, Norum 21, Goode 3, Gugliotta 4, Ryan 4, Davis 4, Pettegrew 11. Totals: 19 17-29 59.

NORTH MEDFORD (55) - Timmerman 0, Poulton 5, Deline 5, Hovland 2, Clifton 0, Taylor 13, Rettmann 4, Barlow 2, Burchfiel 24, Lucas 0. Totals: 21 9-16 55.

Crater .............................................. 12 17 7 23 - 59North Medford ................................ 9 14 19 13 - 55

3-point goals - Crater 4 (Petersen 1, Norum 1, Goode 1, Pettegrew 1), North Medford 4 (Taylor 3, Hovland 1). Fouled out - Taylor.

JV score - North 72, Crater 59.