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Fiegi finds North gym to his liking, again

Ryan Fiegi's wiry, 6-foot-5 frame belied his strength as he carried an entire basketball team Tuesday.

Fiegi equaled his career high with 23 points ' 21 in the first half ' and South Medford used a 30-7 run over the second and third quarters for an 80-47 pummeling of host North Medford in the Southern Oregon Conference boys opener for both teams.

The second-ranked Panthers improved to 10-1 overall after dismantling North for the second time in a week.

The Black Tornado, routed 95-31 Wednesday in the championship game of the Abby's Holiday Classic, was more resistant this time in the early going.

It led 15-8 midway through the first quarter and 30-26 with three minutes left in the second before the Panthers went on a 14-0 run to finish the half.

— Our team didn't step up, and I felt like I had to do something about it, said Fiegi, who also scored 23 at North's gym last season as a junior. (North Medford) came out all hyped up and our team didn't react. ... We came out on our heels.

South wasn't shell-shocked for long.

Following a timeout, freshman Kyle Singler converted back-to-back layups, Spencer Hunter drained a 3-pointer and Fiegi scored seven points to complete three-minute burst that sent South into the half with a 40-30 lead.

The surge continued in the opening minutes of the third period.

Singler connected on a 3, then followed it up with a conventional three-point play. Craig Johnson nailed a short turnaround jumper, and Fiegi capped off his scoring night with a bucket to give South a commanding 50-30 advantage.

We're a second-half team, said Fiegi. We've been playing amazing in the second half of our games so far.

Everyone wanted it a little bit more (in the second half).

Johnson, the leading scorer heading into SOC play at 19.7 points per game, didn't get much of a sniff on offense in the opening half ' just two shots with one make ' but hit the stretch run with a vengeance.

Partly, we weren't getting him involved, said South coach Dennis Murphy of his 6-4 post, who did help in other ways with eight rebounds, four blocks and four steals. (At halftime) We talked about getting the ball inside more and getting to the boards a little stronger.

Johnson scored 17 points, shooting 5-for-7 from the floor and free throw line.

We had trouble getting into our sets in the first half, said Johnson. We knew coming in it was going to be a battle.

(North) played us tough, but we responded.

The Black Tornado (6-5, 0-1 SOC) played without leading scorer Ryan Lucas, suspended one game for violating team rules.

(Lucas) is the focal point of our offense, said Tornado coach Tim Sam. Without him, it also gave South a chance to not focus on one player and extend their defense to everyone else.

Overall, our intensity was good. We just got away from our press break and stopped executing.

But North still had its shots at the potential upset early on.

Junior guard Drew Herrera's layup and 3-pointer put the Tornado ahead 14-6 halfway through the opening quarter.

South answered with a 12-3 run to close the quarter, but North went on the attack once again in the second period before going scoreless over the final three minutes.

Beau Hovland, who's been slowed by injuries, came off the bench and added productive minutes with eight of his 11 points in the first half.

Kyle Williamson, starting in place of Lucas, also scored 11 for North, which finished with 23 turnovers against the Panthers' pressure.

Singler tallied 17 points for South, which turned it over just four times in the second half after committing 12 in the opening 16 minutes.

SOUTH MEDFORD (80) ' Fiegi 23, Singler 17, C. Johnson 17, B. Johnson 5, Hagert 6, Hunter 3, Adams 3, Berkey 2, Heil 2, Sabori 2, Weaver 0. Totals: 25-53 25-33 80.

NORTH MEDFORD (47) ' Williamson 11, Hovland 11, Gielow 6, Herrera 7, Running 6, O'Brien 2, Berger 2, Theel 2, Eubank 0, Ryan 0, Stroh 0. Totals: 19-47 5-11 47.

South Medford..........................18 22 20 20 ' 80

North Medford............................17 13 7 10 ' 47

3-point goals ' South Medford 5 (Singler 2, Hagert 1, Hunter 1, Adams 1), North Medford 4 (Hovland 2, Herrera 1, Williamson 1). Fouled out ' Gielow.

JV score ' South Medford 72, North Medford 50.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4480 or e-mail .