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Pirates' press overwhelms Chiefs

PHOENIX ' The Rogue River High boys basketball team must have felt like it got hit by an avalanche, an earthquake and a tidal wave ' all within the span of eight minutes Friday night at Phoenix High.

Rogue River trailed Phoenix just 17-13 after one period, but when the Pirates clamped on a full-court press to start the second quarter, disaster struck the Chieftains.

They coughed up the ball 10 times on turnovers in the quarter and Phoenix went on a 20-4 run en route to an 80-60 win.

The victory boosted the Pirates to 3-0 in Skyline Conference play and 12-1 overall heading into Tuesday's showdown at Henley.

Rogue River dropped to 1-1 and 6-6.

— We lost our composure, said Rogue River coach Scott Anderson, whose team finished the game with 26 turnovers. They brought it (pressure) at us like we haven't seen all season, and everything just snowballed.

Even when we beat their press, we were in a frenzy mode and either threw the ball away or shot it too quick.

Senior Mike Smith was the main catalyst for the Pirates during their game-breaking spree. The 6-foot-1 guard caused chaos on defense and created points on offense, nailing a 12-foot jumper, a rebound basket and two 3-pointers in the first three minutes and 19 seconds of the second period.

then it was 33-17, Pirates, and by halftime it was 51-25.

We were going all-out on our press and we definitely had them out of sync, said Smith, who had 10 points in the quarter and 20 for the game, along with five rebounds and four steals. We bring a lot of energy to our defense and the whole team feeds off it.

Smith's partner in crime in the backcourt, senior Brett Ellis, added 15 points and seven rebounds and senior post Mike Oxford chipped in 12 points.

Nine Pirates wound up in the scoring column and all 13 in uniform saw action.

We're at our best when we're running and pressing, Phoenix coach Kevin Dixon said. We played them (Rogue River) at the Yreka tournament last month and only won by 12, but we were missing three of our kids off the bench and Smith was sick.

When we've got everybody, we can come at a team in waves. Our depth and athleticism kind of got to them tonight.

Phoenix twice led by as many as 28 points in the second half and enjoyed a 27-point advantage with 5:21 remaining before the Chieftains went on an 11-4 run to close the game.

Rogue River senior post J.T. Vaughn led all scorers with 21 points and became the first player this season to score 20 or more against the Pirates.

Vaughn's teammate, senior guard Ryan Girodat, had 18.

Phoenix shot just 43 percent from the field but nailed six 3-pointers and went 20-for-20 at the free-throw line.

ROGUE RIVER (60) ' Vaughn 21, Girodat 18, Parrillo 8, Bartholomew 7, Richardson 6, Reagles 0, McGinnis 0. Totals: 18-49 23-29 60.

PHOENIX (80) ' Smith 20, Ellis 15, Oxford 12, McKinnis 8, Lockett 7, Bones 6, Bursk 5, Decuir 5, Galligan 2, Albrecht 0, Kraft 0, Shepard 0, Faure 0. Totals: 27-63 20-20 80.

Rogue River...............................13 12 17 18 ' 60

Phoenix.....................................17 34 11 18 ' 80

3-point goals ' Rogue River — (Girodat 1), Phoenix 6 (Smith 3, Bursk 1, Lockett 1, Ellis 1). Technical foul ' Ellis.

JV result ' Phoenix won.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail