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Basketball proves to be full-time job in college

Prep Notebook

Playing sports at the Division — level is as time-consuming as holding down a full-time job.

I've heard coaches and athletes repeatedly make that claim in recent years. After interviewing 10 female D1 basketball players from the Rogue Valley last week for a story that ran in Sunday's , it seems as though their workload is as heavy as ever.

Take Arizona State center Amy Denson. The former Crater High standout will only get two weeks off once the season ends in March. Then it will be off to spring training, where she'll lift weights, partake in individual skill sessions, conditioning drills and open gym.

The summers are even busier because agility drills get added to the mix.

Coming home for the summers isn't an option.

— I'm so blessed to have a scholarship, but I do work for it, says Denson, who attends class beginning at 9 a.m. and doesn't get a break until practice ends at 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays she has a couple hours of free time in between, but then lifts weights and attends meetings after practice. On those days, she doesn't get back to her apartment until 6:30 or so.

I'm pretty much addicted to basketball, so it's no big deal to me, says Denson, who has helped the Sun Devils to a 14-6 record. I'm used to playing year-round.

Then there's former Ashland High standout Marla Morin, who went to Portland State on a volleyball scholarship and has now added basketball to her menu.

With the seasons overlapping, it's a tough double, says first-year Portland State basketball coach Charity Elliott. But it's doable. Right now, Marla and I are just going one day at a time.

Elliott has been pleased with Morin, a 6-foot sophomore post who has received more and more playing time since joining the team in early December. Morin earned her first start last Thursday in a game against Montana and also started Saturday's game against Montana State.

The rebuilding Vikings are struggling as a team, however. The two losses dropped their record to 2-17.

MIKE MURRAY, an all-state tackle on Medford High's 1958 state runner-up football team, died of a heart attack while on a golf course in Portland two weeks ago, his stepfather said.

Murray was also the Black Tornado's place-kicker that season; his field goal provided the only points in a 3-0 nonconference victory over Marshfield.

Medford lost to Jefferson, 21-7, in the Class 4A state championship game. The Democrats featured future Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Terry Baker and future NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Mel Renfro. Baker went on to star at Oregon State while Renfro starred at Oregon and later with the Dallas Cowboys.

Murray, who was 61, worked as an insurance adjuster.

HERE'S A RECIPE for a rout in basketball: Bring together a top-ranked, big-school team and match it with a charter school playing in its first year.

It happened at the Northwestern/Alva Basketball Shootout in Oklahoma City, Okla., last week.

Final score: Woodward, Okla. 102, Santa Fe South 2.

Woodward is ranked No. — at the 5A level in Oklahoma and is a seven-time state champion. Santa Fe South, which is based in Oklahoma City, has just one member of its team who played basketball prior to this season.

Woodward coach Kim Kramer claims he wasn't trying to run up the score. We didn't run up the score. We did everything not to ... except tell (our players) to stop scoring, he said.

How about telling your girls to shoot left-handed. And launch nothing but 20-foot shots. And throw 20 passes before shooting.

The score was 38-0 after one quarter, 55-2 at the half and 80-2 after three periods.

It was hard to lose that bad, Santa Fe South's Martha Valles told The Oklahoman newspaper. It was gut-wrenching. It's hard to be looked at as a laughingstock, but people are really making a big deal about this.

Valles was a hero of sorts, however. Her basket from 15 feet out in the second quarter allowed her team to get on the scoreboard.

EACH YEAR the Crater High girls and boys basketball squads sign a ball that gets auctioned off at halftime of a game, with proceeds going to Project Graduation and the Crater Foundation scholarship fund.

The girls basketballs generally go for about &

36;200, but last Friday's went for a whopping &

36;500, thanks to Rapp Racing.

I didn't sign this one ' that's probably why the value shot up so high, quipped Crater girls basketball coach Scott Dippel.

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