Setzer, Comets fly by North
Caught up in the flow of the game, Crater girls basketball head coach David Heard said he didn't have any idea of the kind of night junior post Courtney Setzer was having Tuesday against North Medford.
It wasn't until the contest was over and the statistics began to be tabulated that Heard truly could appreciate what the 5-foot-11 Comet was able to accomplish.
Setzer scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to spearhead Crater's run to a 60-37 win over the visiting Black Tornado in the Southern Oregon Hybrid opener for both teams at Crater High.
En route to the big night, Setzer also set a school record for single-game field goal percentage by converting 11 of her 12 shots (92 percent). Whitney Black held the previous record after shooting 10-for-11 in a game.
"It was really a team effort," said Heard. "You didn't really notice Courtney having such a big game because all her numbers seemed to be in the flow of the game and it was a total team effort. Then we got in here (to the locker room) and we were surprised by her totals. We were like, 'Wow, I didn't see that coming.'"
Crater improved to 12-1 overall and 1-0 in SOH play heading into Friday's home game against Grants Pass. North Medford fell to 5-5 overall and 0-1 in the SOH after having its three-game winning streak halted.
"Crater's good," said Black Tornado head coach Tim Karrick. "They were solid, they did a good job against us and got a lot of second-chance points that hurt us."
Cheyenne Scott added nine points and five steals, Becca Heard had seven points and six rebounds and Destiny Fahndrich scored nine points for the Comets, who only committed 10 turnovers.
For North Medford, Joci Ellis and Sydney Thomas each scored 10 points to lead the way, with Savannah Bumgardner adding nine rebounds, five points and two steals before fouling out. Ellis also had four assists.
Both teams came out of the game firing on all cylinders, with Crater holding a slight 20-16 advantage thanks to 11 first-quarter points by Setzer.
"The intensity level of this game was considerably different than any game we've been in before," said coach Heard. "I don't know if it was because it was a conference game or we're considered rivals or whatever, but it was just a different level."
With Ellis steady at point guard, North Medford was able to deftly carve up the Comets full-court pressure to get easy transition baskets in the opening quarter and that forced coach Heard's hand to change things up in the second quarter.
"They did a really good job of handling our press and got a lot of easy buckets so we had to re-evaluate what we were doing," said the coach. "We changed our press and kind of backed off because we had just given them so many open looks with layups and 10- to 12-footers off the break."
That decision paid off for the Comets as they slowed the pace of the game down and wound up outscoring the Black Tornado 19-9 in the second quarter to take control of the contest.
"They did a good job of pounding the boards and made some plays in the second quarter to kind of put us down by double digits," said Karrick.
With the lead in hand at 39-25 heading into the second half, the Comets slowed things down even more and spread out the Black Tornado to run minutes of clock away at a time on their possessions.
"We're really hard to guard when we spread people out because all of our players can handle the ball and it's hard to get the ball from us," said Heard.
Setzer, who had 15 points at intermission, tacked on 10 more points in the second half as Crater outscored North Medford 21-12 in the final 16 minutes. Of her 16 rebounds, five came on the offensive boards.
"She did a really good job," said Heard. "Two thing happened for her that really helped. One thing is there were some really good passes to her from kids getting into the lane and dishing her the ball, and the second thing is she was just a monster on the boards."
Karrick was equally impressed by Setzer's effort on Tuesday.
"She is a very solid player and she's tough," he said. "She got a lot of rebound putbacks and kinda put us on our heels tonight."
NORTH MEDFORD (37) — Ellis 10, Thomas 10, Bumgardner 5, Koistinen 4, Hall 4, Wizner 2, Cowan 2, Anderson 0, Rivero 0. Totals: 17-39 3-6 37.
CRATER (60) — Setzer 25, Scott 9, Fahndrich 9, B. Heard 7, Bascom 6, Ma. Heard 2, Mo. Heard 2, Gavin 0, Noles 0, Ryerson 0. Totals: 24-49 11-19 60.
North Medford 16 9 8 4 — 37
Crater 20 19 12 9 — 60
3-point goals — Crater 1 (Scott 1). Fouled out — Bumgardner.
JV result — Crater won.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry