North Medford boys run away from Ashland with first-half surge
MEDFORD — North Medford stormed out of the gate during Friday’s boys basketball season opener and, subsequently, left Ashland in its wake in cruising to an 82-54 triumph at the North Medford High gym.
The Black Tornado forced 11 first-half turnovers and was a blistering 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the field to take a 48-19 lead into intermission en route to the nonconference triumph over the Grizzlies (1-1).
Brian Schireman led the charge for North Medford with 14 of his game-high 19 points in the first half, and the junior also finished with six rebounds and four assists. Senior Tristen Holmes, who has moved to point guard after leading the team in scoring for two seasons, added 11 points, six assists and six rebounds to bolster a balanced attack.
“I thought the early pressure and willingness to shoot the ball up the floor from Tristen to get it to people early and often out in transition really got them off balance,” said North Medford head coach Scott Plankenhorn, whose team led 25-9 after one quarter. “And we shot the ball well from the perimeter, obviously, off open shots.”
The Black Tornado managed 24 assists on its 36 baskets, with junior Tucker Barry and senior Edmund Polataivao joining Schireman with four apiece.
“The willingness to share the basketball was the exciting part,” said Plankenhorn. “Obviously that led to a lot of easy hoops. We’re small and we’re fast so we have to play that way and we were able to dictate the game tonight.”
Ashland regrouped and found the going a little easier after North Medford pulled off its full-court pressure for the second half. The Grizzlies committed only four turnovers in the second half and got 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists from junior Walker Shibley. Senior Collin Malcolm was limited to two points at the break but came out of the locker room aggressive and poured in 10 of his 12 points in that frame.
“We got knocked back on our heels and didn’t respond the right way,” said first-year Ashland head coach Keithan Gregg, “but our kids didn’t give up. We came out in the second half and we were right there with them.”
Each team used its full allotment of available players, with Tyren Wolfe coming off the bench to net 11 points while Karter Dixon had eight and North Medford got six apiece from Jack Singleton and Matt Lasota.
Schireman was especially effective throughout, connecting on 9 of 11 shots to steadily contribute for the Black Tornado.
“He is flat-out a hard guard,” Plankenhorn said of the 6-foot-1 guard. “Our guys can all play pretty good defense and it’s a difficult guard on him. He can stretch you, he can penetrate, he can finish at the rim with both hands and he can really shoot it off the bounce or when open. It makes him a hard guard, and when our kids are willing to share it with each other, it makes it even harder to guard anybody.”
ASHLAND (54) — Shibley 13, Malcolm 12, Pippa 6, Scott 5, Meads 4, Elshalom 4, Kennedy 3, Graham 3, Feinberg 2, Ellis 2, Jones 0, Hasskamp 0, Edson 0. Totals: 21-50 5-11 54.
NORTH MEDFORD (82) — Schireman 19, Tri. Holmes 11, Wolfe 11, Barry 9, Dixon 8, Singleton 6, Lasota 6, Polataivao 4, Brothers 4, Tre Holmes 2, Davis 2, Faust 0, Allen 0. Totals: 36-59 3-6 82.
Ashland; 9; 10; 16; 19; —; 54
North Medford; 25; 23; 16; 18; —; 82
3-point goals — Ashland 7-18 (Malcolm 2, Shibley 1, Kennedy 1, Pippa 1, Scott 1, Graham 1), North Medford 9-22 (Schireman 3, Singleton 2, Dixon 2, Barry 1, Wolfe 1).
JV score — North Medford 60, Ashland 46
At Ashland, Savannah Bumgardner had 17 points and 12 rebounds while freshman Maggie Freeman poured in 18 points as North Medford rallied for a 46-41 nonleague win over Ashland on Friday at Mountain Avenue Gym.
Freeman added five rebounds and Kathleen Martin scored seven points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Black Tornado (1-1), which held the Grizzlies to four points in the third quarter.
North’s Lexi Hall played outstanding defense on Ashland’s Columbia University-bound Georgia Williams, who scored eight points. Hall added eight rebounds three assists and a pair of steals.
The Grizzlies, who committed 23 turnovers, were led by Michaela Dunn’s 11 points.
NORTH MEDFORD (46) — Martin 7, Ross 0, Bumgardner 17, Karrick 1, Hall 3, Covington 0, Freeman 18, Fossen 0. Totals: 20 5-24 46.
ASHLAND (41) — Williams 8, Altig 0, Teixeira 3, Dunn 11, Webster 6, Sukles 3, Rooney 0, Brookings 1, Read 9. Totals: 12 13-21 41.
3-point goals — North Medford 1 (Freeman), Ashland 4 (Dunn 2, Read 2). Fouled out — Martin.
JV score — North Medford 38, Ashland 19.
At Portland, as one might expect in early December, Concordia and Southern Oregon only resembled the 10th- and 15th-ranked men's basketball teams in the NAIA in short spurts Friday night at Cavalier Gymnasium.
The Raiders just happened to be the team that most closely resembled their ranking last as they closed out a 78-75 road upset in overtime to start their Cascade Conference schedule.
Joel Spear scored a career-high 22 points with seven assists and two steals. He went 9-for-11 from the floor and made all four of his 3-point tries, including a corner shot on the first possession of the extra frame. On the SOU's second possession of OT, Tim Weber found him cutting to the basket for a layup and a 75-70 lead.
SOU (10-1 overall) staked to a 61-49 edge with 9:22 left, built by an 18-5 run that the Raiders pulled off with Eric Thompson on the bench. The Cavaliers responded with a furious 14-2 run of their own, finally taking a 70-68 lead with less than two minutes to play when Tyler Velasquez picked Spear's pocket for an easy layup.
The Raiders knotted it with 41 seconds left in regulation when Weber went to the basket, spun and hit a cutting spear for an easy two that ultimately dragged the Cavs (8-2) into OT.
Weber finished with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Jordan West had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jacob Kaler contributed nine big points and six rebounds off the bench.
Thompson, the CCC's leading scorer, was clamped down all night and only had eight points – his first time under 20 this season. Concordia got the ball under its own basket, down 76-75 with nine seconds left in OT and turned it over. Thompson made two free throws on the other end – his only points outside the first half – and Velasquez missed a half-court try at the buzzer.
The Raiders had lost five of the previous six games in which Thompson scored less than 10 points since his sophomore season, but Spear turned the tables with his career night. Spear previously had just one outing with two 3-pointers as a Raider.
At Portland, Concordia kept Southern Oregon out of an offensive rhythm and knocked down shots in the clutch, making the 13th-ranked Raiders 67-66 upset victims Friday night in the Cascade Conference opener for both teams at Cavalier Gymnasium.
The Raiders (7-1 overall) forced a turnover to get the ball back with 17 seconds left, but Kristen Schoenherr's contested 16-foot jumper rolled around the rim and out as the buzzer sounded.
Sierra Dean, a freshman guard for the Cavaliers (6-1), got hot with a career-high 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field and four 3-pointers, adding eight rebounds. Jordyn Peacock had 17 points and 12 boards.
Concordia claimed its first lead of the second half, 58-57, with a 7-1 run stamped by Dean's triple with 7:57 remaining. The teams went back and forth from there until Peacock's short jumper broke the 10th tie of the game to make it 67-65 at the one-minute mark.
Carly Meister drew a foul on the other end. She made her first free throw and, after missing the second, the Raiders couldn't take advantage of an opportunity to get the lead back.
Courtney West notched her third double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Alexi Smith scored 12 points, Meister and Autumn Durand had 11 each, and Schoenherr chipped in 10.
The Raiders shot 55 percent (16-for-29) on their way to a 40-39 halftime lead, but then shot 27 percent (8-for-29) in the second half. They went 16-for-26 from the line, while Concordia was 3-for-4.
SOU Sports Information contributed to this report. Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, email@example.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry