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Grizzlies tripped up late in tourney loss to Ridgeview

Ashland continued to show off its outside shooting prowess and had the lead in the final two minutes but couldn’t sustain it in a 55-50 loss to Ridgeview on Friday in the Crater Basketball Invitational at Crater High School in Central Point.

The Grizzlies, who fell to 3-2, were nursing a two-point lead with about 1 minute, 40 seconds to go when things went south. A scrum underneath their own basket led to a fastbreak the other way and a three-point play that gave Ridgeview the lead for good.

From there, Ashland worked for open shots but, after hitting seven 3-pointers, cooled off down the stretch.

“We just didn’t come up with the loose ball when we needed to,” Ashland head coach Keithan Gregg said.

Collin Malcolm scored 19 points and Jeremiah Hasskamp nine, all on 3s, to pace the Grizzlies, who outscored Ridgeview 25-17 in the middle two quarters to turn the game around. Ethan Jones added eight points and Walker Shibley-Styer and Jack Feinberg seven apiece.

Tanner O’Neal scored 17 points and George Mendazona 16 to lead Ridgeview, which won its sixth straight to start the season.

Ridgeview took advantage of a 14-1 edge in free-throw attempts, hitting 10 of 14 to outscore the Grizzlies 10-1 at the charity stripe.

Gregg said the Grizzlies have proven to be a resilient group, challenging teams inside despite the fact that center Dominic Meads missed his second straight game with a neck injury.

“We’re getting better,” Gregg said. “But it’s not just a starter but our big fella (that’s out), and when we’re thin with the bigs it creates quite the rotation. But to our guys credit, they haven’t used that as an excuse. They’ve battled both nights.

“We were undersized again tonight and our guys battled. We’re getting better and we’re going to continue to get better, and come January we’re going to be a tough team to play.”

Ashland plays its final game at the Crater Basketball Invitational today at 11 a.m.

RIDGEVIEW (55) – O’Neal 17, Mendazona 16, Alvarez 12, Manselle 5, Taylor 2, Irby 2, Albrecht 1, Penhallon 0, Nelson 0, Blunden 0. Totals: 20 10-14 55.

ASHLAND (50) – Malcolm 19, Hasskamp 9, Jones 8, Shibley-Styer 7, Feinberg 7, Graham 0, Kennedy 0, Pippa 0, Ellis 0. Totals: 20 1-1 50.

Ridgeview 18 9 8 20 - 55

Ashland 11 10 15 14 – 50

3-point goals – Ridgeview 5 (Alvarez 4, O’Neal 1), Ashland 7 (Hasskamp 3, Jones 2, Shibley-Styer 1, Feinberg 1).

College Softball

Southern Oregon was ranked fifth in the Cascade Collegiate Conference preseason coaches' poll, released Friday.

Concordia received five of eight first-place votes to garner favorite status, while Oregon Tech was ranked second in the league.

The Raiders went 15-23 last season, 14-14 in the CCC (fourth place). They'll be led this season by new head coach Jessica Pistole.

Southern Oregon's 2015 season begins Feb. 6 at William Jessup.