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Ashland swats Yreka, braces for Marist

Ashland made the most of its last chance to prepare for Friday’s Midwestern League opener during a 49-32 nonconference girls basketball win over Yreka on Tuesday at Mountain Avenue Gym.

Playing for the first time since Dec. 18, the Grizzlies rode a strong opening quarter by senior guard Georgia Williams to a 16-6 lead and cruised from there to win for the third time in their last four games and improve to 5-3.

“We actually played fairly well,” assistant coach Antione Perry said. “We shot the ball well and we played excellent defense in the first half.”

Williams scored eight of her 22 points in the first quarter and the Grizzlies also got eight points from both Ava Altig and Michela Dunn.

The Grizzlies outscored Yreka 16-6 in the second quarter as well to take a commanding 32-12 lead at the break.

Ashland hosts Marist on Friday in the Midwestern opener for both teams.

“We have a big game Friday so they really wanted to get this game in and see how their conditioning is,” Perry said. “We’re feeling pretty confident.”

YREKA (32) — Peters 4, Patterson 5, Barker 2, Baker 2, Rice 0, Brown 1, Toolanen 0, Bray 5, Cox 6, Tidwell 9. Totals: 13 4-16 32.

ASHLAND (49) — Williams 22, Rodriguez 0, Altig 8, Teixeira 3, Dunn 8, Webster 6, Sukles 0, Read 2, Brookings 0. Totals: 20 6-11 49.

Yreka;6;6;8;12;—;32

Ashland;16;16;4;13;—;49

3-point goals — Yreka 2 (Patterson 1, Bray 1), Ashland 3 (Williams 2, Dunn 1). Technical foul — Ashland bench.

JV score — Yreka 36, Ashland 34.

College Wrestling

At Evanston, Ill., Southern Oregon University’s 174-pound phenom Brock Gutches fell to a two-time NCAA All-American in the semifinals and finished sixth in the Midlands Championships on Tuesday.

Seeded seventh, the Raiders’ three-time NAIA national champion pushed top-seeded Mike Evans of the University of Iowa to his limit before suffering a 4-0 setback. The match was a scoreless tie after one period.

Evans, the second-ranked 174-pounder in the NCAA, beat second-seeded Zac Brunson of Illinois 2-1 in the championship bout.

Gutches could have wrestled for third place but elected to default rather than risk injury heading into the NAIA-NWCA Dual Championships, Jan. 9-10.

Gutches’ second straight top-six finish – he placed fourth last year – helped SOU, which brought four wrestlers, rack up 15.5 points and place 28th out of 59 teams.

Southern Oregon next travels to Atherton, Calif., for Saturday’s Menlo Invitational.

Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-776-4469 or jzavala@dailytidings.com.