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Grizzlies done in by Willamette's big third quarter

Down by nine points at halftime, the Ashland High girls basketball team was by no means out of Friday night’s game against Willamette.

But then, in the blink of an eye, the visiting Wolverines caught fire.

And a close game became anybody but that heading to the fourth quarter.

Taylor Smith and Natalie Willoughby proved to be the 1-2 punch that swung the game clearly in Willamette’s favor, as the two each scored a team-high 20 points to spark the Wolverines to a 59-43 win over Ashland in Midwestern League action at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium.

“We were down at halftime and still had a chance, but (Willamette) hit four of their (six) 3-pointers in the game in that third quarter. It was just those 3s,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said. “They got three straight ones to start the quarter and that really set the tone for the rest of the way.”

Ashland (5-10 overall, 1-7 MWL) had lost both of its previous meetings against Willamette (5-11, 3-6) this season, but only by a combined eight points.

But thanks to big nights from Smith — who had five of her team’s six 3-pointers — and Willoughby, Ashland was unable to snap its losing skid, which now stands at four straight heading into Tuesday night’s trip to Eagle Point.

“This is our third time playing (Willamette) and we knew each other well. They did some good things to get Smith open,” Perry said, adding that this was the first time Ashland had faced Smith this season. “Willoughby, we knew what she posed for us, but we didn’t know Smith and she was pretty hot tonight.”

Ashland sophomore wing Jayd Sollinger finished with a game-high 22 points and hit both of the Grizzlies’ two 3-pointers in the game.

Junior point guard Nina Munson added 13 points in the loss, as she combined with Sollinger to record 35 of the Grizzlies’ 46 points in the game.

On top of the 3-point shooting by Willamette in the second half, the Wolverines attempted twice as many free throws as the Grizzlies, going 12 for 17 from the line compared to Ashland finishing just 2 for 9.

WILLAMETTE (59): Morris 0, Schear 0, Murphy 0, Smith 20, Gayle 0, Young 9, Crawford 5, Bitikofer 5, Lee 0, Willoughby 20. Totals: 19 12-17 59.

ASHLAND (46): Wilson 2, Sollinger 22, Barnes 0, Goringe 0, Moran 2, Baldwin 1, Larson 0, Munson 13, Rodriguez 0, Abel 6. Totals: 21 2-9 46.

Willamette1715243— 59

Ashland1310158— 46

3-point goals — Willamette 6 (Smith 5, Willoughby 1), Ashland 2 (Sollinger 2); Technical foul — Ashland bench.

JV result — Willamette won.

Boys Basketball

WILLAMETTE 68, ASHLAND 37: At Ashland, the return of leading scorer KJ Pippa couldn’t spark Ashland to a win, as the Grizzlies dropped their sixth straight with a loss to Willamette at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium.

Pippa, who missed the past five games due to injury, finished with two points in limited minutes Friday night.

Ashland (5-10, 1-7) didn’t have a player score in double figures. Lowell Saulsbury scored all of his team-high nine points behind the 3-point line, hitting three of the Grizzlies’ five treys in the game.

Luke Smith finished with a game-high 14 points to lead a balanced Willamette offense. Owen Cross added 13 points.

Willamette (12-4, 7-2) — which also beat Ashland 69-43 in both teams’ MWL opener on Dec. 14 — hit seven 3-pointers in the win.

Ashland will look to snap its losing skid Tuesday night when it travels to Eagle Point. The Grizzlies beat the Eagles 50-29 in their first meeting this season on Dec. 18.

WILLAMETTE (68): Culver 5, Woods 6, Brown 2, Thompson 2, Cross 13, Burke 5, Murphy 2, Puckett 7, Moffatt 0, Smith 14, Curtis 9. Totals: 24 12-17 68.

ASHLAND (37): Pippa 2, Smith 6, Wallner-Sentle 3, Ekwall 4, Hanks 0, Sanford 4, Saulsbury 9, Swenson 3, Sayre 2, Carter 2, Desmond 2, Barnes 0, Harris 0, LaPierre 0. Totals: 14 4-9 37.

Willamette19131722— 68

Ashland75178— 37

3-point goals — Willamette 7 (Cross 2, Burke 1, Puckett 1, Smith 1, Curtis 2), Ashland 5 (Ekwall 1, Saulsbury 3, Swenson 1).

Prep Swimming

MIDWESTERN LEAGUE THREE-WAY: At Eugene, the Ashland High boys and girls swimming teams both recorded second-place finishes in a three-way meet against North Eugene and Crater.

The Ashland girls were just edged out by North Eugene 119-118 for the overall team win Friday. North Eugene also finished atop the standings on the boys side, recording a 122-91 win over Ashland.

Amongst the winners for the Grizzly girls were: The 200-yard medley relay team of Anna Sloan, Alexandra Westrick, Mary Downs and Rachel Sievert; Downs in the 50 freestyle and 100 breast stroke; Sierra Pakrab in the 100 free and Sloan in the 100 backstroke.

Chris Frownfelter recorded wins in the 100 free and the 200 medley relay. Oliver Del Rio, also part of the victorious 200 relay team, piked up a win in the 100 breast stroke.

Baylor Wiggins and Hunter Oliver — the second half of the 200 medley relay team — were winners in the 200 free and the 200 individual medley, respectively.


TEAM SCORES: North Eugene 122, Ashland 91, Crater 74.

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Ashland (Chris Frownfelter, Oliver Del Rio, Hunter Oliver, Baylor Wiggins), 1:50.98; 200 FREE — 1, Baylor Wiggins, Ash, 2:01.38; 200 IM — 1, Hunter Oliver, Ash, 2:10.42; 50 FREE — 1, Josh Keeney, NE, 23.61; 100 FLY — 1, Josh Keeney, NE, 56.47; 100 FREE — 1, Chris Frownfelter, Ash, 52.51; 500 FREE — 1, Marcus Reyes-Gentry, Cra, 4:50.82; 200 FREE RELAY — 1, Crater (Cordell Vaught, Ike Gillilard, Carson Anderson, Marcus Reyes-Gentry), 1:43.70; 100 BACK — 1, Marcus Reyes-Gentry, Cra, 55.53; 100 BREAST — 1, Oliver Del Rio, Ash, 1:15.93; 400 FREE RELAY — 1, North Eugene (G. Dawson, E. Elmenhavawn, T. Lopez, Josh Keeney), 3:39.73.


TEAM SCORES: North Eugene 119, Ashland 118, Crater 53.

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Ashland (Anna Sloan, Alexandra Westrick, Mary Downs, Rachel Sievert), 2:14.77; 200 FREE — 1, Alexis Matthieson-Johnson, 2:17.22; 200 IM — 1, Helen Keeney, NE, 2:21.01; 50 FREE — 1, Mary Downs, Ash, 29.54; 100 FLY — 1, Helen Keeney, NE, 1:06.62; 100 FREE — 1, Sierra Pakrob, Ash, 1:04.42; 500 FREE — 1, Alexis Matthieson-Johnson, NE, 5:55.11; 200 FREE RELAY — 1, North Eugene (E. Randall, A. Matthiesen-Johnson, S. Tena, H. Keeney), 2:03.26; 100 BACK — 1, Anna Sloan, Ash, 1:14.97; 100 BREAST — 1, Mary Downs, Ash, 1:19.50; 400 FREE RELAY — 1, North Euene. (A. Matthieson-Johnson, S. Tena, S. Parker, H. Keeney), 4:24.49.

Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or dpenza@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.

Ashland High sophomore Jayd Sollinger looks to shoot over Eagle Point defender Andrea Flores at Mountain Avenue Gym on Tuesday.(PHOTO BY: LARRY STAUTH JR)