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Grizzlies no match for high-flying Churchill

The Ashland High girls basketball team had quite the task on Friday night if it wanted to make it a clean sweep of the week against Midwestern League opposition.

A tough night offensively against one of the top teams in the state prevented that from happening.

Ashland recorded a season-low point total and struggled with turnovers all game long in its 63-23 loss to Churchill, as the host Lancers were able to take sole possession of first place in the MWL standings with the victory.

Churchill (14-3 overall, 10-1 MWL), now a half-game up on Springfield (14-4, 9-1), spread the wealth on offense, with five players scoring at least eight points. Freshman guard Danika Starr scored a game-high 10 points to pace the Lancers, who were up 20-2 after the first quarter and 34-8 at the half.

The Grizzlies (6-11, 2-8) were led offensively sophomore Jayd Sollinger, who had nine points.

Ashland hosts Crater (15-3, 8-1) — which is sitting in third place behind Churchill and Springfield after its 53-18 win over North Eugene — at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday night in what will be the Grizzlies second-to-last home game of the season.

ASHLAND (23): Wilson 0, Sollinger 9, Barnes 0, Gorringe 0, Moran 3, Baldwin 0, Larson 0, Munson 1, Losinski 0, Cooper 4, Rodriguez 2, Abel 4. Totals: 8 5-10 23.

CHURCHILL (63): N. Elstone 8, Smith 6, S. Elstone 8, Miller 0, Bolden 8, Starr 10, Acker 3, Reyes 5, Young 3, Scott 8, Husk 3, Aley 1, Rousseau 0. Totals: 25 10-18 63.

Ashland2669— 23

Churchill20141811— 63

3-point goals — Ashland 2 (Sollinger 1, Moran 1), Churchill 3 (S. Elstone 2, Acker 1).

Boys Basketball

CHURCHILL 99, ASHLAND 59: At Eugene, Churchill, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A, showed off its offensive firepower from start to finish, hitting 13 3-pointers on its way to a blowout win over Ashland.

Six different players scored in double figures for Churchill (16-3, 11-0), which held a 55-31 lead at halftime.

Brian Goracke finished with a game-high 23 points — 16 of which came in the first half — and hit three 3-pointers. Kaelan O’Neil and Samaje Morgan had 16 and 12 points, respectively, while Ejim Akuma III, Silas Bennion and Isaiah Wallace all added 11 points, the latter two also hitting three treys in the win.

KJ Pippa, in his third game back from injury, finished with a team-high 17 points for Ashland, which fell to 6-11 overall and 2-8 in MWL play. Joseph Wallner-Sentle and Logan Sanford both added nine points.

Ashland hosts Crater — which beat North Eugene 49-45 on Friday night — at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

ASHLAND (59): Pippa 17, Smith 2, Wallner-Sentle 9, Ekwall 0, Sanford 9, Saulsbury 6, Swenson 2, Sayre 4, Desmond 5, Harris 3. Totals: 22 8-16 59.

CHURCHILL (99): Akuma III 11, Bennion 11, Wallace 11, Morgan 12, Murphy 0, Vasbinder 0, Tofte 0, O’Neil 16, Pia 2, Goracke 23, Case 6, Carson 6. Totals: 37 11-16 99.

Ashland15161414— 59

Churchill27282519— 99

3-point goals — Ashland 5 (Pippa 1, Wallner-Sentle 1, Saulsbury 2, Harris 1), Churchill 13 (Akuma III 1, Bennion 3, Wallace 3, Morgan 1, Goracke 3, O’Neil 2).

Prep Swimming

MIDWESTERN LEAGUE THREE-WAY: At Eugene, both the Ashland High boys and girls swim teams finished second in the team standings at a three-way meet against Churchill and Crater at Echo Hollow Pool.

The Ashland boys — who finished with 91 points — picked up wins in the 200 yard medley and the 400 freestyle relay. Chris Frownfelter was victorious in the 100 butterfly, while Baylor Wiggins took home the win in the 50 freestyle.

On the girls’ side, freshman Mary Downs continued her strong 2019 season, picking up a win in the 100 fly with a time of 1 minute, 9.54 seconds.

The Ashland girls finished with 79 points, second to Churchill’s total of 134.

This was the Grizzlies’ final meet before the Midwestern League district meet next Friday and Saturday at the Willamalane Swim Center in Springfield.

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