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South boys play official alumni game tonight

In an unconventional twist, the South Medford boys basketball team will play host to a Panther alumni team at 7 tonight as one of its 24 regular-season games allowed by the Oregon School Activities Association.

South Medford (1-0) had been scheduled to face Thurston at home tonight — in a game rescheduled from last Friday — but the Springfield-based school again canceled its trip south due to concerns over inclement weather and poor road conditions.

South Medford head coach Dennis Murphy said Tuesday night that his team "just needs to play" a game prior to leaving town for its Red Bluff Holiday Classic opener on Thursday. He said his request to switch opponents for tonight was approved by the OSAA, with the stipulation that it be handled as an official game.

The second-ranked Panthers will face a team comprised of former South Medford standouts that includes Ryan Fiegi, last year's NAIA player of the year, and former Panthers Van Dellenback-Ouellette, Isaiah Adams and Dylan Anderson.

South Medford already was one of the last teams to open its season and is the only Class 6A boys team to have played only one game. Teams could begin playing Dec. 1, but the Panthers played their first and only game Dec. 10 at North Eugene.

In contrast, the other Southwest Conference boys basketball teams had played at least three games entering Tuesday night.