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Pearson helps propel Panthers

South Medford senior Sean Pearson is typically one who defers to teammates on the basketball court, but he was thrust into the spotlight Friday night and proved equal to the challenge in Southern Oregon Hybrid boys action against Crater.

With senior Josh Havird — the SOH's second-leading scorer at 16 points per game — out of the lineup with the flu, the Panthers were looking for someone to help fill the void. They found it right after the opening tip, with the ball making its way to Pearson for a game-opening 3-pointer.

South Medford and Pearson cruised from there, with the senior scoring a career-high 15 points to lead a balanced attack during the Panthers' 82-36 romp over the visiting Comets.

"We've hoped all along that he would do this and hopefully he'll use this as a springboard and build on his confidence that I'm going to look to shoot more," said Murphy of the starting wing. "He's a good enough shooter that he can make shots, he proved that."

Pearson reached double figures in scoring for only the third time in his two years on varsity, with all three coming in the last two weeks.

Senior point guard Mike Brassel also had 15 points, while Tevyn Mercer and Matt Retzlaff each had 14 points for the Panthers (10-2, 1-1 SOH). Mercer tacked on eight rebounds and Retzlaff added to his career-best scoring output with four assists, three steals and no turnovers. Brassel also had four assists and zero turnovers.

South Medford broke the game open with a 32-10 run in the first quarter that saw the home team connect on 75 percent of its shots (12-for-16). The Panthers' lead ballooned to 48-18 by halftime.

"We came out with a real sense of purpose," said Murphy. "We were not terribly pleased with the way we played in Roseburg and needed to get that bad taste out of our mouths. To the kids' credit, they played hard, moved the ball well and defended very well."

Sophomore R.J. Morgan had 11 points to lead the Comets (3-8, 0-2).

Austin Voss came off the bench to notch five rebounds for South and fellow reserve Luke DeCoste had six points and four steals.

CRATER (36) — Morgan 11, Erskine 2, Stewart 1, Rodman 0, Williams 1, Martin 4, Tepper 2, Jaasko 2, Seiver 1, Dismukes 6, Neal 0, Funderburk 2, Douglas 4. Totals: 14-43 8-12 36.

SOUTH MEDFORD (82) — Brassel 15, Pearson 15, Mercer 14, Retzlaff 14, DeCoste 6, Thibeault 4, Marshall 4, Delaney 4, Voss 3, Singler 3, Shanklin-Rice 0. Totals: 29-56 17-27 82.

Crater 10 8 7 11 — 36

South Medford 32 16 15 19 — 82

3-point goals — South Medford 7 (Brassel 2, Retzlaff 2, Pearson 1, Mercer 1, DeCoste 1). Fouled out — Dismukes. Technical fouls — South Medford coach Murphy.

JV score — South Medford 77, Crater 43.

GRANTS PASS 55, ASHLAND 47 — At Ashland, Tony Scriven scored eight of his 14 points in a key second-quarter surge by Grants Pass to help determine the nonconference contest.

Kolton Mahr (13), Taylor Griggs (12) and Josh Evens (11) also reached double figures for the Cavemen (5-6), who had to do without the services of 6-foot-5 post Nathan Etheridge after he picked up two technical fouls and was ejected in the first quarter.

Jonathan Mills scored 13 points to lead Ashland (6-6), while Billy Hansen added nine points and seven rebounds. Jake McCoy also had a solid game with six points, three steals and three assists for the Grizzlies.

GRANTS PASS (55) — Scriven 14, Mahr 13, Griggs 12, Evens 11, Emptage 5, Richardson 0, Fields 0, Bennett 0, Meadows 0, Etheridge 0, Tardieu 0. Totals: 22 4-8 55.

ASHLAND (47) — Mills 13, Heater 4, Hansen 9, Presicci 1, Schlecht 5, McCoy 6, Morrison 3, Good 6, Hitchko 0. Totals: 16 8-15 47.

Grants Pass 11 23 14 7 — 55

Ashland 15 12 11 9 — 47

3-point goals — Grants Pass 7 (Griggs 2, Emptage 1, Evens 1, Mahr 3), Ashland 6 (Mills 3, Schlecht 1, McCoy 1, Morrison 1). Technical fouls — Etheridge (2).

JV score — Grants Pass 54, Ashland 47.

Girls

NORTH MEDFORD 56, ROSEBURG 44 — At Roseburg, North Medford rallied with a 24-8 surge in the fourth quarter to score its first Southern Oregon Hybrid victory.

The Black Tornado (7-5, 1-0 SOH) received a great all-around effort from senior Alyssa Maurer, who compiled 12 points, seven rebounds, four steals, four assists and three blocked shots. McKensey Peters added 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Joci Ellis had 11 points.

SOH leading scorer Shelby Snook had 24 points for Roseburg (4-7, 0-2).

NORTH MEDFORD (56) — Peters 14, Maurer 12, Ellis 11, Becker 8, Murphy 7, Erb 2, Allen 2, Straub 0, Williamson 0. Totals: 20 15-28 56.

ROSEBURG (44) — Snook 24, Cox 0, Humphry 2, Chong 7, Anderson 2, Torres 1, Howard 4, Johnson 0, Picknell 4. Totals: 17 7-19 44.

North Medford 10 11 11 24 — 56

Roseburg 13 16 7 8 — 44

3-point goals — North Medford 1 (Maurer 1), Roseburg 3 (Snook 3).

JV score — Roseburg 55, North Medford 44.

GRANTS PASS 40, ASHLAND 30 — At Grants Pass, Grants Pass won the battle in the paint, scoring 12 second-chance points that made the difference in the nonconference matchup.

Maricela Aguilera went for 12 points, six steals, four rebounds, three assists and a block for the Cavers (4-7). Annie Edgar collected 10 rebounds to go with her six points.

Willie Michiels led the way for the Grizzlies (4-7) with 11 points and eight rebounds while Sarah Kasiah chipped in nine points and Allison Shulenberger logged five points, six boards and three steals.

ASHLAND (30) — Michiels 11, Kasiah 9, Shulenberger 5, Zehran 4, Marston 1, Minor 0, Cochrane 0, Pavlich 0. Totals: 10 9-18 30.

GRANTS PASS (40) — Aguilera 12, Daniels 4, Syfert 2, Smith 6, Davidson 2, Johnson 8, Edgar 6, Luker 0. Totals: 17 5-13 40.

Ashland 9 5 14 2 — 30

Grants Pass 13 9 13 5 — 40

3-point goals — Ashland 1 (Kasiah 1), Grants Pass 1 (Aguilera 1). Fouled out — Edgar. Technical foul — Ashland coach Brookins.

JV score — Grants Pass 41, Ashland 20.