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Tornado soars past Lions

PORTLAND — There is little resemblance between former Lake Oswego star Kevin Love and North Medford's Jordan Browne-Moore.

One is a 6-foot-10 NBA all-star and a beast of a man, the other a 6-3 post who isn't slender, but it's a stretch to call him physically imposing.

Yet the two now have something in common: both came up huge on the boards when their team needed it during a state tournament game.

Browne-Moore grabbed 19 rebounds and scored 10 points Wednesday to lead North Medford to a 64-54 win over West Linn in the Class 6A boys basketball tournament quarterfinals in the Rose Garden.

Browne-Moore came within two rebounds of sharing the 6A tournament record, set by Love when he grabbed 21 against Westview in a 2007 tourney game.

Told he doesn't look a lot like Love, Browne-Moore smiled.

"No, but it doesn't matter how big you are or how skilled you are. It's how bad you want it," Browne-Moore said. "In a state tournament, you go after it a little harder."

Browne-Moore's 19 boards are the second-highest total in school history. The record is 23, set by current North Medford assistant coach Gabe Burchfiel.

North Medford (20-5) advances to the semifinals for the second time in four years. The Black Tornado faces Westview, a 54-51 winner over South Medford, at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

Browne-Moore set a physical tone under the basket, where North Medford out-rebounded West Linn 36-27. But there was more for the Black Tornado, which got off to a fast start, weathered a couple of West Linn (13-15) runs, and held Mario Shonkwiler, the Lions' dynamic point guard, in check for most of the game.

Derek Mautz, who scored 19 points, was one of four North Medford players to post double figures. Jared Knox scored 11 points, while Chris Faust had 10 points.

North Medford came within one point of having its entire starting lineup in double figures, as Michael Osmanski scored nine points.

It was a long day for the Black Tornado, which left school at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and spent five hours on a bus before arriving in Portland. A little stretching, an hour to shoot and it was almost game time.

North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn worried a long day of travel might lead to a sluggish start. Instead, the Black Tornado could scarcely have been sharper during the first five minutes. North Medford scored the game's first seven points, and led 16-4 with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

"For us, coming from so far away, that was a big thing to get off to a great start," Plankenhorn said.

Just as important was the play of Browne-Moore, and the defense, particularly on Shonkwiler.

The West Linn guard was coming off a career-high 30-point performance in a state playoff win over Lake Oswego. Shonkwiler ended up with 18 against North Medford, but most of his points came during the fourth quarter as the Lions were desperately attempting to rally.

Several North Medford guards took a shot at Shonkwiler, who hit 6 of 12 shots, but had eight turnovers.

"I just wanted to stay in front of him, because I knew he was going to go to the hoop," said Mautz, who had two of his three steals against Shonkwiler.

As for Browne-Moore, his coming-out party under the glass has been building of late. Plankenhorn said Browne-Moore's play has ignited during the past three weeks, as he's posted four double-doubles in his past seven games.

"Not to be rude, but he wasn't playing as hard the first half of the season. He has really turned it on the second half," Mautz said.

Browne-Moore had 13 rebounds at halftime, and 18 after the third quarter.

By the fourth quarter, it didn't appear as though North Medford would continue to need Browne-Moore's force inside. The Black Tornado had the game under control, leading 46-32 one minute into the final quarter.

But West Linn — the only team in the tournament with a losing record but a winner in five of its past six games — made a charge thanks to Shonkwiler. He scored four points during an 8-0 run that allowed the Lions to cut the lead to 46-40.

Leading 50-44 with four minutes remaining, the Black Tornado dug in. Faust and Mautz scored 12 of North Medford's final 14 points as the Black Tornado eventually won by double digits.

NORTH MEDFORD (20-5)

Knox 3-7 4-4 11, Osmanski 4-5 1-1 9, Browne-Moore 5-13 0-1 10, Mautz 6-11 5-6 19, Faust 5-8 0-2 10, Ellis 1-4 0-0 2, Artale 0-2 0-0 0, McEwen 0-0 0-0 0, Howitt 0-0 0-0 0, Garfas 1-5 0-0 3. Totals: 25-55 10-14 64.

WEST LINN (14-14)

Shonkwiler 6-12 5-6 18, Wilkerson 2-8 2-2 6, Baggetta 1-3 2-2 4, Cokely 4-10 0-0 8, Shearmire 2-5 0-0 5, Kelley 1-4 1-1 3, Hawkins 4-9 0-0 10. Totals: 20-51 10-11 54.

North Medford 21 11 12 20 — 64

West Linn 14 8 10 22 — 54

3-Point Goals—North Medford 4-16 (Knox 1-4, Mautz 2-6, Ellis 0-1, Artale 0-2, Garfas 1-3), West Linn 4-21 (Shonkwiler 1-6, Wilkerson 0-2, Baggetta 0-1, Cokely 02, Shearmire 1-3, Kelley 0-2, Hawkins 2-4). Fouled Out—none. Rebounds—North Medford 36 (Browne-Moore 19), West Linn 27 (Wilkerson 7). Assists—North Medford 15 (Osmanski 5), West Linn 13 (Shonkwiler 7). Total Fouls—North Medford 12, West Linn 13.

North Medford's Chris Faust, right, goes to the basket during Wednesday's game against West Linn. - Terry Mercer