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Panthers triumph in battle of heavyweights

BEAVERTON — In a battle of two of the top post players in the nation, Tess Picknell and the South Medford basketball team prevailed.

Picknell, a 6-foot-5 senior who has signed with Stanford, turned in a strong defensive effort against Springfield's Mercedes Russell — who is ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the ESPN Rise Terrific 25 for the class of 2013 — and got some crucial support from teammates in the Panthers' 50-46 win over the Millers at the Nike Northwest Invitational at Southridge High on Thursday.

South is ranked fourth in the coaches Class 6A preseason poll and Springfield is first in the 5A poll.

Kylie Towry had 15 points and five rebounds, Yaremi Mejia recorded 13 points and six assists and Picknell offered up six points, five rebounds and three blocks in the victory over the defending 5A state champions.

Russell, a 6-foot-5 center, finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals. She was 9-for-14 at the free-throw line.

The Panthers, who knocked down nine 3-pointers on 60 percent shooting from beyond the arc, raced out to a 20-8 lead after the first quarter.

Russell was held to two points in the opening eight minutes but scored eight in the second quarter, when Picknell picked up her third foul with about 31/2 minutes remaining.

South went with a smaller lineup to start the second half. Picknell re-entered about three minutes into the third and was charged with a fourth foul late in the period.

Russell scored 10 in the third. Springfield trailed 39-36 entering the final quarter, but the Panthers managed to hold off the charge.

South Medford head coach Tom Cole said Ashley Bolston did a fine job stepping up defensively with Picknell in foul trouble.

"We protected Tess and a lot of it goes to Ashley for protecting Tess from getting a fifth foul and putting pressure on Mercedes," Cole said.

Andee Ritter turned in eight points and Bolston added six points and three rebounds for South, which made just three of its 12 free throws. Luisa Tago had five rebounds and three steals.

South was 51 percent from the field.

The Panthers play Westview today and Jesuit Saturday.

"It was a good win for us," Cole said. "I don't think we played our best. We didn't play four quarters of basketball. But I thought the kids had to play tonight. This was a very good team. And a team that beat us by 20 last year.

"It's important for us to get tough games and our hope coming up here was it would give us an opportunity to see where we are at as a team or where we need to be," he said. "Tonight, even though we played in some spurts, the kids had to show some character to get through that."

SOUTH MEDFORD (50) — Vargas 0, Towry 15, Tago 2, Ritter 8, Bolston 6, Mejia 13, Morris 0, Picknell 6. Totals: 19 3-12 50.

SPRINGFIELD (46) — Richey 4, Hinton 9, Fleissnert 0, Potter 1, Russell 25, Duncan 5. Totals: 15 11-17 46.

South Medford 20 11 8 11 — 50

Springfield 8 14 12 10 — 46

3-point goals — South Medford 9 (Mejia 2, Bolston 2, Ritter 2, Towry 3), Springfield 3 (Hinton 2, Duncan 1). Fouled out — Ritter.

NORTH EUGENE 47, ROSEBURG 34 — At Roseburg, Fiona Johnson had 11 points and five rebounds and Hayley Baumgartner added nine points and six rebounds in the nonconference opener.

NORTH EUGENE (47) — Ferrenburg 15, Stubbs 13, Renter 8, Hayden 5, Torney 4, Laughlin 2, Annalies 0. Totals: 15-42 14-17 47.

ROSEBURG (34) — Johnson 11, Baumgartner 9, Cox 5, Griggs 4, Picknell 3, Humphry 2, Estrada 0, Snook 0. Totals: 10-53 10-18 34.

North Eugene 9 9 15 14 — 47

Roseburg 7 9 6 12 — 34

3-point goals — North Eugene 3 (Renter 2, Farrenburg 1), Roseburg 2 (Baumgartner 1, Johnson 1).

JV result — Roseburg won.

MT. VIEW 50, EAGLE POINT 40 — At Eagle Point, Casie Johnson and Sydney May each had double-doubles for Eagle Point but it wasn't enough in the nonconference game, head coach Paul Bell's debut.

Johnson had 15 points, 12 rebounds and two steals for the Eagles, and May had 12 points and 11 boards. Alexia Hall added nine points and three rebounds.

Mt. View's Kylie Durre poured in 22 points.

MT. VIEW (50) — Durre 22, Platner 12, McCadden 5, Booster 5, Waldrup 3, Reeves 2, Johnson 1, Warren 0, Kent 0, Owens 0. Totals: 15 13-19 50.

EAGLE POINT (40) — Johnson 15, May 12, Hall 9, Nielson 2, Thompson 2, Cowden 0, Hoefft 0. Totals: 14 11-26.

Eagle Point 14 10 8 8 — 40

Mt. View 12 14 16 8 — 50

3-point goals — Mt. View 4 (Durre 3, Platner 1), Eagle Point 2 (Hall 2). Fouled out — Johnson, Waldrup.

JV score — Mt. View 44, Eagle Point 17.

ASHLAND 57, NORTH VALLEY 28 — At Merlin, Allison Shulenberger racked up 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Ashland (2-0).

The Grizzlies received 14 points and eight rebounds from Sarah Pavlich and got eight points and eight boards from Shelby Minor.

The Knights were led by Kenzie Schmoll's 15 points.

ASHLAND (57) — Shulenberger 21, Sad. Kasiah 4, Sar. Kasiah 2, Minor 8, Cochrane 2, Williams 4, Zehran 2, Pavlich 14. Totals: 28 1-13 57.

NORTH VALLEY (28) — Schmoll 15, Gronhalm 4, D'Arpino 0, McElheran 4, Sanders 1, Werner 0, Scott 2, Wolsey 0, Dart 0, Mohr 2. Totals: 10 8-20 28.

Ashland 13 14 20 10 — 57

North Valley 3 8 9 8 — 28

JV result — Ashland won.

FOOTHILL 64, ASHLAND 43 — At Redding, Calif., Foothill handed Ashland a loss in the opener of the Harlan Carter Invitational at Shasta High School.

Billy Hansen poured in 22 points and made three 3-pointers for the Grizzlies (0-1), who got nine points from Ethan Schlecht.

Foothill made nine 3s and was led by Grant Smith's 10 points.

ASHLAND (43) — Hansen 22, Skinner 2, Carroll 1, Schlecht 9, Finch 4, Flynn 4, Good 1. Totals: 14 9-22 43.

FOOTHILL (64) — Clooney 5, Troucak 7, Porter 5, Samples 6, J. Smith 7, Putnam 8, Kelly 5, G. Smith 10, Trent 3, Davis 0, Kepon 0, Halverson 3, Fudge 5. Totals: 24 6-13 64.

Ashland 12 12 9 10 — 43

Foothill 18 14 17 15 — 64

3-point goals — Ashland 4 (Hansen 3, Schlecht 1), Foothill 9 (Samples 2, G. Smith 2, Porter 1, Kelly 1, J. Smith 1, Trent 1, Halverson 1).

JV result — Foothill 59, Ashland 54.

RV ADVENTIST 57, RIO LINDA 26 — At Angwin, Calif., Rogue Valley Adventist sophomore forward Caleb Allen recorded 19 points and 13 rebounds and Isaac Delavega added 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Red Tail Hawks advanced to the Pioneer Classic semifinals at Pacific Union College.

Micah Pirelli offered up six points on 3-for-4 shooting with seven rebounds for RVA (2-0), which outrebounded Rio Linda, 40-28.

The Red Tail Hawks finished with 23 offensive rebounds.

RV ADVENTIST (57) — Petray 0, Neufield 8, N. Wood 0, James 2, Alvarez 4, Delavega 14, Gilley 4, Allen 19, Pirelli 6, O'Reilly 0, Z. Wood 0. Totals: 21-68 15-19 57.

RIO LINDA (26) — O'Connor 3, Lewis 6, Lin 1, Santos 2, S. Brown 2, Alipoon 0, Lowe 0, Marpaung 6, Lua 1, J. Brown 5. Totals: 11-45 4-11 26.

RV Adventist 18 12 20 7 — 57

Rio Linda 9 2 3 12 — 26

3-point goals — RV Adventist 0-3, Rio Linda 0-3.