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North falls prey to South Eugene rally

EUGENE — North Medford put itself in prime position to jump right back into the Southwest Conference title chase but couldn’t seal the deal at South Eugene in boys basketball action Friday.

The hot-shooting Black Tornado built a 15-point third-quarter lead but went cold in the final frame to allow the host Axemen to steal a 63-61 victory on David Holland’s lone basket with three seconds to go.

“We were really shooting the ball well and sharing it well and made a lot of shots in the first half and even the third quarter,” said North Medford head coach Scott Plankenhorn, whose team is ranked ninth in the latest Class 6A media poll. “We still got the open looks in the fourth but we stopped making them and our offense kind of stalled.”

Tristen Holmes had five 3-pointers in scoring 23 points to go with four assists, while Brian Schireman had four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points for North Medford (13-4, 4-3 SWC), which was 12-for-25 from beyond the arc. Tucker Barry added 11 points and four assists.

South Eugene (12-6, 6-1) took the lead midway through the fourth quarter but Holmes hit a 3-pointer to trim a five-point deficit and then Tyren Wolfe’s putback with 40 seconds tied the game. The Axemen held the ball for a final shot and Mason Green-Richards drove into the lane and found Holland open for the go-ahead basket.

Yale-bound Eli Lininger became South Eugene’s all-time leading scorer in the game by scoring 25 points to go with 10 rebounds, five steals and three assists. His 1,582 points and counting points eclipse the standard set by Blake Stepp (1,562), and Lininger already holds the school’s career rebounding record.

NORTH MEDFORD (61) — Allen 0, Lasota 2, Schireman 14, Barry 11, Holmes 23, Faust 4, Dixon 1, Singleton 0, Polataivao 2, Brothers 2, Wolfe 2. Totals: 23-47 3-5 61.

SOUTH EUGENE (63) — Green-Richards 17, Bowers 2, Morrison 1, Lininger 25, Bassett 6, Holland 2, O’Neil 10. Totals: 25-51 7-11 63.

North Medford;20;20;14;7;—;61

South Eugene;17;13;18;15;—;63

3-point goals — North Medford 12-25 (Holmes 5, Schireman 4, Barry 3), South Eugene 5-14 (Green-Richards 1, Lininger 1, Bassett 1, O’Neil 2).

JV score — North Medford 63, South Eugene 58.

SOUTH MEDFORD 64, SHELDON 50: At Eugene, South Medford responded to its first-half struggles with a convincing takeover in the final 16 minutes for the SWC road win.

The Panthers’ Kaleb Franklin came off the bench to go 4-for-4 from the field and score all 11 of his points in the second half. He also provided three steals and four rebounds.

Josh Washington was 6-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line and finished with 15 points and seven boards for South Medford (13-5, 6-1 SWC), which shot 8-for-13 in the opening half but committed 12 turnovers.

Cameron English and Craig Contreras pitched in 10 points apiece for the Panthers, who went 21-for-23 from the foul line in the second half.

Will Swank led Sheldon (9-8, 4-3) with 15 points.

SOUTH MEDFORD (64) — Franklin 11, Contreras 10, Carroll 5, Massey 9, Carter 4, English 10, Washington 15. Totals: 19-33 23-29 64.

SHELDON (50) — Di. Williams 2, Mitchell 2, Strahm 6, Wilson 12, Da. Williams 7, Conlon 6, Comer 0, Swank 15. Totals: 18-47 8-13 50.

South Medford;8;11;17;28;—;64

Sheldon;12;7;15;16;—;50

3-point goals — South Medford 3 (Franklin 1, Contreras 1, Carroll 1), Sheldon 6 (Swank 2, Wilson 2, Strahm 1, Da. Williams). Fouled out — Swank.

JV result — Sheldon won.

GRANTS PASS 72, WILLAMETTE 37: At Grants Pass, JC McKinley and Sean Ryan both had 14 points to lead Grants Pass in the Southwest Conference rout. The Cavemen improved to 8-8 overall, 4-3 in league.

WILLAMETTE (37) — Steiner 8, Trim 6, Goddard 4, Penn 3, Skeele 3, Hill 3, Cooley 3, Curtis 2, Cantu 2, Murray 2, Burke 1, Stricker 0. Totals: 16 4-12 37.

GRANTS PASS (72) — McKinley 14, Ryan 14, Musser 8, Weiss 7, Cotton 6, Hoy 5, Appling 5, Evens 5, Hanley 4, Wallace 2, Reed 2. Totals: 28 13-21 72.

Willamette;8;8;10;10;—;37

Grants Pass;18;15;16;23;—;72

3-point goals — Willamette 1 (Skeele 1), Grants Pass 3 (Evens 1, Weiss 1, Ryan 1).

Girls

NORTH MEDFORD 33, SOUTH EUGENE 29: North Medford secured its third win over South Eugene this season in dramatic fashion, using a 7-0 run in the final minute to rally for the Southwest Conference win.

Maggie Freeman’s steal and ensuing three-point play tied the game with one minute to play for the Black Tornado (9-8, 4-3 SWC), which got a defensive stop and one free throw by Savannah Bumgardner to take the lead.

After another defensive stop, Rylee Karrick made one free throw with 17 seconds left and, after South Eugene (7-10, 0-7) again misfired, Karrick sealed the game with two free throws and two seconds remaining.

Freeman finished with 13 points, three assists and three steals, Bumgardner had eight rebounds and seven points, Kathleen Martin added eight rebounds and Megan Fossen had seven boards.

SOUTH EUGENE (29) — Nordstrand 13, Pierce 2, Marsh 3, Bowers 3, McAninch 4, Bineham 0, Stolp 4. Totals: 12 5-14 29.

NORTH MEDFORD (33) — Martin 0, Ross 4, Bumgardner 7, Karrick 5, Hall 1, Covington 0, Freeman 13, Fossen 3. Totals: 13 7-16 33.

South Eugene;9;9;5;6;—;29

North Medford;12;8;4;9;—;33

JV result — North Medford won.

WILLAMETTE 35, GRANTS PASS 19: At Eugene, Darian Lopez and Kayla Miller each had four points to lead Grants Pass during Southwest Conference action.

Lexi Haller scored 14 points against the Cavers (5-11, 3-4 SWC), who went scoreless in the fourth quarter.

GRANTS PASS (19) — Lopez 4, Miller 4, Luaders 3, Johnson 2, Brummett 2, Torgerson 2, Tobey 2, LaPan 0, Musser 0, Dinkel 0. Totals: 7 3-11 19.

WILLAMETTE (35) — Haller 14, Lincoln-Bates 10, Aguirre 5, Baker 4, Ngo 2, Strasdas 0, Haynes 0. Totals: 12 9-17 35.

Grants Pass;5;1;13;0;—;19

Willamette;9;6;10;10;—;35

3-point goals — Grants Pass 2 (Luaders 1, Miller 1), Willamette 2 (Baker 1, Aguirre 1).