Tago nets game-winner, MVP for Siskiyous
The eighth annual girls Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic came down to a battle between South Medford teammates Julissa Tago and Jasmin Falls.
But it was Tago's last second jumper that lifted the Siskiyous to a 66-64 victory over the Rogues at Kids Unlimited's Olsrud Court on Friday. And it provided Tago, this year's Southwest Conference player of the year, her second consecutive Most Valuable Player award in the all-star contest.
Tago and Falls each scored the final four points for their respective teams, but it was Tago's foul-line jumper with about two second remaining that produced the game-winner.
"There were only 10 seconds left, so I wanted the last shot," said Tago. "My teammates created space for me, so I got an open look."
Tago tallied a game-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds.
The Siskiyous led the whole game, building as much as a 13-point second-quarter advantage, until the Rogues fought back to finally tie the score 58-all on Falls' fastbreak basket with just under three minutes remaining in the game. Then the Rogues grabbed a 60-58 lead when Falls found Eagle Point's Sydney May with a pass inside the key that resulted in a layup.
Rose Alvarez, of St. Mary's, scored her only points on a steal and transition layup to tie the game for the Rogues at 60-all with 1:45 to go.
North Medford's Lexi Hall swished in two free throws with 1:30 left to put the Siskiyous up 62-60, but Falls answered with a turnaround jumper in the key to tie the game again 20 seconds later.
On the Siskiyous next trip down the floor, Tago tapped out a missed shot to keep the possession alive, then converted on a drive to the hoop to make the score 64-62 Siskiyous.
Falls responded by muscling in a close-in shot to tie the game again with 23 seconds to play.
After Viv Juncal of St. Mary's missed a 3-pointer for the Rogues, it set up Tago's winning play. Tago got the ball above the key, dribbled down to the foul line then let loose with the 15-foot jumper.
"We said let's just take one shot," said Siskiyous coach Tom Powers, the women's head coach at the College of the Siskiyous. "(Tago) is not scared at all. She wanted the ball in the worst way. I just told her she had to be patient."
Falls, a 5-foot-11 junior post, paced the Rogues with 18 points and eight rebounds.
"We didn't have a post player to match up with Jasmin," said Powers.
Crater's Courtney Setzer, the 5A Midwestern League player of the year, scored 12 points for the Rogues and Maggie Freeman, North Medford's 5-foot-9 freshman guard, grabbed nine rebounds for the losers.
May came in off the bench to score 11 points and helped spark a 13-5 Rogues’ run to end the first half that cut the Siskiyous lead to 29-26.
Ashland's Georgia Williams, who is playing softball for the Grizzlies this spring, deserted the diamond to contribute 18 points for the Siskiyous. The senior shooting guard finished with a game-best four 3-pointers.
ROGUES (64) — Maggie Freeman 6, Jasmin Falls 18, Jacque Luaders 8, Courtney Setzer 12, Sydney May 11, Bailee Tally 5, Kortney Moore 2, Viv Juncal 0, Lakota Sizemore 0. Totals: 28 5-12 64.
SISKIYOUS (66) — Lexi Hall 7, Julissa Tago 20, Georgia Williams 18, Mallory Heard 5, Adrienne Wood 12, Mikala Mohr 0, Nicole Morse 0, Anjelica Pamplona 0, Rose Alvarez 2, Shawna Creech 2. Totals: 27 6-10 66.
3-point goals — Rogues 3 (Lauders 1, May 1, Tally 1), Siskiyous 6 (Williams 4, Wood 2).