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Rogues overcome Tago’s record setting Classic

Julissa Tago had a record-setting performance for the Siskiyou girls in the ninth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic.

But it was the more balanced offense of the Rogues that rolled to a 76-61 victory at Kids Unlimited’s Olsrud Court Friday.

Tago, a South Medford senior, eclipsed Yaremi Mejia’s previous game record of 23 points in 2012 with a 42-point performance. The Southwest Conference two-time reigning player of the year also became the first player to net three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in the Classic.

“I felt good in warmups,” said Tago, headed to the University Hawaii on a basketball scholarship. “I would have wanted to win the game but that’s fine. It’s usually for show. I just wanted to have fun.”

Tago was having a joyous time when she knocked down three straight 3-pointers and scored her team’s first 12 points in the third quarter as the Siskiyous took a 45-39 lead with 4:38 left in the period.

But Tago’s explosion was matched by the Rogues’ collective performance.

Eagle Point senior Adrienne Wood, whose pair of treys in the final minute of the first half helped cut the Rogues’ deficit from 10 points to four at intermission, opened the second half with a 3-pointer, which began a trend.

Both teams combined for 10 3-pointers in the period and the Rogues rallied back to take a 51-48 advantage heading into the final stanza.

“We were on the verge of not being in the game,” said Rogues coach Tom Powell, who is 5-0 in the girls’ Classic, “but we hit enough shots.”

Powell, who coached Tago in last year’s game, wasn’t surprised by the 5-foot-9 guard: “We told our girls to stay all over Tago but give her credit — she made a lot of shots. I knew she would take it over.“

Tago scored every point (28) for the Siskiyous in the second half.

Despite Tago’s scoring, it was the Rogues’ team effort that won out. The Rogues had three players in double figures, led by North Medford sophomore Maggie Freeman’s 15 points, and a player with nine points and another with eight. All but one of the Rogues’ 10 players made it into the scoring column while the Siskiyous had just five players score and three of them had three points or less.

“Finally (Tago) missed a couple of shots and we were able to answer,” said Powell, women’s coach at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. “We spread it out and everybody contributed.”

Freeman drew the unenviable task of guarding Tago.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Freeman, who connected on her final of three treys with 30 seconds left in the third quarter to break a 48-all tie. “I tried to stay with Juli but she went off. We wanted to share the ball and get back defensively.”

The Rogues completed a 12-0 run by scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter to go up 59-48.

The Siskiyous went scoreless for the first 3½ minutes of the period until Tago knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to seven.

Then Lauren Orndoff made her impact known. The South Medford junior sparked an 11-0 run to end the game with seven points and an assist after Tago’s final 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining sliced the lead to 65-61.

“This game is to have fun and play with different people,” said Orndoff, participating in her first Classic. “It was kind of getting close and being so competitive, I knew it was time to go hard.”

Ula Chamberlin, a South Medford freshman, had 12 points, four steals and four rebounds for the Siskiyous.

“(Tago) helped me get open,” said Chamberlin. “Once I starting making plays that got me in my rhythm.”

Wood finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Ashland’s Kasydie Winner added 10 for the Rogues.

Jacque Luaders of Grants Pass was the leading vote getter (1,387) for the Rogues and Cascade Christian senior guard Tiani Alvarez had 1,383 votes to pace the Siskiyous.

ROGUES (76): Maggie Freeman 15, Adrienne Wood 14, Kasydie Winner 10, Lauren Orndoff 9, Evie Kent 8, Meg Vasey 6, Ashton Petray 5, Jacque Luaders 5, Aaliyah Hall 4, Larissa Hamilton 0. Totals: 28 7-10 76.

SISKIYOUS (61): Julissa Tago 42, Ula Chamberlin 12, Allison Primeau 3, Rylee Karrick 2, Tiani Alvarez 2, Jordan Kujawski 0, Mallory Heard 0, Julia Alden 0, Alexis De La Torre 0, Baley VanWormer 0. Totals: 21 8-14 61.



3-point goals — Rogues 13 (Freeman 3, Luaders 1, Wood 4, Winner 2, Vasey 2, Petray 1), Siskiyous 11 (Tago 9, Chamberlin 2).

Reach reporter Frank Silow at 541-776-4480 or fsilow@mailtribune.com

The Siskiyous' Julissa Tago shoots over Maggie Freeman of the Rogues during the ninth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Game at Kids Unlimited on Friday. PHOTO BY LARRY STAUTH JR.
The Rogues' Maggie Freeman takes a shot during the ninth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Game at Kids Unlimited on Friday. PHOTO BY LARRY STAUTH JR.