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Comets in final

Just when it looked like Eagle Point might be able to muscle its way back into the game, Crater’s Alexus Woodard gave the Comets the spark they needed Friday to regain control and advance to the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic girls basketball final.

The senior post had 10 points and six steals, including back-to-back swipes in the third quarter to help the Comets douse an Eagles’ rally, and Crater’s defense did the rest to secure a 40-25 victory over its Midwestern League rival at Cascade Christian High School.

Crater, which remained undefeated at 6-0, will play Ashland for the Classic championship starting at 6 p.m. today, while Eagle Point (4-2) will face Cascade Christian for third place at 3 p.m.

Eagle Point cranked up its defensive pressure in the third to cut a 14-point halftime cushion down to four, but Woodard answered with consecutive steals. She scored off one and picked up an assist after the other to extend the Comets’ lead to eight. Crater held Eagle Point to a single basket in the fourth to win going away.

“We really didn’t change a whole lot up,” Crater coach Scott Dippel said of the Comets’ second-half defense. “We just put a lot more ball pressure on and were able to generate some steals. Any time you play a nonconference game against a conference opponent it can look ugly sometimes.”

Crater finished with 18 steals, 11 in the second half.

Also coming up big for the Comets were Sydney Gray, Maya Van Hook and Mackenzie Ryerson. Gray had eight points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists, Van Hook eight rebounds, four steals and a block, and Ryerson 10 points.

Alexa Burgess, Ashli Meerten and Carlene Hart scored five points apiece to lead the Eagles, who had a three-game win streak snapped.

Dippel said the Comets were knocked out of their comfort zone in the third.

“They played real physical and it just kind of disrupted what we were doing a little bit,” he said. “(After) they came back we executed a little bit better in the halfcourt, passed the ball better, and that really helped us regain control.”

Though he acknowledged that capturing the Classic title would be a nice Christmas gift, Dippel said he’s more concerned with making sure the Comets continue to improve in preparation for their MWL opener Jan. 5 against Springfield.

“I think it’s about getting ready for league play and having the mentality of keeping a consistent level of play,” he said. “We’ve got some hard road games at the start of the conference schedule and you’ve got to be able to play away from home. Even though Cascade is a neutral court, it’s important for us to learn how to play and get into a routine when we play away from our gym.”

EAGLE POINT (25): Shelton 0, Hogan 2, Monroe 2, Burgess 5, Swanson 3, Rincones 2, Lawler 0, Meerten 5, Hart 5, Flores 1. Totals: 10 2-5 25.

CRATER (40): Idiart 4, Van Hook 2, Ryerson 10, Robison 0, Duran 0, Gray 8, Ellis 4, A. Woodard 10, Young 0, K. Woodard 2. Totals: 13 9-17 40.

Eagle Point;5;4;14;2;—;25

Crater;9;14;9;8;—;40

3-point goals — Eagle Point 2 (Burgess 1, Meerten 1), Crater 5 (Idiart 1, Ryerson 3, Ellis 1). Fouled out — Meerten. Technical fouls — Meerten.

Subaru Classic

ASHLAND 46, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 43: Ashland outscored Cascade Christian 9-2 down the stretch to advance to the championship game.

Ashland junior guard Sarah Summers had 11 points, five rebounds and three steals, and hit two clutch free throws with 16 seconds left for the final margin. Cascade Christian’s Emily Stephens missed a contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Vita Witnauer scored 13 points and Mya Elder-Hammond had six rebounds and three assists for the Grizzlies (2-4), who will play Midwestern League rival Crater for the tourney championship tonight at 6.

Stephens led Cascade Christian (5-6) with 21 points.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (43): Willard 3, Reed 0, Alexander 0, Meilicke 0, White 9, Ferreira 10, Stephens 21. Totals: 20 3-8 43.

ASHLAND (46): Altig 0, Voskes 0, Sollinger 4, Barnes 4, Gorringe 0, Munson 2, Elder-Hammond 4, Summers 11, Witnauer 13, Rodriguez 8, Abel 0. Totals: 21 4-6 46.

Cascade Christian;8;9;13;11;—;43

Ashland;6;12;10;18;—;46

JV result — Ashland 34, Cascade Christian 28.

ST. MARY’S 34, PHOENIX 27: Phoenix trimmed the lead to two early in the fourth quarter but junior forward Emma Ward made a key basket and St. Mary’s held on for a victory in the consolation round.

Emma Bennion scored a game-high 15 and Olivia Lippert added eight points for the Crusaders (2-8), who ended a three-game losing skid and will take on Klamath Union today at noon.

Isabella Lopez and Delani Parent scored six points apiece and Brooke Kentner grabbed nine rebounds for the Pirates (1-6), who conclude tournament play today at 9 a.m. against Santiam.

ST. MARY’S (34): Lippert 8, Bennion 15, Conner 2, Young 3, Christman 0, Ward 4, McGill 2, Alftine 0. Totals 15 3-9 34.

PHOENIX (27): Carrillo 2, DeVry 2, Kentner 4, Perez-Hernandez 5, Lopez 6, Bolstad 2, Parent 6, Badillo 0, Christensen 0, Tellez 0. Totals 11 5-17 27.

St. Mary’s;9;7;12;6;—;34

Phoenix;5;8;11;3;—;27

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 1 (Bennion). Fouled out — DeVry, Ward.

Other Games

TIGARD 64, SOUTH MEDFORD 37: At Portland, South Medford lost its third straight game, falling to Tigard on the second the day of the Portland Holiday Classic.

It was the second straight day the 10th-ranked Panthers (4-3) struggled to score and were blown out by another Class 6A ranked team; on Thursday, South lost 54-34 to No. 3 Benson; Tigard is No. 8 in the coaches’ poll.

ROGUE RIVER 48, GLENDALE 16: At Glendale, Alyssa Sizemore led Rogue River with eight points as the Chieftains topped short-handed Glendale in the nonconference contest

The Chieftains upped their record to 5-4 on the season.

The Pirates (0-9) were without several players on vacation or with illness.

ROGUE RIVER (48): Sizemore 8, Rangle 6, Earnest 2, Langfield 6, Spaeth 6, Weilbacher 2, Peterson 2, Reeder 4, Clifford 2, Court 6, McWillie 4, Bless 0, Nielsen 0, Andrews 0. Totals: 24 0-7 48.

GLENDALE (16): DeLauro 9, Brown 4, F. Wytcherley 3, L. Wytcherley 0, Jones 0, Jellum 0, Broxterman 0. Totals: 6 0-0 16.

Rogue River;6;16;18;8;—;48

Glendale;3;5;3;5;—;16

3-point goals — Glendale 4 (DeLauro 3, F. Wytcherley 1).

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Crater senior Alexus Woodward shoots over Eagle Point defender Nicole Lawler during the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic at Cascade Christian High School on Friday. The Comets won the contest. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]
Eagle Point senior Ashli Meeten attempts a shot during the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic at Cascade Christian High School on Friday. Crater won the contest. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]