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BOYS BASKETBALL: Fast-starting Rams stop Tornado

Central Catholic laid a one-two punch on North Medford that went a long way toward deciding the boys basketball season opener for both teams Saturday at North Medford High.

The Rams, from Portland, went on 8-0 and 10-0 runs to start the first two quarters and breezed to a 74-55 victory.

Central Catholic is ranked seventh among Class 6A teams in the state coaches poll.

“They were pretty good,” said Black Tornado coach Scott Plankenhorn.

North Medford was down 8-0 before it knew what hit it.

Central Catholic converted a 3-pointer at the outset, then immediately canned another after a Black Tornado turnover, then made a lay-in following an “iffy” selection, said Plankenhorn, on a 3-point shot by his team.

“We were shell-shocked out of the get-go,” he said. “We just didn’t get locked in.”

North Medford settled in to survive the first quarter, trailing 22-14, but the big spurt by the Rams to start the second period proved to be a dagger. Central Catholic led 42-21 at halftime.

North Medford’s Garrett Parker, a 6-foot-6 senior wing, made all five of his field goals and scored 12 points. He also led the team with five rebounds and two assists.

North Medford held its own in the second half, outscoring the Rams 34-32. But the hole it dug was too deep.

“We gave up way too many transition lay-ins with no defense,” said Plankenhorn. “That was a big thing we talked about at the end of the game. We just didn’t do a good job of getting back on defense.

“Once we settled in on offense and ran some things and did our things, we were OK. We just didn’t get enough stops in back-to-back-to-back situations to cut the game to where it was a manageable score.”

Central Catholic’s Darius Gakwasi, a 6-6 sophomore wing, scored 25 points with an array of offensive moves that were difficult to contain.

“He had the whole game,” said Plankenhorn.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC (74): Seamster 16, Parker 5, Gold 2, Hallinan 0, King 7, Ayilola 0, Gakwasi 25, James 0, Ainslie 0, Johnson 4, Amato 15, Slater 0. Totals: 30-58 6-7 74.

NORTH MEDFORD (55): Wells 8, Conrad 0, Hurley 0, Ellis 4, Thomas 9, Carpenter 4, Stults 0, Angulo 2, Orozco-Bernal 7, Parker 12, Karrick 3, Spence 6. Totals: 20-45 10-18 55.

Central Catholic22201616— 74

North Medford1472014— 55

3-point goals — Central Catholic 8-18 (Parker 1, King 1, Gakwasi 4, Amato 2), North Medford 5-16 (Thomas 1, Orozco-Bernal 1, Parker 2, Karrick 1).

JV result — Central Catholic 65, North Medford 44.

CENTURY 49, SOUTH MEDFORD 44: South Medford dropped its second straight to start the season in a nonconference contest.

On Friday, the Panthers were beaten on a last-second shot by Aloha and dropped another close contest to Century (1-1), of Hillsboro.

The Panthers’ (0-2) next contest will be at Springfield (0-2) on Friday.

ASHLAND 70, NORTH VALLEY 52: At Ashland, Nate Desmond scored 17 points to lead a balanced Ashland attack in a season-opening victory at Southern Oregon University.

The Grizzlies made their first four shots and continued the hot shooting — building a 38-26 halftime lead.

Also reaching double figures for Ashland were Gabe Ekwall (12 points) and Lowell Saulsbury (10).

NORTH VALLEY (52): Lauby 16, Schrock 2, Cram 7, Tuttle 3, Kilborn 8, Avila 9, Taylor 3, Smith 4. Totals: 13 23-32 52.

ASHLAND (70): Pippa 6, Smith 7, Wallner-Sentle 3, Ekwall 12, Sanford 3, Saulsbury 10, Swenson 6, Desmond 17, Harris 6. Totals: 27 6-11 70.

North Valley16101115— 52

Home19192210— 70

3-point goals — North Valley 3 (Lauby 1, Cram 1, Tuttle 1), Ashland 10 (Ekwall 2, Saulsbury 2, Swenson 1, Desmond 3, Harris 2). Fouled out — Pippa, Saulsbury.

JV result — Ashland 50, North Valley 42.

MARYKNOLL 44, CRATER 39: At Honolulu, Hawaii, tied with three minutes remaining, Crater was unable to hang on against formidable Maryknoll as the Comets concluded their Hawaiian tour.

Nate Bittle provided 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Comets (1-1), who received eight points from Hunter Chubb.

The Comets’ Kruger Edwards added six points, seven boards and a pair of blocks.

CRATER (39): Ray 0, Horton 4, Jaasko 0, Chubb 8, Eaton 4, Edwards 6, Johnson 0, Bittle 17, Dance 0. Totals: 15 5-7 39.

MARYKNOLL (44): Akaka 4, Grant 8, Brooke 0, Furtado 0, Kamata 1, Tobin 12, Tolentino 2, Robben 17, Soares 0. Totals: 21 4-7 44.

Crater118911— 39

Maryknoll1013912— 44

3-point goals — Crater 4 (Horton 1, Chubb 2, Bittle 1), Maryknoll 5 (Grant 2, Kamata 2, Robben 1).

ST. MARY’S 74, BANDON 55: At Bandon, Francis Okeyia dropped in 20 points as St. Mary’s inside presence proved too much for Bandon.

Okeyia was 9-for-13 from the field and snagged eight rebounds while Trevahn Foster finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. The pair helped the Crusaders (2-0) score 22 of their 24 third-quarter points in the paint.

Iyan Hristov chipped in 12 points and two steals for the Crusaders, who received 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting and three boards from Jacob Reynolds.

ST. MARY’S (74): Hristov 12, Kaeo-Wailehua 0, Young 0, Banton 2, Okeyia 20, Conner 4, Reynolds 10, Hadley 3, Rajagopal 0, Sternenberg 6, Snyder 2, Foster 13, Covington 0, Sacks 0, Kranenberg 2. Totals: 23 5-10 74.

BANDON (55): Yarbor 10. Schulz 0, Minkler 3, Lang 8, Freitag 3, Diaz 0, H. Angove 1, Brown 4, T. Angove 9, Gaston 17. Totals: 19 9-22 55.

St. Mary’s18142418— 74

Bandon1018720— 55

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 3 (Hristov 2, Hadley 1), Bandon 8 (Yarbor 1, Minkler 1, Freitag 1, T. Angove 3, Gaston 2). Fouled out — Sternenberg.

JV result — St. Mary’s won.

ROGUE RIVER 79, CAMAS VALLEY 53: At Rogue River, Caden Tognoni led four players in double figures with 16 points as Rogue River, which won just one game last season, claimed its third straight victory to begin the season.

The Chieftains picked up 15 points from Diego Agosto and 10 apiece from Derek Nelson and Aiden Norris.

Coming off of a seven-block performance the night before, Norris posted eight against Camas Valley (1-1).

CANYONVILLE 67, PROSPECT 30: At Canyonville, Jordan Royce scored 14 points for Prospect, which was runner-up in the Canyonville Tournament.

Royce opened the second half with a 3-pointer that cut Canyonville’s lead to 28-22, but that was as close as the Cougars (1-2) would get.

Royce, alongside teammate Austin Leopoldo who scored six points, earned all-tournament honors in the four-team event.

North Medford senior Darrius Wells attempts to dribble past Central Catholic defender Tyson Parker at North Medford High Gym on Saturday.(PHOTO BY: LARRY STAUTH JR).