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Panthers cruise to first win of season

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Less than 24 hours after nearly pulling off a huge upset, the South Medford Panthers put together another solid performance to easily snag their first win of the season, 75-37, over Red Bluff in the final day of the Red Bluff Holiday Classic.

Sherman Hunter and Gio Bottero hit three 3-pointers apiece and combined to score 37 points, Trent DeBoer smothered Red Bluff’s leading scorer and the Panthers jumped out to leads of 19-4 and 41-20 before blowing the game wide open in the second half.

“We’ve been trying to tell our guys to get a focus level right before we play and ...we worked out for like 45 minutes to an hour up to 15 minutes before the game,” South Medford head coach James Wightman said. “So our guys are trying to buy into it and it all started on the defensive end. We picked them up with full-court pressure and forced them into bad shots, quick shots, and next thing I knew we were up by 30.”

DeBoer had a lot to do with that. Besides scoring 10 points, the senior guard hounded Red Bluff star Valentine Ramirez all night, limiting a player who scored 31 points the night before to six.

“Last night, (DeBoer) said, ‘I want that assignment,’” Wightman said. “He face-guarded (Ramirez) and the kid was forcing stuff and got into foul trouble.”

Hunter scored 20 points and added two steals, while Bottero chipped in 17 for South Medford (1-7). Also for the Panthers, senior post Jake Ramsay had eight rebounds and four assists, Junior Sleezer four steals and Bennett Smith seven points and three steals.

Bottero had all three of his 3-pointers in the first quarter, helping the Panthers jump out to a 22-8 lead.

Wightman said the Panthers showed signs that they had turned a corner during Friday’s loss to Golden Valley, but put it all together during Saturday’s win. In another bit of good news, the Panthers may soon see the return of junior forward Keegan Losinski, who scored a team-high 25 points in South’s season opener but has been out with a concussion ever since.

South Medford travels to face Crater on Tuesday. The Comets are the state’s fifth-ranked Class 5A team, but Wightman is optimistic that another good outing could net South Medford its first two-game winning streak.

“It’s a blueprint for sure that we can start to build on,” he said. “If we play how we did today, I like our chances. We’ve gotta be one of the best 1-7 teams in the state.”

SOUTH MEDFORD (75): Hunter 20, Shepard 4, DeBoer 10, Bottero 17, Smith 7, Sleezer 2, Harmon 11, Pannell 1, Townley 0, Ramsay 3. Totals: 27 14-25 75.

RED BLUFF (37): Robertson 9, Schorovsky 2, Ramirez 6, Hinkston 2, Miller 7, Welk 0, Sarmanto 2, Harris 0, Magana 0, Ling 0, Lott 0, Lousiale 0. Totals: 10 13-21 37.

South Medford22191321— 75

Red Bluff81289— 37

3-point goals — South Medford 7 (Hunter 3, DeBoer 1, Bottero 3), Red Bluff 2 (Ramirez 1, Harris 1).

NORTH MEDFORD 52, LIBERTY 45: North Medford did enough to hang on for its first victory of the season against the Hillsboro school in the nonconference home game.

The Black Tornado (1-3) went on a 13-2 run to take a nine-point lead into the final period. North didn’t score a field goal in the quarter but made five free throws late after Liberty (1-4) pulled to within two points.

Darrius Wells and Garrett Parker each led North with 12 points. Wells added six rebounds and four assists while Parker chipped in five rebounds and three blocks.

Black Tornado senior guard Jaray Thomas had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

LIBERTY (45): A. Reitzug 8, Abelson 2, Estocapio 4, Lake 0, Walker 10, Brown 4, Maloney 2, Rockwell 3, Boyce 11. Totals: 15-43 6-12 45.

NORTH MEDFORD (52): Wells 12, Conrad 6, Hurley 0, Ellis 0, Thomas 10, Angulo 5, Orozco-Bernal 1, Parker 12, Karrick 6. Totals: 14-47 20-29 52.

Liberty916911— 45

North Medford818179— 52

3-point goals — Liberty 3-16 (Rockwell 1, Boyce 2), North Medford 4-19 (Parker 2, Karrick 2). Fouled out — Estocapio, Brown.

JV result — North Medford 56, Liberty 47.

PHOENIX 57, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 44: At Phoenix, Braeden Watts scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Phoenix pull away for the victory in the Phoenix Tournament.

Ethan Hutsell tallied 16 points to pace the Pirates (6-1).

Sophomore guard Layne Collom tallied a game high 18 points for Cascade Christian (1-5).

The Challengers hurt their cause with 20 turnovers.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (44): Reece 0, Sciapti 0, Schaan 3, Jackson 0, Miller 0, Lewis 6, Collom 18, Sample 0, Spurlock 14, Brehm 0, Flenner 3. Totals: 17 4-6 44.

PHOENIX (57): Martinez 0, Serna 0, Goff 4, Hutsell 16, Jenkins 0, Clayton 0, Mendez 2, Stella 7, Watts 12, Ortega 8, Beer 0, Stanfield 8, Tuenge 0. Totals: 22 8-13 57.

Cascade Christian1112912— 44

Phoenix17101020— 57

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 6 (Lewis 1, Collom 3, Spurlock 1, Flenner 1), Phoenix 5 (Watts 2, Ortega 2, Stanfield 1).

LOST RIVER 46, ST. MARY’S 33: At Murphy, St. Mary’s struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 29 percent from the field, and turned the ball over 17 times in the nonconference loss in the Evergreen Tournament at Hidden Valley High.

The Crusaders (4-4) trailed by one-point at the end of the first quarter but got outscored 19-11 over the next two periods.

Tre Foster, St. Mary’s junior post, scored eight points to go with five rebounds and nine blocks.

Lost River (4-4) took advantage of a 32-15 rebounding advantage and Nicholas Junior Pena scored a game-high 17 points.

LOST RIVER (46): Ramos 0, Lyman 11, Ruedas 0, McAuilffe 7, N. Pena 17, Salazar 2, Nicolet 1, Ross 5, Hartman 3, Murillo 0. Totals: 18 8-12 46.

ST. MARY’S (33): Hristov 6, Kaeo 0, Young 0, Banton 2, Okeyia 4, Conner 6, Reynolds 3, Rajagopal 0, Sternenberg 3, Snyder 1, Foster 8 Totals: 12 5-9 33.

Lost River1531612— 46

St. Mary’s14388— 33

3-point goals — Lost River 5 (Lyman 3, Pena 1, Hartman 1), St. Mary’s 4 (Conner 2, Reynolds 1, Sternenberg 1).

JV result — St. Mary’s won.

ROGUE RIVER 66, MYRTLE POINT 55: At Rogue River, Caden Tognoni posted a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the nonconference victory for Rogue River.

A major factor contributing to the victory was a 44-17 rebounding advantage for the Chieftains (6-2).

Aiden Norris also scored 19 for Rogue River.

ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 62, PARADISE ADVENTIST ACADEMY (Calif.) 48: Isaiah Christensen led four players in double figures with 18 points as Rogue Valley Adventist improved to 4-0 heading into Mountain Valley League play.

Christensen added eight rebounds for the Red Tail Hawks, who received 10 points and 13 rebounds from Caleb Jackson.

Along with Jackson, Ruben Tovar and Chris Alvarez chipped in 10 points apiece. Tovar also had five assists for RVA, which had 26-23 halftime lead before pulling away in the second half.

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