Panthers wallop Roseburg
Call it the calm both during and before the storm.
“During,” because while South Medford was polishing off its 20th win of the season, a snow storm rolled in some 70 miles north, closing the Sexton Pass and tossing to the wind visiting Roseburg’s travel plans.
And “before,” because following the Panthers’ 103-33 dismantling of Roseburg, all that remained of the Panthers’ regular-season schedule was next week’s crosstown rivalry game against North Medford, and the rematch with Southwest Conference leader Sheldon.
South Medford left nothing to chance in rolling to its second blowout win of the season over the Indians, firing out to leads of 23-0, 30-3 and 48-6 en route to its first 100-point performance in a regulation game in six years.
Not that the Panthers were trying to hit the century mark, says head coach Tom Cole, who put a stop to the full-court pressing in the first half but was fine with his team taking — and usually making — wide-open shots in the flow of the offense.
“Honestly, it’s never a goal,” Cole said of topping 100 points. “Sometimes when you ... get out of the press, you don’t have the same level of aggression and therefore you don’t have as many points. But in this case the kids shot really well from the field tonight in the half-court offense. Even though we weren’t pressing and even though we weren’t trying to go full-court defense, they were hitting a lot of shots.”
He’s not wrong. South Medford roasted Roseburg from the field all night, hitting 36 of 74 shots overall (49 percent) and, more impressively, 11 of 20 (55 percent) from 3-point range.
And the Panthers (20-3, 7-1 SWC) did it as they usually do, with great balance. Five Panthers scored in double figures, led as usual by the big two: Ula Chamberlin scored 12 of her game-high 30 points in the first quarter, and Bella Pedrojetti did it all with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Kaili Chamberlin (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Shakia Teague-Perry (10 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles, Toni Coleman had 13 points, four steals and three assists and Tanesha Coley grabbed eight boards.
How does a team remain focused in a game that’s so lopsided? To Ula Chamberlin, the Panthers had plenty to keep their minds occupied.
“I think it gave us time to work on what we need to work on in practice, because we have big games next week,” she said. “I think it was a good game to just get under our belt and work on our own skills and team skills. Running over offense and defense, and switching, moving, talking ... literally everything.”
The Panthers also were able to mix in some new lineups, tossing out a different starting five — Coleman, Ula Chamberlin, Sierra Logue, Coley and Laini Dahlin — to start the second half, then switching the whole crew halfway through the third quarter in a hockey-style line change.
Because why not.
“We knew that there was a significant margin already and we were just trying to play everybody equal time,” Cole said. “There was five that played for four minutes and the next five came in and played the next four minutes.”
Already up 31-3 after one, the Panthers outscored Roseburg 27-7 in the second quarter to take a 57-10 lead into halftime, with Kaili Chamberlin’s 3 with 18 seconds left serving as an appropriate walk-out highlight.
Roseburg (2-21, 0-8), which suffered its 16th straight loss, had more success finding open shots against South in the second half, but the Panthers kept up their pace, too, pouring in another 27 in the third to take an 84-25 lead into the final quarter.
By then, the only drama left related to whether the Panthers would hit the century mark for the first time since a 2013 playoff game, and they put that to rest when Pedrojetti swished a long 3 with 2 minutes, 44 seconds left, drawing one of the biggest cheers of the night.
Now, the Panthers turn their attention to a North Medford team which is coming off a 39-28 loss to South Eugene. Then, Sheldon pays a visit to South Medford next Friday in a game that could determine the SWC champion.
“I think we’re all keeping that in perspective,” Ula Chamberlin said. “I think we’re all trying to work hard every single day and know that this is going to be a big game and if we want to win (a conference title) we need to pull it together.
“When we played Sheldon, it really showed us what we need to work on ... and how we need to move more. They’re very tough, but I’m excited.”
ROSEBURG (33): Allen 3, Robbins 3, Murphy 7, Vrendenburg 5, Wayman 0, Lake 4, White 0, Knudson 5, Russell 0, Melvin 0, Bergmann 6. Totals: 11 6-16 33.
SOUTH MEDFORD (103): K. Chamberlin 13, Coleman 13, U. Chamberlin 30, Dillard 0, Schmerbach 8, Pedrojetti 22, Logue 4, Coley 2, Dahlin 1, Teague-Perry 10. Totals: 36 20-25 103.
South Medford30272719— 103
3-point goals — Roseburg 5 (Allen 1, Robbins 1, Murphy 1, Vrendenburg 1, Knudson 1), South Medford 11 (K. Chamberlin 3, U. Chamberlin 4, Pedrojetti 4).
JV result — South Medford won.
Reach reporter Joe Zavala at 541-776-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org