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North finishes off sweep of South

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North Medford used its size advantage inside and some clutch free-throw shooting to pull away from South Medford for a 68-53 Southwest Conference boys basketball victory Tuesday at South Medford High School.

The host Panthers trailed by only seven points through three quarters after Trent DeBoer’s alley-oop layup at the third-quarter buzzer, but in a game that was tight most of the way, the Black Tornado dominated the boards down the stretch and hit 12 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to win going away.

“I thought we were solid,” said North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn, whose team won the rebounding battle 36-29. “We’ve still got to get better on the defensive end. Eventually we’re going to find something that works for us on the defensive end that gets us over the hump.”

The win clinches for North a sweep in the season series and halts a two-game losing streak. The Tornado improved to 14-9 overall and 6-3 in the SWC and will head into the final game of the regular season in a three-way tie with Sheldon and South Eugene for first place in the league standings — South Eugene beat Sheldon 70-68 Tuesday.

South Medford suffered its sixth straight loss to drop to 2-21 overall, 1-8 in the SWC.

Senior guard Jaray Thomas, who hit 5 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter, scored 17 points, and Darrius Wells, who also went 5 of 6 from the line in the fourth, scored 13 to lead the Tornado.

South Medford junior forward Keegan Losinski led all scorers with 20 points, while Sherman Hunter scored 10.

NORTH MEDFORD (68): Wells 13, Conrad 0, Hurley 0, Ellis 0, Thomas 17, Carpenter 6, Angulo 2, Orozco-Bernal 9, Parker 4, Karrick 6, Robustelli 0, Spence 11. Totals: 21 20-31 68.

SOUTH MEDFORD (53): Hunter 10, Shepard 4, DeBoer 2, Bottero 6, Gaut 2, Harmon 7, Pannell 0, Losinski 20, Townley 0, Wente 0, Ramsay 2. Totals: 20 8-17 53.

North Medford17181320— 68

South Medford13151312— 53

3-point goals — North Medford 6 (Wells 2, Thomas 1, Orozco-Bernal 1, Karrick 2) , South Medford 5 (Hunter 3, Shepard 1, Harmon 1). Technical foul — Spence, Shepard, DeBoer.

JV result — North Medford won.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth’s Elias Spence drives to the hoop in the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth’s Darrius Wells shots for 3-points in front of the South Medford bench in the 1st quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth’s Jaray Thomas steals the ball and takes it down court in the 2nd quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth’s Jett Caperter gets fouled and the 2-points in the 1st quarter.