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Balanced Siskiyou girls fend off Rogues in Classic

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Kaili Chamberlin stole the thunder from older sister Ula in the 12th annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic.

Kaili Chamberlin connected on a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help the Siskiyous hold off the Rogues, 56-52, at Kids Unlimited Friday.

The Siskiyous twice built 12-point leads in the third quarter but the Rogues rallied back each time and had the momentum late but ran out of time.

The younger Chamberlin, a sophomore at South Medford High, scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds to win the Most Valuable Player in the Classic. Additionally, she denied Ula, who was last year’s MVP, a chance to win her fourth consecutive Classic.

“I was nervous coming in,” said Kaili Chamberlin. “We had the players to do it. We worked together as a team.”

The Rogues opened the scoring on a layup by Jenelle Hurley, a Hidden Valley senior, but Siskiyous answered back to go up 8-4 and never trailed. Tailia Baker of North Medford scored four of her eight points in the first period and Ashland’s Jayd Sollinger connected on a 3-pointer as the Siskiyous took a 14-10 lead at the close of the quarter.

Kaili Chamberlin’s timely trey came after Ula scored on a layup to cut the Siskiyous lead to six points with just under five minutes remaining in the contest.

“I saw how the score was getting closer and I had an opportunity with a wide open 3,” said Kaili Chamberlin. “I knew we had a good chance to win the game.”

About playing against her sister, Kaili Chamberlin said: “The whole season we’ve played together. It felt good to play against her for one last time. She came out hard so I thought I had to play hard too.”

Ula Chamberlin tied with teammate Emma Bennion of St. Mary’s for a game-high 12 points.

“I’m happy for her,” said Ula Chamberlin. “Even though I scored more, I’m glad she got it (MVP). It’s been a great experience to play in this game with girls from all over Southern Oregon.”

Kaili Chamberlin’s drive to the basket gave the Siskiyous a 21-12 lead early in the second quarter. But Bennion scored on a pair of layups sandwiched around an Ula Chamberlin 3-pointer as the Rogues cut the deficit to 21-19.

The Siskiyous responded by going on a 10-3 burst and led 34-26 at halftime.

South Medford junior Bella Pedrojett, playing in her second straight Classic, made two 3-pointers and scored all eight of her points in the second period.

“We found a way to set screens and that got me open,” said Pedrojetti. “They’re all really good players and the game was fluid.”

Again the Rogues made a run at the start of the second half when Ula Chamberlin scored twice on some nifty moves to the basket. But the Siskiyous were up for the task and took their biggest lead of the game, 42-30, with the help of Rogue River senior Jesse Langfield, who finished with a team-best nine points. Langfield scored twice on fast-breaks during the span.

Langfield also added five rebounds and four assists and provided a spark for the Siskiyous. When the Rogues applied full-court pressure in the fourth quarter, Langfield showed a cool head in breaking the press.

“I was passing the ball and taking open shots when I had them,” said Langfield, a 5-foot-4 point guard playing in her third Classic. “I’m pretty used to the pressure. We kept our heads up and did what we needed to do to take care of the ball.”

Loren King, Langfield’s coach at Rogue River, was proud with the way she handled the game situation.“

(Langfield) is a complete player,” said King. “She scored when she needed to. She was unselfish with the ball and backed up her teammates on defense. She did the little things a point guard needs to do. She really understands the game. Tonight I thought, Jesse, you have just passed the course with an A.”

The Rogues made one last charge after Kaili Chamberlin’s clutch 3-pointer behind South Medford sophomore Toni Coleman’s hustle and frenetic play. Coleman scored on driving, twisting layup with 47 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.

In the end, it was the Rogue’s balanced attack — with seven players scoring between seven and nine points — that proved decisive.

Hidden Valley’s Hallee Jesse, who finished with seven points and six rebounds for the Siskiyous, was the leading vote getter with 5,195 votes.

ROGUES (52): Jenelle Hurley 2, Toni Coleman 6, Ula Chamberlin 12, Andrea Flores 2, Mallory Meilicke 0, Emma Bennion 12, Grace Gaither 5, Savannah Zamora 8, Abby Christiansen 5, Sydney Gray 0. Totals: 23 4-13 52.

SISKIYOUS (56): Kaili Chamberlin 8, Jesse Langfield 9, Jayd Sollinger 8, Ahdra Klingler 8, Bella Pedrojetti 8, Eliza Idiart 0, Maggie Carrillo 0, Talia Baker 8, Hallee Jesse 7. Totals: 24 3-4.

Rogues10161214— 52

Siskiyous14201210— 56

3-point goals — Rogues 2 (U. Chamberlin 1, Christiansen 1), Siskiyous 5 (K. Chamberlin 1, Sollinger 1, Pedrojetti 2, Jesse 1).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSiskiyou’s Hallee Jesse makes her way to the hoop in the 2nd quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSiskiyou’s Kaili Chamberlin drives to the hoop.