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PREP BASKETBALL: Bittle leads Crater; South girls No. 1

HILLSBORO — Nate Bittle was the driving force, but his Crater High teammates were anything but bit players as the Comets finished play in the Les Schwab Invitational Monday with a 64-53 victory over Churchill.

The two Midwestern League teams are among the state’s best in Class 5A. Churchill is ranked No. 1 and Crater No. 3.

Bittle finished the four-game tourney with a flourish, pouring in 31 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking six shots.

He was 12 of 20 from the field, including 2 of 4 on 3-pointers, and added three steals and two assists.

The last games of the five-day prestigious five-day tournament were being played Monday night, and Bittle was in line to be the event’s leading scorer and rebounder and among the leaders in blocked shots.

The 6-foot-11 junior averaged 29 points and 13.8 rebounds and totaled 14 blocks.

“He brought his best when his best was needed,” said Comets coach Chris Schmerbach. “Not only with scoring and rebounding, but his leadership every day is getting better.”

Hunter Chubb added 12 points, four assists and three rebounds for Crater (5-3), and Kruger Edwards had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Jayden Vranes had nine points, four assists and two steals and finished among the tournament leaders in assists.

Crater went 2-2 in the tournament. It’s other win was over Clackamas, of Portland, ranked ninth in 6A. The losses were to No. 2 6A team Jefferson, of Portland, and Bishop Gorman, of Las Vegas.

Schmerbach didn’t know what to expect from his team against such high-level competition.

“It was a great overall experience,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the best tournaments in the country. The atmosphere was amazing and just really fun.”

And the Comets held their own.

“We knew going into it we were going to find out about our strengths and weaknesses,” said Schmerbach, “and tell us a lot about ourselves playing against that level of competition. To come out with two wins against really, really good teams and to compete in the losses -- we were never blown out and we were always competitive -- I felt like we grew a lot this weekend.

“We’ll keep building and keep making steps forward.”

Against Churchill, Crater had one of its better games in terms of taking care of the ball. It had only 11 turnovers.

Brian Goracke had 21 points and five rebounds to lead Churchill.

CHURCHILL (53): Morgan 9, Bennion 2, O’Neil 2, Goracke 21, Pia 8, Jensen 0, Weiskind 0, Case 0, Carson 11. Totals: 22-613-4 53.

CRATER (64): J. Vranes 9, Ray 2, Chubb 12, Edwads 10, Bittle 31, C. Vranes 0, Eaton 0, Grant 0. Totals: xx.

Churchill1518119— 53

Crater17191513— 64

3-point goals — Churchill 6-23 (Mrogan 1, Goracke 2, Pia 2, Carson 1), Crater 3-10 (Chubb 1, Bittle 2). Fouled out — O’Neil, Pia.


SOUTH MEDFORD 59, WILSONVILLE 50: At Portland, Bella Pedrojetti scored 23 points, Toni Coleman added 17 and South Medford captured the PIL Holiday Classic Diamond Bracket championship Sunday.

The Panthers beat White County, Tennessee, and West Linn to advance to the final of the prestigious tournament, which also included Oregon powers Tigard, Benson and Southridge in the Diamond Bracket — the top tier.

The victory vaulted South Medford to No. 1 in the newest Class 6A coaches poll, released Monday. Wilsonville (5-2) is the No. 2-ranked 5A team.

“We showed our youth tonight,” said South Medford coach Tom Cole, whose team improved to 9-2. “It’s like we’re learning how to win in big stages and that’s an important part of this. I was obviously thrilled that we won the championship but I didn’t feel that we were as good as we were last night (against West Linn). But we were good enough to beat another very good team.”

Pedrojetti made four 3-pointers, Bella Stone had five steals and six rebounds, Coleman contributed four steals and Tanesha Coley had seven rebounds.

After taking a 17-16 lead after one quarter, the Panthers went ahead by 11 at halftime with a 20-10 edge in the second for a 37-26 lead. Coleman had a couple baskets off steals, and Pedrojetti made two 3s.

A 12-0- run that began early in the third put South Medford ahead 49-29.

Pedrojetti and Sierra Logue were first-team all-tournament selections for the Panthers, who travel to face Silverton, ranked fourth in 5A, on Friday.

WILSONVILLE (50): McNamee 4, Burns 11, Bishop 15, Lee 8, Hieb 0, Borgen 0, Timm 5, Schramm 4, Gibson 2, Finkbeiner 1, Morris 0. Totals: 22 9-22 50.

SOUTH MEDFORD (59): Chamberlin 6, Coleman 17, Pedrojetti 21, Logue 5, Stone 0, Dillard 0, E. Schmerbach 6, Coley 4, Dahlin 0, Teague-Perry 0, T. Schmerbach 0. Totals: 30 5-9 59.

Wilsonville1610915— 50

South Medford17201210— 59

3-point goals — Wilsonville 3 (Lee 2, McNamee 1), South Medford 6 (Pedrojetti 4, Chamberlin 2).

NORTH MEDFORD 46, SAN DOMENCIA (Calif.) 38: At Concord, Calif., North Medford used balanced scoring and strong half-court defense to wrap up the four-day West Coast Jamboree with a third-place finish over the school from San Anselmo, Calif., on Monday.

The Black Tornado (4-6) received nine points from Jane Ersepke, which included a 5-for-6 effort at the free throw line. Savannah Weaver added eight points and helped anchor North’s defense while Jazmyne Wells contributed seven points.

North Medford led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter.

SAN DOMENCIA (46): Gibbons 0, Olrich 7, Bizjack 2, Pearce 5, I. Engler 6, K. Engler 4, Dal-Porto 11, Mukukula 0. Totals: 15 4-8 38.

NORTH MEDFORD (38): Richardson 4, Ersepke 9, Wells 7, McNamee 2, Weaver 8, Seney 2, Chavez 3, Drysdale 5, Ross 6. Totals: 19 7-10 46.

San Domencia125138— 38

North Medford13111210— 46

3-point goals — San Domencia 4 (Olrich 1, Pearce 1, Dal-Porto 2), North Medford 1 (Chavez).

MT FILE PHOTO / Hunter Chubb scores 12 points in Crater's victory.