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BOYS BASKETBALL: No. 3 Crater cruises past Ashland

CENTRAL POINT — Everything was flowing for the third-ranked Crater boys basketball Tuesday night.

Defensively, the Comets surrendered just two first-half baskets to Ashland and the one-two punch of Nate Bittle and Kruger Edwards in the paint fueled an efficient offensive game for Crater in its 84-31 Midwestern League victory at Crater High School.

“We spread the ball around really well,” said Crater coach Chris Schmerbach, whose Comets shot 34-for-56 from the field. “We were unselfish and did some nice things. We came out flat to start the second half but responded really well.”

Bittle and Edwards provided 18 points apiece for the Comets (12-5, 8-1 MWL), who had a 45-11 advantage at halftime.

Bittle also corralled nine rebounds to go with five assists and three blocks, and Edwards went for four boards, three assists and was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Braydon Ray provided a career-high 12 points and four steals for the Comets who, for the second straight game, received a strong performance from Malakai Grant off the bench. He had nine points and a pair of blocks.

The Comets’ Jayden Vranes delivered eight points, six assists and three steals and Hunter Chubb chipped in with 10 points.

Finn Hilden led Ashland (8-10, 3-6 MWL) with nine points.

ASHLAND (31): Whitlock 6, Smith 0, Kimbrough 0, Ekwall 5, Hilden 9, LaPierre 5, Williams 2, Anway 0, Carter 2, Jones 2, Brown 0. Totals: 10 9-12 31.

CRATER (84): J. Vranes 8, Ray 12, C. Vranes 3, Lasater 0, Chubb 10, Eaton 0, Higginson 3, Grant 9, Broesder 3, Edwards 18, Anhorn 0, Bittle 18, McIntosh 0. Totals: 34 8-16 84.

Ashland56164— 31

Crater22232019— 84

3-point goals — Ashland 2 (Whitlock 1, Ekwall 1), Crater 8 (Ray 2, C. Vranes 1, Chubb 1, Higginson 1, Grant 1, Broesder 1, Edwards 1).

SOUTH MEDFORD 80, EAGLE POINT 38: Junior Sleezer had 18 points to lead South Medford to a nonleague rout of Class 5A Eagle Point at the South Medford gym.

Keegan Losinski scored 12 points and Isaiah Dye went 5-for-7 from the floor for 12 points to go with 10 rebounds for the Panthers (9-10, who led 36-11 at halftime.

Sypher Townley added eight points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals and Adam Watson was 4-for-5 from the field in the second half for nine points.

Brennen Neyt scored 13 points and Logan Esquibel added nine for the Eagles (0-17).

EAGLE POINT (38): Valdovinos 6, Smith 2, Neyt 13, Shaffer 6, Stanton 0, Gelbrich 0, L. Esquibel 9, Uribe 0, G. Esquibel 2. Totals: 14 5-11 38.

SOUTH MEDFORD (80): Sleezer 18, Gaut 7, Townley 8, Harmon 3, Pannell 6, Losinski 12, Dye 12, Booth 2, Bloodsaw 3, Watson 9. Totals: 32 10-15 80.

Eagle Point741017— 38

South Medford13232222— 80

3-point goals — Eagle Point 5 (Valdovinos 1, Neyt 2, Shaffer 2), South Medford 6 (Sleezer 2, Townley 1, Harmon 1, Bloodsaw 1, Watson 1). Fouled out — Valdovinos.

JV result — South Medford won

KLAMATH UNION 62, PHOENIX 47: At Phoenix, a slow start put Phoenix in a hole it was unable to climb out from as hot-shooting Klamath Union used the win to pull even with the Pirates for the lead in the Skyline Conference.

Ethan Hutsell paced the Pirates (10-7, 3-1 Skyline) with 15 points while Braeden Watts and Ty Clayton pitched in with seven points apiece.

The ninth-ranked Pelicans (13-5, 3-1) had a 32-20 lead at halftime.

KLAMATH UNION (62): Arvizu 17, Bundng 0, Cook 11, Macias 0, Short 7, Franklin 7, Taylor 7, J. Dutra 0, Holmes 13. Totals: 23 10-13 62.

PHOENIX (47): Watts 7, Clayton 7, Goff 3, E. Hutsell 15, Stanfield 4, Zanni 3, Jenkins 4, D. Hutsell 0, Ortega 4, Osario 0, Olsiewski 0. Totals: 18 5-11 47.

Klamath Union20121614— 62

Phoenix119918— 47

3-point goals — Klamath Union 6 (Holmes 2, Franklin 2, Arvizu 1, Taylor 1), Phoenix 6 (Watts 1, Clayton 1, Goff 1, E. Hutsell 1, Zanni 1, Jenkins 1).

SUTHERLIN 47, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 38: At Sutherlin, Kiegan Schaan scored 16 points but visiting Cascade Christian came up short in a showdown between the top two teams in the Far West League standings.

The fifth-ranked Challengers (16-4, 5-2 FWL) tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter but No. 8 Sutherlin (15-5, 5-2) had already done the work needed, leading 39-25 after three quarters.

With starting point guard Cody Reece out of the lineup, Schaan stepped up at that position and finished with three 3-pointers to go with a solid defensive effort. Kai Coster scored six points for the Challengers.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (38): Coster 6, McPheeters 2, Schaan 16, Miller 0, Coppedge 0, Lewis 4, Collom 4, Spurlock 0. Totals: 12 8-11 38.

SUTHERLIN (47): Horn 2, Carr 7, Stinnett 7, Merrifield 2, Gill 8, Davis 9, Bodine 12. Totals: 13 17-26 47.

Cascade Christian129413— 38

Sutherlin1710128— 47

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 6 (Coster 1, Schaan 3, Collum 2), Sutherlin 4 (Carr 1, Stinette 1, Daveis 1, Bodine 1).

ST. MARY’S 81, SOUTH UMPQUA 63: At Myrtle Creek, St. Mary’s senior Tre Foster had a monster game on the boards that resulted in a host of putbacks en route to a career-high 37 points in the Far West League victory.

Josh Banton added 14 points and James Forrester scored eight for the Crusaders (10-9, 5-2 FWL), who opened a 28-14 lead after one quarter but saw South Umpqua (3-16, 1-6) rally to within seven points at halftime.

Jonah Hadley contributed a pair of key putbacks for St. Mary’s in the second half.

ST. MARY’S (81): Banton 14, Kaeo-Wailehua 6, Forrester 8, Guyer 2, Kranenburg 2, Sacks 4, Bennion 3, Hadley 4, Sternenberg 1, Foster 37. Totals: 33 10-19 81.

SOUTH UMPQUA (63): K. Johnson 7, Wilson 18, Lamm 11, Jaynes 10, J. Johnson 12, White 5, Real 0. Totals: 26 6-11 63.

St. Mary’s28131723— 81

South Umpqua14201118— 63

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 5 (Banton 2, Forrester 1, Bennion 1, Foster 1), South Umpqua 7 (Wilson 4, Lamm 1, J. Johnson 2).

JV result — St. Mary’s won.

ROGUE RIVER, BUTTE FALLS FORFEIT: Due to a bench-clearing incident during a Southern Cascade League matchup between Butte Falls and Rogue River this past Saturday, both teams were fined and ordered by the OSAA to forfeit two games.

One forfeit apiece was served for Saturday’s contest, and each team was forced to forfeit their Tuesday matchup, with Butte Falls forfeiting to Lost River and Rogue River forfeiting to Lakeview.

In addition, according to Rogue River coach Jody Haag on Tuesday, both teams received equal numbers of four, two and one-game suspensions of multiple players.

According to Haag, Saturday’s incident began when tension arose with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter and Rogue River leading 37-36 when a Butte Falls player confronted Haag during play following a foul called in front of the Loggers’ bench. Benches from both schools cleared soon after.

Butte Falls (10-6, 6-3 SCL) will resume play Thursday at Cascade Christian, while Rogue River (7-12, 3-6) will resume play Friday at Glide.

RV ADVENTIST 61, CENTRAL CHRISTIAN 48: Caleb Jackson had 21 points, four rebounds and four steals and Isaiah Christensen added 20 points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals as Rogue Valley Adventist won for the fourth time in its last five Mountain Valley League games.

Ruben Tovar added 12 points, four assists and four rebounds for RVA (11-9, 7-8 MVL), which led 44-38 heading into the fourth quarter before pulling away late to avenge a 16-point loss to the Tigers (13-6, 7-6) on Jan. 4.

HOSANNA CHRISTIAN 58, PROSPECT 35: At Prospect, Theo James went for 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Prospect, but Hosanna Christian used a quick start to come out on top in the Mountain Valley League matchup.

The Cougars (2-17, 1-11 MVL) also picked up 11 points from Boden Perkins.

Hosanna Christian moved to 10-8 overall and 7-6 in the MVL.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCrater's Kruger Edwards gets fouled on his way to the hoop during the 2nd quarter.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCrater's Nate Bittle dunks the ball on a fast break during the 1st quarter.