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BOYS BASKETBALL: Ellis guides Tornado to SWC rout

Coming off a disheartening overtime loss at Sheldon on Tuesday, the North Medford boys basketball team bounced back in a big way Friday night and gave hope to a potential fourth straight Southwest Conference title.

With junior point guard Landon Ellis pouring in a career-high 26 points, the Black Tornado was able to blow past South Eugene for a pivotal 78-39 triumph.

The Axemen had been previously unbeaten in SWC play so, with the win, North Medford (13-9, 6-2 SWC) was able to pull within one game of South Eugene (18-5, 7-1) in the league standings with two to play. Sheldon, which tied the Tornado with nine seconds to go Tuesday and then won in OT, stands 5-3 in SWC play.

“It was a huge win for us coming off a heartbreaking loss against Sheldon,” said North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn. “It’s just really nice to see us bounce back and play as good as we did.”

South Eugene held a 10-8 advantage heading into the second quarter but after that it was all Black Tornado.

North Medford turned everything around in a dominant second quarter that saw it outscore the Axe 22-6, with senior Jett Carpenter scoring 10 of his 19 points in the frame, Ellis adding six points and Brennan Stults authoring a couple driving baskets off assists by Ellis.

“The defense got much better in the second quarter,” said Plankenhorn, “and then in the third and fourth quarters we just had lockdown defense. We didn’t let (South Eugene leading scorer Sam Harris) get anything easy and tried to get Landon in a ball-screen set attacking their big kid (6-foot-8 senior Aidan Clark).”

“Landon was getting downhill to the basket and doing a great job of finishing at the rim,” added the coach. “He was also 7-for-8 from the free-throw line to really help us out there, too.”

Ellis also managed five assists and three steals, while Carpenter had six rebounds, four assists and five steals and Bryce Dyer added eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Stults finished with 13 points and three of the Tornado’s 13 3-pointers on 24 attempts. Carpenter had four to lead the way from beyond the arc.

“We just did a great job of moving the ball and finding guys and then knocking down the shots when they were there,” said Plankenhorn.

Harris, who leads the SWC at 17.5 points per game, was limited to four points. Josh Paul had 11 points and Clark added eight to lead South Eugene.

SOUTH EUGENE (39): Edwards 2, James 3, Wright 0, Harris 4, Clark 8, Boettcher 4, Sanders 0, Nelson 3, Bryant 4, Paul 11. Totals: 15 9-12 39.

NORTH MEDFORD (78): Neff 3, Sherbourne 0, Robustelli 0, Ellis 26, Stults 13, Carpenter 19, Karrick 6, Orozco-Bernal 3, Goodrich 0, Dyer 8. Totals: 27-50 11-19 78.

South Eugene106149— 39

North Medford8222325— 78

3-point goals — South Eugene 2 (James 1, Paul 1), North Medford 13-24 (Neff 1, Ellis 1, Stults 3, Carpenter 4, Karrick 2, Orozco-Bernal 1, Dyer 1). Fouled out — Boettcher. Technical foul — North Medford coach Plankenhorn.

JV result — South Eugene 46, North Medford 42.

SOUTH MEDFORD 70, ROSEBURG 51: South Medford sophomore guard Junior Sleezer went for 17 points, six rebounds and three steals in a game where Roseburg put the Panthers on the free throw line 33 times in the second half alone.

Keegan Losinski produced 12 points, seven rebounds and led the Panthers (10-13, 2-6 Southwest Conference) with three blocks while Peyton Shepard came up with nine points, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. South Medford accumulated 12 blocked shots as a team.

The Indians (3-18, 0-8) fouled South Medford at one point on 14 straight possessions in the fourth quarter. The Panthers finished 31-for-44 from the charity stripe.

ROSEBURG (51): Pinard 12, Johnson 7, J. Parker 6, Six 0, Kaul 0, Fay 3, Klopfenstein 0, Olson 0, M. Parker 0, Martin 23. Totals: 18 9-16 51.

SOUTH MEDFORD (70): Hunter 7, Shepard 9, Sleezer 17, Gaut 9, Harmon 0, Pannell 6, Losinski 12, Dye 1, Booth 9, Cota 0. Totals: 18 31-44 70.

Roseburg1061124— 51

South Medford12181525— 70

3-point goals — Roseburg 6 (Pinard 1, Johnson 1, Fay 1, Martin 3), South Medford 3 (Hunter 2, Sleezer 1). Fouled out — Six, Kaul, M. Parker, Martin, Hunter. Technical foul — Hunter.

JV result — Roseburg won.

GRANTS PASS 52, SHELDON 51: At Eugene, Grants Pass outscored Sheldon 20-11 in the fourth quarter to pull off the Southwest Conference upset.

Cade Ealy scored 16 points, making three 3-pointers in the process, to lead the Cavemen (11-9, 4-4 SWC). Trent Anderson added 11 points and Justin Farris 10.

Nash Kuykendall paced the Irish (14-8, 5-3) with 13.

GRANTS PASS (52): Alderson 0, Maravilla 0, Dixon 2, Farris 10, Coyle 5, C. Anderson 8, Ealy 16, T. Anderson 11, Amaral 0. Totals: 19 6-8 52.

SHELDON (51): Line 2, Prickel 9, Jacobson 0, Loesch 0, Robinson 2, Carter 10, Kuykendall 13, Neuman 9, Gittins 2, Yakavich 2. Totals: 17 12-16 51.

Grants Pass871720— 52

Sheldon7112211— 51

3-point goals — Grants Pass 8 (Farris 2, C. Anderson 1 Ealy 3, T. Anderson 2), Sheldon 5 (Prickel 3, Carter 1, Kuykendall 1).

CRATER 59, WILLAMETTE 47: At Central Point, Nate Bittle amassed 30 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots in third-ranked Crater’s Midwestern League victory.

Kruger Edwards added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Comets (17-5, 13-1 MWL), who built an eight-point first-quarter lead but couldn’t shake the eighth-ranked Wolverines (13-8, 7-5).

Jayden Vranes had seven assists for Crater, which next plays host to No. 1 Churchill on Tuesday. Braydon Ray produced four steals and Payton Anhorn made a big 3-pointer off the bench in the third quarter for the Comets.

Luke Smith scored 26 for Willamette.

WILLAMETTE (47): Yanez 6, Woods 2, Akuma 2, Brown 0, Moffat 0, Thompson 7, Burke 4, Smith 26. Totals: 16 9-10 47.

CRATER (59): J. Vranes 8, Ray 2, C. Vranes 0, Chubb 2, Eaton 0, Grant 0, Edwards 14, Anhorn 3, Bittle 30. Totals: 22 13-19 59.

Willamette518159— 47

Crater13191314— 59

3-point goals — Willamette 6 (Yanez 2, Smith 4), Crater 2 (Anhorn 1, Bittle 1).

NORTH EUGENE 72, ASHLAND 36: At Eugene, Ashland guard Finn Hilden scored nine points but North Eugene burried 13 3-pointers to run away with the Midwestern League victory.

The Grizzlies (9-13, 4-9 MWL) managed only 12 points in the first half while the Highlanders converted eight 3-pointers in the first half alone. North Eugene (11-12, 6-8) had four players score in double figures and were led by Cameron Parks’ 16 points.

For Ashland, Nate Whitlock scored seven points and Toby Barnes added six points.

ASHLAND (36): Whitlock 7, Smith 2, Hilden 9, Sanford 0, Lapierre 3, Williams 5, Carter 1, Jones 3, Barnes 6. Totals: 14 2-8 36.

NORTH EUGENE (72): Pratt 6, DeGarmo 12, I. Rankin 4, Wallace 3, Lemley 0, Duke 14, Parks 16, Cross 14, Wyers 0, Plum-Kazmierczak 2, Vaughn 0, Kitzhaber 1, C. Rankin 0. Totals: 23 12-19 72.

Ashland66717— 36

North Eugene21172014— 72

3-point goals — Ashland 6 (Whitlock 1, Lapierre 1, Williams 1, Jones 1, Barnes 2), North Eugene 13 (Pratt 1, DeGarmo 3, Wallace 1, Duke 4, Cross 4). Fouled out — Lapierre.

PHOENIX 62, KLAMATH UNION 38: At Klamath Falls, Ethan Hutsell drilled four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 16 points as Phoenix used 11 3-pointers overall to overwhelm Klamath Union.

Braeden Watts went for 15 points and Logan Jenkins chipped in eight for Phoenix (13-9, 6-3 Skyline Conference).

PHOENIX (62): Watts 15, Clayton 0, Goff 3, E. Hutsell 16, Stanfield 2, Zanni 0, Jenkins 8, D. Hutsell 2, Ortega 7, Osorio 3, Olsiewski 6. Totals: 24 3-3 62.

KLAMATH UNION (38): Arvizo 3, Bundng 0, Cook 9, Macias 3, Short 10, Franklin 5, Merhoff 0, Taylor 2, Dutra 0, Holmes 6. Totals: 12 8-13 38.

Phoenix12161915— 62

Klamath Union512129— 38

3-point goals — Phoenix 11 (E. Hutsell 4, Watts 3, Jenkins 2, Osorio 1), Klamath Union 6 (Holmes 2, Arvizo 1, Macias 1, Short 1, Franklin 1). Fouled out — Olsiewski.

SW Conference game at North Medford High. North Medford 78, South Eugene 39.
SW Conference game at North Medford High. North Medford 78, South Eugene 39.