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Prep Roundup: Gibbs’ goal lifts St. Mary’s over CC

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSt. Mary's Ainsley Gibbs shoots through the Cascade Christian defense for the game winning goal during the second half.

St. Mary’s didn’t get everything it wanted out of its girls soccer contest Tuesday against rival Cascade Christian at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

But it got the most important thing: a win.

The Crusaders dominated play for much of the game but wound up eking out a 2-1 victory on an Ainsley Gibbs score in the 68th minute.

St. Mary’s improved to 5-1, and Cascade Christian dropped to 2-3-2.

“It was kind of a frustrating game,” admitted Crusaders coach Martin Nelson, “because we controlled it, and I don’t think Cascade had three passes together the entire first half. We had a ton of shots, we just couldn’t get anything in.”

“But,” he added, “we got the win, so that’s good.”

St. Mary’s hit the board first, in the 16th minute, when the senior Gibbs passed down the right side to senior Sophia Dobry. Doby fired a shot that Challengers goalkeeper Emily Knight got an arm on but couldn’t stop.

The ball trundled into the goal as St. Mary’s junior Ryker Rothfus and Cascade Christian senior Zoie Fisher tried to catch up to it.

The score didn’t change for more than 40 minutes until Katelyn Willard, a senior with a big leg, launched a long shot that pulled the Challengers even in the 58th minute.

St. Mary’s sent a goal kick well down the field. The ball got to Willard a few bounces later, and she set up about a 35-yard shot that just got past Crusaders senior goalkeeper Lila Reed.

“She’s a long-ball shooter,” said Cascade Christian coach Jeff Fairbanks, “so she does really well on punching the ball out there. She’s got quite a leg. It’s a hard game to win if you don’t shoot, so I try to encourage them to shoot as much as possible.”

Nelson wasn’t sure if the ball caught Reed off guard or if the sun played a factor.

“That boosted them up and it was kind of us realizing, ‘Hey, we’ve got to actually put one away,’” he said.

The senior Gibbs did the honors.

Sophomore Parker Gutches sent a pass back across the face of the goal for Gibbs, who left-footed it into the net over the outstretched arm of Knight.

In the only other meeting between the two teams this season, St. Mary’s cruised to a 5-0 win three weeks ago.

The Challengers are playing better, said Fairbanks, because of improved passing and communication.

In the first meeting, he said, “We were kind of chasing after them and trying to keep up with them. This game we stayed in our own environment and did what we’re used to doing and played well. It’s like we played more our game and not their game.”

Though St. Mary’s wound up with the win, the Challengers believed they weren’t far off.

“They have a very talented team,” said Fairbanks, “so a 2-1 loss to them is a huge victory for us.”

Volleyball

CRATER 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 2: At Central Point, Crater prevailed in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southern Oregon Conference, posting a 25-14, 26-28, 25-12, 21-25, 15-12 victory.

The Comets (7-1) began the day a half game behind South Medford (7-2) but reversed roles with the win.

Madison Kocina notched 15 kills and Tessa Frodge had 12 kills and four blocks for the Comets. Kylie Anderson added 17 digs, and Kyrah Christensen made nine kills.

Kate Stidham racked up 40 assists, and Kendra Bittle — who had a long serviing run late in the match — Avery Hanson each had three blocks.

For South Medford, Tes Wente led the way with 15 kills and one block, and Evelyn Laupola had nine kills and four blocks.

Amanda Drane recorded 24 digs, and Katie Clevenger had 11 kills and eight digs.

NORTH MEDFORD 3, EAGLE POINT 0: Audrey Yechout had 10 kills and 22 digs to pace North Medford to a 25-12, 25-22, 25-15 victory in the Black Tornado gym.

Catherine Rostel led North Medford (8-2) with 12 kills.

Matlyn Leetch piled up 18 assists, and Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo added 14.

The Black Tornado had 14 aces, led by Jordan Sandler’s four.

Eagle Point dropped to 0-7.

The Eagles got two blocks and 11 digs from Abby Trautman, 21 digs from Emma Kness and two kills, one block and six digs from Chloe Pariani.

PHOENIX 3, NORTH VALLEY 2: At Merlin, Phoenix rallied from a tough loss in the first set to post a five-set triumph. Scores weren’t immediately available.

The Pirates (2-8) led 24-13 in the opening set before North Valley went on an 11-point spree.

Josie Bolstad paced Phoenix with 12 kills, four stuff blocks and three aces, and Ally Ellis had 24 assists, 12 digs and two aces.

Jourden DeVey had six kills, four aces and 17 digs, Madison Lewis had seven kills and six aces, Raelyssa Golf turned in 18 digs and two aces and Delani Parent added five kills, two assists and a block.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, DOUGLAS 0: At Douglas, Cascade Christian remained undefeated with a 25-13, 25-23, 25-20 victory.

The Challengers are 11-0, while Douglas fell to 2-7.

Senior Ania Farmer led Cascade Christian with nine kills and six aces, and senior Taylor Cave racked up 26 assists and three aces. Senior Hannah Stanfield turned in five kills and three aces.

LAKEVIEW 3, ROGUE RIVER 0: At Lakeview, Lakeview swept the match, but it was anything but easy. The Honkers triumphed, 27-25, 26-24, 25-16.

The Chieftains (2-8) got five blocks, three kills and two aces from junior Ayrica Hansen, and senior Tia Trahan notched nine kills and one ace.

Sophomore Mikayla Moore produced three kills, three aces and a dig, and freshman Suzy Smith had three kills, one ace and one digs.