PREP BASKETBALL: Sleezer, Malcolm propel South into SOC final
A little slow to start, all that changed in a hurry for South Medford’s boys basketball team Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Southern Oregon Conference tournament.
Crater jumped out to an 8-2 lead before the Panthers roared back, using a 30-9 run in the first half to break the game open en route to a 69-49 victory at South Medford High.
“I think we came out and were kind of loose with the ball to start off,” said Panthers head coach James Wightman. “We just told the guys if you just stay patient, we can get open looks and then we started getting to the basket and all of a sudden we’re up 15 at the half.”
South Medford junior guard Junior Sleezer was key to that surge, knocking down all four of his 3-pointers and totaling 17 of his 19 points in the first half.
The Panthers (13-1) also got a big effort from junior Devon Malcolm, who registered a handful of dunks to account for 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
“Junior really shot them out of their zone,” said Wightman, “and Devon Malcom was huge. Around the rim, he just finishes so well.”
Crater (8-5) trailed by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter before knocking down seven 3-pointers in the final frame — five courtesy of senior Hunter Chubb — to chip away at the deficit.
The Comets had 12 3-pointers, and Chubb led the way with 25 points and seven makes beyond the arc.
Sleezer also finished with four assists, while freshman Jackson Weiland had six points and four steals and the Panthers got seven points apiece from Isaiah McNaught and Jeremy Gaut.
Colton Vranes and Tate Broesder each scored eight points for the Comets.
Wednesday’s win sets up a third matchup in the crosstown rivalry this season between South Medford and North Medford, this time for the SOC tournament title. The regular-season co-champions split their two games this spring, with each game going into at least one overtime.
Friday’s championship game will be at North Medford, which cruised past Roseburg in Wednesday’s other semifinal. The Black Tornado (14-1) won a cumulative points tiebreaker over the Panthers.
“It’ll be fun,” said Wightman of the matchup. “I think our boys are looking forward to it as much as they probably are, especially for the seniors.”
Crater will host Roseburg at 12:30 a.m. in the third-place final.
CRATER (49): Smith 0, Vranes 8, Acrey 0, Chubb 25, K. Price 0, Turner 0, L. Price 2, Eaton 4, Grant 2, Broesder 8, Rucker 0. Totals: 16 5-6 49.
SOUTH MEDFORD (69): Weiland 6, Sleezer 19, McNaught 7, Gaut 7, Adee 0, Adams 2, Bloodsaw 4, Pannell 4, Malcolm 20. Totals: 29 6-6 69.
South Medford12202215— 69
3-point goals — Crater 12 (Vranes 2, Chubb 7, Eaton 1, Broeser 2), South Medford 5 (Sleezer 4, Gaut 1).
NORTH MEDFORD 69, ROSEBURG 45: North Medford junior guard Trey Neff was on fire early with 11 points in a 21-8 first quarter for the Black Tornado in the SOC tournament semifinals.
North Medford will host South Medford at 7 p.m. Friday in the championship game.
Neff totaled 19 of his game-high 27 points by halftime for North Medford (14-1) and also finished with six rebounds to share team-best honors with Bryce Dyer and Nick Karrick. Neff went 7-for-11 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Austin McLean provided a spark off the bench with 11 points, five rebounds and two steals for North, while Dyer added six points and four assists and Karrick had six points and three assists.
Attreyu Pinard scored 14 points to lead Roseburg (5-10).
ROSEBURG (45): Pinard 14, Mendoza 6, J. Parker 0, Williams 0, Marsters 7, Wilder 2, Stedman 1, M. Parker 5, Martin 6, Persyns 0, Black 2, Vredenburg 2. Totals: 15 11-19 45.
NORTH MEDFORD (69): McLean 11, Ty. Neff 5, Tr. Neff 27, Plankenhorn 0, Orozco 0, Karrick 6, Ellis 3, Miller 6, Dyer 6, Goodrich 2, Dominguez 0, Conrad 3. Totals: 24-57 12-17 69.
North Medford21201117— 69
3-point goals — Roseburg 4 (Pinard 1, Marsters 2, M. Parker 1), North Medford 9-25 (McLean 2, Ty. Neff 1, Tr. Neff 5, Conrad 1). Technical foul — Ellis, Roseburg coach Humphreys 2.
GRANTS PASS 41, EAGLE POINT 34: At Grants Pass, Brandin Ziegler erupted for 20 points to lead Grants Pass into the fourth-place game in the SOC Tournament.
The Cavemen (3-10) advanced to meet Ashland in Ashland Friday.
Ziegler sat out the second quarter but was consistent on the offensive end, scoring eight points in the third and six each in the first and fourth.
No quarter was decided by more than four points between the two teams.
Nathan Greenberg added seven points and Miles Anderson scored six for Grants Pass.
Eagle Point ended the season with a 1-15 record.
The Eagles got nine points from Brennen Neyt, eight from Alex Smith and six from Jose Valdovinos.
EAGLE POINT (34): Smith 8, Valdovinos 6, Dutton 0, Amidei 0, Neyt 9, Quintero 5, Carlton 4, Esquibel 2, Uribe 0. Totals: 13 3-3 34.
GRANTS PASS (41): Anderson 6, Alderson 0, Bennett 0, Polen 2, Robertson 3, Greenberg 7, Brandes 3, Ziegler 20. Totals: 16 8-15 41.
Eagle Point8899— 34
Grants Pass1211108— 41
3-point goals — Eagle Point 5 (Smith 1, Valdovinos 2, Neyt 1, Quintero 1), Grants Pass 1 (Anderson 1).
DOUGLAS 51, PHOENIX 43: At Talent, Douglas doubled up Phoenix in the third quarter to take command at Talent Middle School.
Douglas (5-4) outscored the Pirates (2-9) 16-8 in the third.
Phoenix was paced by Julius Bolstad with 18 points. Tristan Loy, Dylan Harper and Jackson Selden each added six points.
DOUGLAS (51): Wilson 2, Anderson 0, Willard 0, Fay 5, Dunston 8, Metianu17, Page 9, Nielsen 10, Rincon 0, McWhorter 0. Totals: 20 5-8 51.
PHOENIX (43): Talbott 0, Selden 6, Trenbeath 0, Stubbs 2, Valadez 1, Osario 4, Harper 6, Loy 6, Bolstad 18. Totals: 16 11-18 43.
3-point goals — Douglas 4 (Fay 1, Metianu 1, Page 1, Nielsen 1).
PROSPECT 41, CAMAS VALLEY 35: At Prospect, sophomore Boden Perkins had 16 points and a whopping 10 steals as Prospect captured its first win of the season.
The Cougars (1-10) were tied 14-14 at halftime with Camas Valley (2-8) and fell behind 20-15 before their press — particularly Perkins — prompted a 20-4 surge.
Prospect made 11 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter, and Perkins made 8 of 10.
Andrew Hammer recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and four assists for Prospect.
SOUTH MEDFORD 59, WEST LINN 47: At Portland, South Medford used its defensive pressure to spark the offense and rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first quarter to win going away in the semifinal round of the Maroon Bracket culminating week state tournament at Grant High.
Senior Toni Coleman sparked the Panthers (12-0) with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals, while sophomore Donovyn Hunter added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists and senior Kaili Chamberlin had 12 points and five rebounds.
Sierra Logue added six blocks, six rebounds, four points, three steals and two assists for South.
South Medford will play Sheldon (14-1), also from the Southwest Conference, in Thursday’s 5 p.m. championship game. The Irish beat Tualatin 43-37 in the other semifinal.
West Linn (11-4) led 12-0 before Coleman broke the drought with a free throw and saw senior standout Aaronette Vonleh total 18 points after scoring 37 in the last meeting between the teams June 4. South won that game 81-69 after using a similar second-half surge to pull away as it used Wednesday.
WEST LINN (47): I. McVicker 0, Fulcher 5, Molden 0, O. McVicker 4, Shelstad 9, Cabine 0, Vonleh 18, Sheffield 11. Totals: 14-48 14-20 47.
SOUTH MEDFORD (59): Chamberlin 12, Coleman 20, Hunter 13, Dillard 0, E. Schmerbach 7, Logue 4, Coley 0, Stone 3, Teague-Perry 0. Totals: 20-47 16-23 59.
West Linn1712810— 47
South Medford6181916— 59
3-point goals — West Linn 5 (Fulcher 1, Shelstad 3, Sheffield 1), South Medford 3 (Chamberlin 2, Stone 1). Fouled out — Sheffield.
CRATER 58, NORTH MEDFORD 20: At Central Point, Crater sophomore guard Kate Stidham scored 18 points to lead the way for the Comets in the semifinals of the SOC tournament.
Crater (12-3) was originally supposed to play Eagle Point, but the Eagles forfeited. North Medford, which lost to Eagle Point Monday night, had a bye in the consolation bracket and stepped up so that the Comets could have their senior night festivities.
Crater will host Grants Pass in the SOC title game on Friday, with tipoff set for 11 a.m. to avoid high temperatures later in the day. North Medford will host Roseburg at 5 p.m.
Stidham also had four rebounds and three steals, while freshman Abigail Winslow nearly had a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds. Fellow freshman Chase Weaver also had eight points.
Crater senior Madison Dutkiewicz chipped in six points and recorded six steals.
Ali Stevens and Brooke Richardson each scored five points to lead North Medford (3-13).
NORTH MEDFORD (20): Stevens 5, Gallery 4, Stewart 3, Richardson 5, Hamlin 0, McNamee 0, Chavez 3. Totals: 5 8-15 20.
CRATER (58): Gugliotta 4, Sizemore 2, Amidei 2, Weaver 8, Hirsch 0, Stidham 18, Simmons 0, Winslow 8, Dutkiewicz 6, Richardson 0, Valencia 2, Gonzalez 2, Waters 6. Totals: 22 10-14 58.
North Medford31133— 20
3-point goals — North Medford 2 (Stewart 1, Chavez), Crater 4 (Stidham 2, Dutkiewicz 2).
NORTH DOUGLAS 53, ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 33: At Baker, Rogue Valley Adventist sophomore Emma Bischoff scored 13 points but the Red Tail Hawks ran out of gas in the second half to allow North Douglas to pull away in a consolation game of the Class 1A tournament.
Michaela Porter added 10 points, Isabell Zamora had six and Aumlie Quave scored four for Rogue Valley Adventist (9-3), which trailed 21-17 at halftime.
North Douglas standout Samantha MacDowell, who had 10 3-pointers Tuesday, led the charge for the Warriors (9-1).