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PREP BASKETBALL: South completes unbeaten season

PORTLAND — South Medford so very long to finally engage in a proper celebration for all the girls basketball program has accomplished in the past two years, the Panthers weren’t about to waste their moment Thursday night.

Facing Southwest Conference rival Sheldon in the championship game of the Class 6A/5A culminating week Maroon Bracket, South Medford stretched a five-point lead at halftime with 16 minutes of maybe its finest basketball all spring to secure a 64-33 triumph at Grant High.

The win capped a perfect campaign for the Panthers, who finished 13-0. South Medford also went unbeaten at 30-0 when it won the 2012 6A state championship.

“It was a perfect culmination of a lot of years with these kids, many of whom were starters when they were freshmen (in 2018),” said South Medford coach Tom Cole. “It was really amazing. Kaili (Chamberlin) was banging 3s, Emma Schmerbach was relentless on defense ... it was just incredible to watch.”

Chamberlin knocked down six of her seven 3-pointers in a second half that saw South Medford outscore Sheldon 35-9. The senior finished with 29 points and seven steals against the Irish (14-2).

As a team, the Panthers posted 30 steals, thanks especially to the pesky efforts of seniors Bella Stone (11 steals) and Toni Coleman (five steals).

Sophomore Donovyn Hunter added 13 points and two steals, Schmerbach finished with nine points, six rebounds and three steals and junior Sierra Logue had nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

The postgame mood was one of overwhelming joy after the Panthers were finally able to accomplish their final goal. South Medford was a leading candidate to claim last year’s 6A state title when the tournament was canceled after the Panthers had advanced to the semifinal round.

“It was tears of joy; there was huge celebration afterwards,” said Cole. “They felt like they were shortchanged last year by the circumstances — not to blame anyone, that was the reality of COVID — but they were disappointed. To finish a season undefeated, I know it was a shortened season but we went out and played everyone that was supposedly the best out there, was pretty special.”

South Medford built an 18-10 lead through one quarter but allowed Sheldon to slip back into the mix in the second quarter of a contest that featured passionate play on both sides and an energetic crowd — a rarity during this socially-distanced season.

“It was a state championship kind of environment with a packed house and rowdy crowd,” said Cole.

Danika Starr led Sheldon with 10 points.

SHELDON (33): Line 2, Rhode 6, Sperry 0, Starr 10, Pierzina 5, Miller 0, Wheeler 6, Salave’a 1, Fife 0, Bateman 0, Bruegman 3, Pappas 0. Totals: 9-32 9-13 33.

SOUTH MEDFORD (64): Chamberlin 29, Coleman 2, Hunter 13, Dillard 0, E. Schmerbach 9, Ceron 0, Logue 5, Coley 0, Dahlin 2, Stone 2, Teague-Perry 0, Settle 0, T. Schmerbach 0, Fealey 2. Totals: 24-67 9-22 64.

Sheldon101454— 33

South Medford18112114— 64

3-point goals — Sheldon 6 (Rhode 2, Starr 2, Wheeler 2), South Medford 7 (Chamberlin 7).

PHOENIX 49, SEASIDE 15: At Seaside, Phoenix sophomore Morgan James totaled 13 points and eight rebounds and senior Fatima Flores provided a big effort on both ends of the floor with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals to help the Pirates open with a win at the season-ending Seaside Tournament.

Josie Bolstad supplied nine points and nine rebounds for Phoenix (10-4), which next plays at noon today against Rainier.

Kassandra Skaff added 10 points and Kynna Nolan scored seven points to boost the Pirates, who used an 18-0 surge in the second quarter to take a 27-6 lead into halftime against Seaside (4-7).

Boys

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 66, SANTIAM CHRISTIAN 62: At Coos Bay, Cascade Christian rallied in the fourth quarter behind steady play from senior leaders Morgan Law and Matt McPheeters to move into today’s championship game of the Class 3A culminating week tournament at Marshfield High.

McPheeters scored seven of his team-high 19 points and Law tallied six of his 11 points in a fourth quarter that saw Cascade Christian (13-0) outscore Santiam Christian 24-14.

Levi Marincus added 16 points while Cody Reece and Braydn Coppedge each scored 10 points for the Challengers, who will play Yamhill-Carlton, an 84-61 winner over De La Salle North Catholic.

Coppedge hit the second of his back-to-back 3-pointers with 4:30 to play to bring Cascade within one point, then Marincus hit a runner to put his team up for good.

McPheeters also added six rebounds and Law had four assists and five rebounds.

Santiam Christian (10-3) led 15-9 after one quarter and 48-42 heading into the final frame. Jackson Risinger led three Eagles in double figures with 17 points.

SANTIAM CHRISTIAN (62): Spangle 4, Risinger 17, Hill 6, Roth 6, Hughes 0, Vanderhoof 5, Baugher 14, Bourne 10. Totals: 25 5-8 62.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (66): Reece 10, Marincus 16, Coppedge 10, P. Maurer 0, McPheeters 19, Law 11, Brown 0. Totals: 20 22-31 66.

Santiam Christian15191414— 62

Cascade Christian9211224— 66

3-point goals — Santiam Christian 7 (Risinger 3, Hill 1, Roth 2, Vanderhoof 1), Cascade Christian 4 (Coppedge 2, Marincus 1, Law 1). Fouled out — Baugher, Bourne. Technical foul — Baugher.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Kaili Chamberlin, shown earlier this season, scored a team-high 29 points to lead the Panthers past Sheldon in Portland to cap a 13-0 season.