PREP ROUNDUP: North’s Gillock nearly ties record
William Gillock wanted a hat trick, so his North Medford boys soccer teammates made it a priority Thursday to ensure he got one.
Gillock and his team’s effort was so good, in fact, that he accomplished the feat twice over. Following a two-goal performance earlier in the week against Eagle Point, the Black Tornado senior put home all six of North Medford’s goals — three in the first half, three in the second half — in a 6-1 win over Crater at North Medford High.
According to Oregon School Activities Association records, seven goals is the single-game scoring record in state boys soccer history, which three players — Delphian’s Sergio Ruiz, Brookings-Harbor’s Luke Beamon and Taft’s Edson Fuentes — each accomplished once. Six goals have been scored in a game on seven occasions, including twice by Rogue River’s Gavin Decker during the 2016 season. With Thursday’s performance, Gillock becomes the eighth to score six goals in a single game.
In 10 years as North Medford head coach, Michael Belzberg said he hadn’t seen any player complete a feat quite like Gillock’s during that time. The first three goals came within the first 20 minutes of the game, which led to Belzberg substituting Gillock out of the game on two different occasions to give him a breather and check in with his senior captain.
By halftime, Gillock had already completed the hat trick, but his teammates were determined to keep feeding him, Belzberg said. Fellow senior captain Ulysses Gomez assisted on four of Gillock’s goals.
The win was the second straight for North (2-2), following Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Eagle Point. Belzberg said the team is starting to connect heading into Southwest Conference play, which begins Tuesday at Grants Pass.
“We’re really in a good place going into league play,” Belzberg said.
Crater fell to 0-3 overall.
SHELDON 3, NORTH MEDFORD 1: At Medford, Sheldon won its fourth straight match in a 23-25, 25-19, 29-27, 25-17 win over North Medford.
Senior Audrey Yechout led North Medford (4-3, 0-1 SWC) with 18 kills, senior Pa’oa Payne-Kaeo had 15 assists, junior Maddie Blake added 10 assists and senior Makayla Miller led the Black Tornado with seven digs.
CRATER 3, ASHLAND 1: At Central Point, Crater bounced back from a first-set loss to defeat Ashland 23-25, 25-19, 29-27, 25-17 in Midwestern League action.
Junior Maddie Kocina had a team-high 24 kills and six aces, junior Kendra Bittle picked up 17 kills and freshman Danica Huntoon added nine kills for the Comets (2-3, 2-2 MWL).
Junior Kate Stidham led Crater with 55 assists and on defense, sophomore Joslyhn Pope picked up 28 digs.
Ashland (3-3, 3-3 MWL) got 13 kills and 11 blocks from senior Amelia Evans. Seniors Sascha Wells had 20 digs and three aces and Harper Wells had seven digs, 18 assists and three aces.
Junior Cameron Christian added five kills, 10 digs and two aces for the Grizzlies.
NORTH EUGENE 3, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eugene, North Eugene rolled to a straight-set win over Eagle Point, 25-15, 25-20, 25-10, in Midwestern League action.
Eagle Point (0-5, 0-5 MWL) got four kills from senior Lily Bixler and three kills from junior Sydney Boren.
Sophomore Emma Kness and junior Abby Trautman had seven and five digs, respectively, while sophomore Makynlee Schauffler added seven assists for the Eagles.
North Eugene (3-3, 3-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win.
PHOENIX 3, NORTH VALLEY 0: At Phoenix, Phoenix used a balanced attack to open Skyline Conference play with a straight-set win over North Valley, 25-21, 25-16, 25-14.
Senior Raelyssa Goff finished with 21 digs, three aces and three kills, while fellow senior Allyson Ellis had four aces, three digs and 12 assists. Senior Veronica Ascencion added two aces and 10 assists.
Junior Ami Safady had eight kills, four aces and three blocks for Phoenix, which improved to 3-5 on the season. Makynna Nolan added three kills and two blocks.
North Valley fell to 0-5 on the season.
ST. MARY’S 3, SOUTH UMPQUA 2: At Myrtle Creek, St. Mary’s outlasted South Umpqua in the Far West League opener for both schools, as the Crusaders won a five-set thriller 18-25, 25-16, 25-13, 23-25, 15-6.
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Dunn finished with six aces, 16 kills and 17 blocks to lead the Crusaders, who improved to 5-3 on the season. Fellow junior Noelle Thickett had nine kills, while senior Lainey Stranberg had eight kills and 23 digs.
St. Mary’s junior setter Kaitlyn Hansen recorded 27 assists and junior libero Albie Borovansky finished with 18 digs.
As a team, St. Mary’s finished with 16 aces and just six service errors.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, BROOKINGS-HARBOR 0: At Brookings, Cascade Christian opened up Far West League play with a 25-10, 25-23, 25-22 win over Brookings-Harbor.
Sophomore Maddi Carter led Cascade with eight kills, sophomore Maddie Todd added six kills and senior Callie Sweem served eight aces, six of which came in the decisive third set. Additionally, sophomore Molly Griffin tallied 23 assists.
With the win, following a preseason schedule that included matchups against 6A North Medford and 4A programs Mazama and Henley, the Challengers (3-3, 1-0 FWL) halted a three-game losing skid.