PREP ROUNDUP: South reaches Rogue Valley Classic semis
Of any team to face eventual champion Bend High in the Rogue Valley Classic Saturday, arguably none had a stronger showing than South Medford in the semifinals.
In the championship match played at North Medford High, Bend defeated McNary 25-11, 25-13.
To get there, Bend faced South in what was ultimately a 25-23, 25-19 win for the Lava Bears, currently ranked No. 3 in 6A.
Earlier in the day, South’s junior outside hitter Katie Clevenger suffered an injury during pool play and, while she was able to return later in bracket play, the rest of the Panthers stepped up to keep the team advancing.
“We were able to rely on all of our hitters across the board,” South head coach Robin Akpan said. “(It) gave our offense a really good look.”
In the quarterfinals against North Medford, the host and defending champion of the Rogue Valley Classic, South picked up a 25-17, 25-19 win. Senior outside hitter Emily Fliegel led the team with 13 kills and Clevenger chipped in 12 kills with two blocks. Junior middle Naomi Johnson did a little bit of everything for the Panthers with five kills, two blocks, eight digs and two aces.
The win gave South a rematch against Bend in the semifinals. South led by as many as four points in the opening set before Bend stormed back to take a 10-9 lead. Late in the set, South forced a 23-all tie thanks to a block and kill from Clevenger on consecutive plays. Bend went on to claim the next two points, clinching the set on a kill from Chloe LeLuge.
Clevenger led South with 12 kills and three blocks, Fliegel added seven kills and sophomore middle Brooke Johnston added two kills and two blocks.
Senior Alexis Deschweinitz and junior Baylee Davis split time at the setter position throughout the tournament. Between the quarterfinals and semis, Deschweinitz had a combined 30 assists and one ace, while Davis had a combined 23 assists, two digs and an ace.
In pool play, South lost to Bend, defeated Grants Pass and split two matches with Mazama.
North went a combined 5-1 in pool play to reach the quarterfinals as the No. 3 seed.
NORTHWEST CLASSIC: At Eugene, Ashland and Phoenix had a combined five runners place in the top 10 of 5,000-meter races, which were split into 6A/5A and 4A/3A/2A/1A divisions.
In the boys 6A/5A race, Ashland’s Nathan Stein took fourth place in 15 minutes, 41.2 seconds, with Sheldon’s Ben Collins winning the race (15:25.5) and helping the Irish place first as a team.
Ashland’s Luke Sealey placed 35th (17:15.9), and Trent Wayman was North Medford’s top finisher (80th, 18:28.9).
Ashland’s Grace Yaconelli took seventh in the 6A/5A girls race, clocking a time of 19:00.1. Summit took first as a team with 22 points and claimed four of the top five individual spots, led by winner Teaghan Knox (17:53.4).
Also finishing in the top 10 team scoring was Grants Pass (fifth), Ashland (eighth) and North Medford (10th). North Medford’s Saundra Parsons (20:53.6) and Reese Meager (20:55.6) finished within two seconds of each other in 34th and 36th place, respectively.
On the 4A/3A/2A/1A girls side, Phoenix took fourth place as a team, netting top-five finishes from Sophia Stubblefield (fourth, 20:01.6) and Kyla Potratz (fifth, 20:15). Addie Jensen placed 36th to lead St. Mary’s (22:26.3), and Phoenix’s Ava Robinson finished 39th (22:51).
Philomath’s Adele Beckstead won in 19:46.2 and Siuslaw placed first in the team scoring.
In the 4A/3A/2A/1A boys race, Phoenix’s Elwood Hosking finished third in 16:36.8. Marshfield’s Alexander Garcia-Silver won the race (15:55) and Siuslaw led the team scoring with 59 points.
Phoenix placed 10th as a team, which also included Kael Feeley finishing 43rd (18:45). Cody Arnold placed 45th (18:50.7) to lead St. Mary’s.
EAGLE POINT 13, WILLAMETTE 6: At Eugene, Adan Quintero hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and Isaiah Hill added a 6-yard scoring run in the fourth to lead Eagle Point to the Midwestern League win late Friday night.
Hill ran 12 times for 114 yards, and David Brown added 51 yards on nine carries for the Eagles (2-1 MWL).
EP — Quintero 6 pass from Lacey (Turcios kick)
W — 76 pass (kick failed)
EP — Hill 6 run (kick failed)