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PREP ROUNDUP: South Medford boys rout Nelson

South Medford faces a key Southwest Conference boys soccer matchup today with Grants Pass, but the Panthers didn’t let that stop them from putting total focus on visiting Nelson Friday afternoon.

Buoyed by a hat trick from junior Alex Rodriguez, South Medford dominated play to net a 7-0 victory over the first-year high school in Clackamas in a game played at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

“They’re building a program up just like any school in their first year,” said Panthers coach Claudio Villa of Nelson, “so coming into the game we knew we wanted to take advantage of that in the first half and try to come out aggressive.”

Rodriguez was stellar in scoring his three goals and added assists on goals by Cash Cota and Alexis Reyes.

“Alex just had a lot of opportunities in front of the goal and he was able to capitalize three times,” said Villa of the striker.

Silvano Pineda, who typically handles goalkeeper duties, got a chance to play on the field and also scored for South Medford, with Felix Valenzuela netting the final goal.

Brenden Rasor kept a clean sheet in goal but wasn’t pressed too much into duty.

Today’s 1 p.m. contest at South Medford High against Grants Pass (4-3-1) expects to be much more competitive, with the Panthers and Cavemen each tied for second in SWC play at 3-2.

“Ideally you don’t want to play another game within 48 hours but it is what it is,” said Villa. “With the smoke rescheduling and shuffling games around there are teams that have to play back-to-back like this but we’ll do our best to come back again with another strong effort.”

WILLAMETTE 7, CRATER 0: At Central Point, Willamette built a 3-0 lead by halftime and proved too much for Crater, which was slowed by mounting injuries in the second half.

Ariel Carlos De Dios Cruz opened the scoring in the 24th minute on a header and finished with a hat trick for Willamette (10-0, 5-0 MWL), while Papa Yansane and Victor Castaneda each scored two goals.

Crater goalie Diego Estrada did well to help the Comets (1-7, 1-4) avoid a mercy-rule loss with four quality saves in the second half.

Girls Soccer

SOUTH MEDFORD 2, GRANTS PASS 1: At Grants Pass, surrounded by Grants Pass defenders, South Medford’s Brooke Fairbanks snuck through the game-winning shot with less than three minutes left in regulation as the Panthers captured the thrilling Southwest Conference victory.

At the 77-minute mark, Isabelle Cruz passed to Bella Botero, who advanced the ball to Fairbanks about 8 yards from the goal and she did the rest to secure a win for South (5-3, 4-1 SWC).

The contest was scoreless until the opening minute of the second half when Cruz placed a free kick over the head of the Grants Pass goalkeeper from 35 yards out. Just seven minutes later, the Cavers (0-9, 0-6) answered to tie the game on a goal by Jocelyn Seidel on a corner kick.

WILLAMETTE 1, CRATER 0: At Central Point, Willamette scored the game’s lone goal in the 32nd minute in a Midwestern League contest that was played close in all categories.

Crater (0-4-4, 0-2-3 MWL) has now allowed only eight goals in eight games but still remains without a victory.

The Comets had six shots to seven by Willamette (4-6, 2-2), with Addison Vranes supplying a key opportunity to tie that was negated by a sliding effort from the Wolverines’ goalie that left Vranes leaping over midway through the box.

Clio Andries got the start in goal and performed well, with Maddy Ritchey and Emma Bohn also providing key efforts for Crater.

HENLEY 5, PHOENIX 0: At Phoenix, Beth Hamilton scored twice to pace Henley in a physical matchup that saw Phoenix play the final 25 minutes one player down after receiving a double-yellow card.

Anahi Villa had a promising scoring opportunity somehow negated for Phoenix in the first 10 minutes of the contest, and the Pirates (2-6, 0-5 Skyline) finished with six shots on goal.

Volleyball

RVA WINS TWO: At Walla Walla, Washington, Rogue Valley Adventist advanced to the championship match at the Walla Walla Fall Classic after winning a pair of games in bracket play.

The Red Tail Hawks earned a No. 2 seed for the eight-team bracket after completing pool play Thursday, then went on to defeat Paradise Adventist Academy (25-3, 25-9) and Upper Columbia Academy (23-25, 25-18, 15-6) to reach Saturday’s championship against Walla Walla Valley Academy.

Between the two matches played Friday, junior Emma Bischoff’s 23 kills and eight blocks led Rogue Valley Adventist Academy. Sophomore Olivia Barber had a team-high 20 assists and eight aces, junior Destinee Quattrocelli tallied 19 assists and junior Isabell Zamora had a combined six digs.

Cross-country

CRATER TWILIGHT: At Central Point, Crater junior Tyrone Gorze won the 5,000-meter boys race in 14 minutes, 29.30 seconds, with freshman teammate Josiah Tostenson finishing runner-up (15:03.40).

Grants Pass senior Madison Wilt won the girls race in 18:49, edging a pair of Phoenix teammates in Sophia Stubblefield (19:01) and Kyla Potratz (19:02). Crater teammates Lindsay Siebert (19:38) and Emma West (19:40) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

As a team, Crater’s boys won with 26 points to outdistance runner-up South Medford (63), while the GP girls totaled 35 points to finish ahead of the Comets (57).

Phoenix senior Elwood Hosking set a school record at 15:32.90 in placing fifth in the boys race, just ahead of Cascade Christian’s Jake Sorani (15:40.40) and Crater’s Jeffrey Hellmann (15:40.90).