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PREP BASKETBALL: South comes out firing in Washington

AUBURN, Wash. — Few things are more inspiring to a teenage boy than the opportunity to sleep in on the weekend instead of waking up at dawn.

That was the dilemma put to the South Medford boys basketball team Saturday afternoon as the difference between a good and bad start to The Hardwood Invite in Washington.

“They were focused before the game, for sure,” said Panthers head coach James Wightman. “They were really paying attention to everything that we were saying and wanting to get off to a good start.”

South Medford set an aggressive tone early in taking a 23-8 lead through one quarter and cruised from there to score an impressive 65-28 win over Nathan Hale High of Washington in Saturday’s tournament opener.

“We just broke their will right off the bat,” added Wightman. “It was good to see us play that well in the opening game.”

The 10th-ranked Panthers (5-0) next face a 7 p.m. game in tonight’s second round, as opposed to a potential 9 a.m. consolation draw had they lost.

Senior guard Junior Sleezer was sensational in knocking down four of his team’s season-high 11 3-pointers overall. Sleezer finished with 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting to go with four steals.

Devon Malcolm added 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting with 10 rebounds and three blocks, and Boden Howell was also perfect from the field to net 10 points with his five assists.

“Defensively, we just got into passing lanes and got tips and deflections to really set us up,” said Wightman. “And even playing with a different basketball than we normally use (Baden instead of Wilson), we shot the ball extremely well.”

The Panthers led 37-13 at halftime but were still challenged to win the third quarter and did so comfortably, 20-1.

“They didn’t even make a field goal, that’s how focused the kids were on defense,” said the coach.

A running clock was used in the second half by virtue of a mercy rule, and none of the Panther starters played in the fourth quarter.

SOUTH MEDFORD (65): Weiland 8, Hall 0, Sleezer 17, Daniel 0, Howell 10, Adee 0, Adams 9, Bloodsaw 1, Clayborne 7, Espinosa 1, Malcolm 12. Totals: 24 6-9 65.

NATHAN HALE (28): Barnes 5, Taylor 6, Ben 3, Peev 0, Berry 2, Forland 2, Faumuina 3, Tesfu 3, Agosto 0, Lang 2, Guynes 2. Totals: 9 8-17 28.

South Medford2314208— 65

Nathan Hale85114— 28

3-point goals — South Medford 11 (Weiland 2, Sleezer 4, Howell 2, Adams 1, Clayborne 2), Nathan Hale 2 (Ben 1, Tesfu 1).

NORTH MEDFORD 73, CANBY 44: At Lake Oswego, North Medford secured its place in another Lakeridge Invitational championship final with a dominant semifinal effort, especially on the defensive end in the second half.

The Black Tornado locked down Canby (5-1) in the final two quarters to outscore the Cougars 42-19 and win going away.

Trey Neff had 20 points and nine rebounds, Ty Neff added 14 points, four assists and two steals and Bryce Dyer came up with 16 rebounds to go with his 13 points to pace North (6-1).

The Black Tornado will next play at 6 p.m. today against McDaniel (4-1), which used two free throws with 1.3 seconds left by TaKwain Montgomery to edge Sunset, 51-50, in the other semifinal.

CANBY (44): Evans 6, Kirwan 3, Meyers 4, Soles 0, Sparks 0, Gibson 6, Gensman 0, Pepper 6, Oakes 14, Strand 5. Totals: 20 3-4 44.

NORTH MEDFORD (73): McLean 6, Klug 3, Ty. Neff 14, Tr. Neff 20, Plankenhorn 2, O’Neill 0, Carr 0, Young 0, Miller 7, Orozco 4, Dyer 13, Goodrich 4, Dominguez 0. Totals: 29-59 7-13 73.

Canby1411811— 44

North Medford14171923— 73

3-point goals — Canby 5 (Evans 2, Kirwan 1, Oakes 2), North Medford 8-24 (McLean 1, Klug 1, Ty. Neff 2, Tr. Neff 3, Miller 1).

ST. MARY’S 47, PHOENIX 46: At Winston, Noah Friesen scored seven of his 12 points to help spark a fourth-quarter comeback by St. Mary’s over Phoenix at the Douglas Holiday Crossover Tournament.

Chris Kranenburg scored all six of his points and Kayden Walker had all five of his points in that fateful final quarter, where the Crusaders (3-4) outscored the Pirates 22-11.

Travis Johnson scored nine points and Tyson Delplanche added eight points through three quarters to give St. Mary’s a chance in the fourth.

Julius Bolstad powered his way to 18 points and Dylan Harper added eight for Phoenix (3-3), which led 35-25 entering the fourth.

ST. MARY’S (47): Friesen 12, Kranenburg 6, Walker 5, Haynes 7, Delplanche 8, Henseman 0, Johnson 9. Totals: 16 8-19 47.

PHOENIX (46): White 0, Monroe 7, Stubbs 6, Je. Selden 0, Valadez 4, Trenbeath 0, Crump 3, Harper 8, Ayala-Talbott 0, Bolstad 18. Totals: 18 6-14 46.

St. Mary’s810722— 47

Phoenix4191211— 46

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 5 (Freisen 2, Kranenburg 1, Walker 1, Johnson 1), Phoenix 2 (Monroe 1, Crump 1). Fouled out — Haynes.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 69, HIDDEN VALLEY 51: At Coos Bay, Austin Maurer scored 20 points and Cody Reece chipped in with 16 to help Cascade Christian claim the seventh-place consolation final at the South Coast Les Schwab Tournament at Marshfield High.

Peyton Maurer added 10 points for the Challengers (2-2), who took control with a 22-8 surge in the first quarter and led 42-19 at halftime.

Zach Alderman scored 24 points to lead Hidden Valley (1-7).

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (69): Reece 16, Anderson 7, Wallace 2, P. Maurer 10, Hess 7, Sample 0, Hoffman 0, A. Maurer 20, Bryant 0, Nering 7. Totals: 30 8-13 69.

HIDDEN VALLEY (51): Iwamizu 4, Stone 11, Alderman 24, Brierty 5, Adams 0, Stever 4, Kanott 3. Totals: 17 8-12 51.

Cascade Christian2220207— 69

Hidden Valley8111517— 51

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 8 (Reece 1, Anderson 1, Hess 3, A. Maurer 3), Hidden Valley 6 (Stone 1, Alderman 3, Brierty 1, Stever 1). Fouled out — Kanott.

CAMAS VALLEY 40, PROSPECT 29: At Camas Valley, Prospect managed just eight second-half points after being tied at halftime and fell to Camas Valley in a nonleague matchup.

Prospect (3-3) and Camas Valley (5-1) were tied at 21-all at the break, but the Cougars’ tough shooting night was only magnified in the second half. Prospect shot 21% from the field and converted only nine of 21 free throw attempts.

Prospect’s Theo James recorded 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Boden Perkins also had 10 points. Dylan Christian pulled down eight rebounds and added three steals.

Girls

PHOENIX 23, ELMIRA 10: At Elmira, Phoenix junior forward Morgan James scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench in her return from injury and the Pirates pulled out a win in a low-scoring contest.

James missed the Pirates’ last two games after getting injured in warmups before Phoenix’s Dec. 11 game against Ashland. She played a total of 15 minutes against Elmira (0-5).

Sophomore Anabell Delgado had four points and seven steals while junior Kyla Potratz recorded seven steals and five rebounds to lead Phoenix (4-4) defensively.

PHOENIX (23): James 7, Nolan 4, Potratz 2, Delgado 4, Rector 4, McConnell 0, Muhamed 2. Totals: 9 5-7 23.

ELMIRA (10): Stone 0, Coronado 0, Storey 2, Hogue 0, Breaux 2, Burgess 6, Metzger 0, Howard 0, Peeler 0, Frome 0, Conklin 0, Raz 0, Farrar 0. Totals: 4 2-6 10.

Phoenix54212— 23

Elmira6103— 10

PLEASANT HILL 55, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 35: At Winston, Jordynn Jones scored 13 points but Cascade Christian was unable to work out of a big first-half hole in a consolation game loss at the Douglas Holiday Crossover Tournament.

The Challengers (3-5) trailed 33-11 at halftime.

Pleasant Hill junior guard Kiley Campos paced the Billies (3-4) with 22 points.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (35): Shipman 0, Sweem 3, Williams 1, Folin 0, Brehm 5, Coats 1, Jones 13, Pierson 5, Roberson 7, Smith 0, Purrier 0. Totals: 12 8-20 35.

PLEASANT HILL (55): Dutton 0, Geyer 2, Taylor 14, Daniel 3, Coats 2, Albright 4, Hawkins 0, Campos 22, Ritter 0, Crawford 8. Totals: 19 11-22 55.

Cascade Christian561410— 35

Pleasant Hill1617616— 55

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 3 (Sweem 1, Jones 1, Roberson 1), Pleasant Hill 4 (Taylor 2, Daniel 1, Campos 1).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Junior Sleezer, seen here in a file photo, scored a team-high 17 points in the Panthers win over Canby on Saturday.