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No. 6 North boys ease past Sherwood

North Medford didn’t expect anything easy Friday night, but after the first quarter against Sherwood, the Black Tornado boys basketball team certainly made it look easy at times.

Spearheaded by a 26-point effort from senior guard Trey Neff and a pair of workmanlike efforts inside by seniors Bryce Dyer and O’Shea Miller, North Medford was able to build a double-digit cushion by halftime and kept the pressure on to score a 74-55 victory over the host Bowmen.

“It was a good win for us on the road,” said Black Tornado head coach Scott Plankenhorn, whose team is No. 6 in the 6A coaches poll. “They’re a sound basketball team and it’s never easy to drive this far and play a good team like that.”

Averaging a double-double thus far this season, Dyer maintained that trend with 14 points, 18 rebounds and three assists, while Miller chipped in with 18 points and nine rebounds.

For Miller, a 6-foot-4 senior, it was his second straight strong outing inside after posting 16 points in a rout of Yreka on Tuesday.

After Miller started his high school career at South Medford, Plankenhorn said the COVID-induced limitations in the spring slowed his post-transfer progress but all seems to be full steam ahead this winter.

“O’Shea is really starting to understand the system and we’re doing a really good job of finding him in good spots,” said the coach. “He’s doing a good job of finding the sweet spots of the offense and what is a good place for him and being rewarded for it. It’s just a product of more time in the system for him.”

Miller was 8-for-10 from the field Friday after going 7-for-9 in Tuesday’s 100-47 triumph.

Neff and Miller were the early catalysts for North Medford, which improved to 12-1 overall and did nothing to diminish its No. 2 spot in the Class 6A state power rankings.

After the Black Tornado used a late surge in the first quarter to take a 17-14 lead, Neff opened the second quarter with a four-point play after being fouled on a 3-point swish. Miller followed with a traditional three-point play and back-to-back steals by the duo led to each recording another basket to suddenly push North ahead 28-16 only 2 1/2 minutes into the frame.

“That was a massive shot,” said Plankenhorn of Neff’s quarter-opening shot beyond the arc. “He’s running right into a 3 on transition and their guy gets in on him for a four-point play. Those are the kind of things that jump-start everything and we got on a roll after that.”

The Black Tornado ultimately outscored Sherwood (5-7) by a 17-8 tally in the second quarter and pushed its lead to 24 points midway through the third quarter before the Bowmen responded with a slight surge to make it 52-36 entering the fourth.

“We kind of found ourselves there a little bit in the second quarter,” said Plankenhorn, “and then early in the third quarter I thought we really played well. We had a dry spell for a bit after we had it up above 20, but Sherwood just kept competing, that’s what they do. We got a little sloppy reaching (on defense) and letting people get in the lane but we came back and competed and made the foul shots when we needed in the end.”

Neff also finished with five rebounds, three steals and two assists, while junior Antonio Orozco provided pestering defense to go with four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Owen Caudle scored 20 points to pace Sherwood.

NORTH MEDFORD (74): McLean 0, Ty. Neff 7, Tr. Neff 26, Plankenhorn 2, O’Neill 0, Miller 18, Orozco 0, Dyer 14, Goodrich 4, Dominguez 3. Totals: 26-63 17-25 74.

SHERWOOD (55): Glass 4, Jenkins 8, Maynard 2, Kelly 2, Verkamp 4, Caudle 20, Sucher 8, Morris 4, Hankel 3, Smith 0, Goff 0. Totals: 21 9-12 55.

North Medford17171822— 74

Sherwood1481419— 55

3-point goals — North Medford 5-21 (Tr. Neff 4, Dominguez 1), Sherwood 4 (Caudle 2, Sucher 1, Hankel 1).

JV score — North Medford 65, Sherwood 53

Have a story idea? Reach sports editor Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune North Medford's O'Shea Miller, seen here in a file photo, had 18 poiints in his team’s win over Sherwood on Friday night.